By Huong Cao

Communicators and marketers gathered at Maga Design in D.C. on Nov. 15 to attend “AM AdBuzz: Blurring the Lines Between Physical and Digital,” organized by the American Advertising Federation, Washington D.C. Chapter.

Robert E. Dixon, director of product technology innovation at the U.S. Postal Service, led the dialogue on Informed Delivery, a Postal Service feature allowing users to see scanned images of their incoming letter-size mailpieces on digital devices. This feature is available via email, an online dashboard and a mobile app, according to Dixon. He also noted that Informed Delivery offers marketers the ability to add additional digital content to be displayed at the same time that consumers see the physical images of their mailpieces.

According to a document illustrating Informed Delivery provided at the event, marketers can view metrics such as email opens, URL clicks and conversion rates on an Informed Delivery Dashboard. “The opportunity to gain insight from consumer behaviors is enormous, we can see which mailpieces consumers respond to, measure URL clicks, and know what time of day consumers click,” Dixon added.

There is no current fee from the Postal Service that marketers have to pay, according to Dixon. “The cost was just really the effort to create messages in digital campaigns,” he said. Dixon shared that using Informed Delivery in a marketing campaign increases response rates.

“The response to an Informed Delivery-enabled physical campaign was between two and ten times greater than just a physical campaign, and five times greater than just using the digital alone,” he added. “The greatest return on investment of marketing messages still come through physical mail.”

With the insights that Dixon provided, attendees learned a new channel which they could take into consideration when planning a marketing campaign, or share with their partners and colleagues. Eugene Fertelmeyster, who works in social media marketing at Be The Change (BTC) Revolutions, shared: “I see it as an effective new channel for a lot of our partner organizations to leverage.”

Huong Cao  is a public relations student at George Mason University.

 

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