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Three Reasons to Promote Your Organization Both Online and Offline

December 15, 2017

mailing postcards

For small businesses and organizations, the holiday season is an annual opportunity to reach and deepen relationships with target audiences through thoughtful, personalized campaigns. Eager to optimize holiday promotional opportunities, marketers for brands and organizations are making their lists and checking them twice to determine the best channels, aiming to reach people at the right time, with the right message, via the right channel.

According to Forrester Research, 44 percent of American adults online say they multitask sometimes, most of the time, or always. Online channels continue to prove to be a powerful way to reach consumers as they integrate work and personal activities in the online space. This year, Black Friday sales were driven by digital and paid search according to Adobe Digital Insights. Shoppers spent a record-breaking $5.03 billion online on Black Friday, a 17 percent increase compared to last year’s total of $4.3 billion. Yet online-only promotion strategies fail to take advantage of opportunities to raise awareness of and interest in your organization. A multi-channel approach aimed at reaching people with the most relevant content at the optimal time will offer the most impact.

With end-of-year time crunches a-plenty, it is critical for marketers to keep in mind the following key considerations in planning multi-channel strategies in the New Year:

1. Everything Is Connected - People are moved to seek out more information from a brand or organization online because they’ve seen something that piques their interest offline. Think postcards, billboards or van wrap advertisements that serve to increase brand awareness and that also may offer an enticing online promotion. The same goes for finding out about a relevant business or brand online and then visiting the physical retail store or restaurant, as examples.

2. Consumers Expect a Seamless, Multi-Channel Journey - With multichannel online platforms dominating consumer time and attention for news and entertainment, it’s no surprise people expect seamless online to offline customer experiences. According to research from Salesforce, 75 percent of consumers surveyed reported they expect companies to provide a consistent experience wherever they engage (website, social media, mobile, in person).

3. Multi-Channel Shoppers Mean Business - According to the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday this year, over 64 million Americans shopped both online and in stores. These multichannel shoppers spent on average $82 more than the online-only shopper, and $49 more on average than those shoppers who only shopped in stores.

Keeping in mind these three factors, business owners can be confident their multi-channel strategy will reap the benefits of increased brand affinity, recall time and messages that resonate on a personal level. And mailing postcards continues to be an important element of a multi-channel strategy. In fact, direct mail remains a tried and true way to reach people to underscore an organization’s branding, mission and unique value proposition. Direct mail garners a 3.7 percent response rate, according to the Direct Mail Association. People appreciate tangible marketing mail that is visual, provocative and relevant. Mailing postcards has the potential to capture attention uniquely because it is haptic, tactile and -- for established brands whose audience is often already engaged online -- also reinforces a customer’s digital journey. Whether you’re planning a last minute push to support holiday sales or evaluating your marketing strategy for the coming year, direct mail is a critical player in a well-rounded multi-channel strategy.