Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "Creative Print Solutions That Boost Digital Engagement," serves as a reminder that creative print solutions can improve digital outcomes, from engagement rates to response rates to brand sales communications. Since the onset of COVID-19, digital usage has soared. Social media usage is up. Online advertising is up. eCommerce is way up. Online engagement, in its many forms, is increasing day-by-day for information, learning, and eCommerce. The sheer volume of all that online traffic is impacting website loading times. Forty-two percent of the US labor force now works from home. Thirty-three percent are not working; however, they're likely at home and online. Now that the school year is underway, you have the compound effect of homeschooling, online learning, and virtual learning due to the pandemic. In a word, the internet is busy 24/7, and it isn't letting up anytime soon. ISP providers are extending bandwidth options while looking for future technology solutions that can aid and expedite all online activity, preferably at pre-pandemic speeds. We are still a way off from that. The purpose of this post is to illustrate to marketers various print solutions that can assist brands in most, if not all industries, by increasing the efficiency of online messaging.
Quote of the Day: "Before printing was discovered, a century was equal to a thousand years." - Henry David Thoreau
Posters, Banners & Billboards
Posters, banners, and billboards have long signaled to the roaming public cues of creativity from all sectors, including liquor, vacation, repair, fashion, and even medicine. However, the new work-from-home-economy has upended the way things were. Very few people are out and about. Primarily, essential workers, or about 26% of labor, work outside of the home. Everyone else has hunkered down for the winter and because of the pandemic. What could be better than a visual steaming hot cup of coffee with a discount coupon on a poster, billboard, or banner? Answer: A QR Code, aka a Quick Response Code.
QR Codes can be embedded in print collateral and drive people to brand-specific digital destinations. QR codes go beyond "read more" and "learn more." They especially appeal to Millennials and GenZs. However, everyone can benefit from the convenience and analytical value that QR codes provide.
Breakthrough opportunities exist with creativity. When you take the time to offer real substantive calls to action or engagement scenarios that pull the prospect into your sales layer, you can improve your marketing reach. QR codes can include contact information, virtual tours, product demonstrations, food displays, manufacturing tours, landing pages, museum exhibitions, explainer videos; the only limitation is the marketers' creativity. The point is to ensure that the prospects' experience leads to increased engagement and response rates.
Coupons are a creative and cost-effective way to entice new customers, increase product sales, or move dated inventory, to name a few. By including a coupon with your direct mail piece, you can increase engagement, track the response rate, and analyze the campaign's success right down to the product if the code is unique. Statistica estimates that 11 million US households will scan a QR code in 2020. By 2022, that number will exceed 5 billion coupon codes. Many industries will use QR codes to share links, shopping lists, wifi access, recipes, registrations, and more. The use of QR codes that offer redeemable coupons will be far-reaching and applicable for various industries, including publishing, technology, and even garments.
Avoid customer service missteps at all costs. If the brand finds itself in negative territory, fix it. Otherwise, it costs additional time and energy to correct and make good on the brand promise. Direct mail that includes a QR code with customer service contacts provides real value. You can extend that value by printing the code on the packaging, correspondence, brochures, signage, and more.
Dynamic QR Codes
A dynamic QR code is precisely what it suggests. You can change the destination of a dynamic QR code at any time and as often as you like, even if the marketing material has already been printed. Uses include sales where you might promote a different product every day of the week. It might be a school exam, where questions change daily with class assignments, or you might do a holiday special with a different story for each sales category. The point is to engage the direct mail piece recipient often enough to be responsive and aware of your offerings. Dynamic QR codes help to deliver unique information with higher engagement rates. Another value is the ability to track the success of your campaigns.
QR Code Games
Games, puzzles, and roller skates have become big draws due to the pandemic. The idea of playing games is good for mental health and indoor activities. To that end, brands can create QR games that offer a unique experience for consumers. From Pokeman home games to scratch and play Digi games, marketers can create games that will engage shoppers, offer discounts, give freebies, or extend exclusive deals. At the end of all that playing is the opportunity to increase conversion rates.
Experiential marketing is typically a situation where you invite customers and prospects to an event where the focus is a real-time, physical event. In the pandemic age, this same experiential marketing concept must consider that public events are limited in attendance and locale.
You don't have to forgo all experiential events. Marketers can be incredibly creative, given the technology and the fact that many are suffering from pandemic-fatigue. For example, Reebok uses QR codes to direct athletes to custom-curated Spotify playlists that target the athletes' sport. In an authentic sense, Reebok created an online experiential event using direct mail and Spotify. Experiential marketing works well with fashion, children playdates, and cooking classes.
Customer service is paramount in a world of uncertainty. You can make customers feel unimportant or incredible. It all comes down to the organizational mindset. On a scale of one to five, one being unacceptable and five being trademark level, where you are the benchmark comparison, customer service can make or break an organization.
Remember, you are a click away from your competitor. QR codes can help to manage the level of service that the company provides. In the digital space, customer service can be a boon or a cautionary tale. Organizations can include the customer support team contacts, warranty helpline, and a host of other methods to ensure that customers feel care and value from the organizations they choose to engage. Consider how you want to engage your customers. If it is by telephone, and the number is part of the QR Code, be sure that you have a tool or person to monitor, manage, and respond to those customer calls.
The ideas in this post deliver new solutions in the print marketing space. QR codes are an opportunity to engage the target further while providing real value for the recipient and the brand by increasing digital destination response and engagement rates. Combining QR codes with your direct mail piece will boost engagement rates both on and offline. Stay safe and be creative! Thanks for reading Creative Print Solutions That Boost Digital Engagement!
Let's have a conversation about integrated business solutions and how they can help grow your business, change behavior, and improve the customer experience. Let us show you how to improve your document processes to optimize your workflow, reduce your costs, and maximize your organization's printing, letter shop, and mailing capabilities. Dove Direct has an official USPS certified bureau located within our offices that will save you time and money. We can even create a demo file for you.
Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "New Marketing Strategies for 2020," examines what marketers, digital innovators, and brands are now contemplating if they want to re...