3D Direct Mail: The Swiss Army Knife of Customer Engagement

August 17, 2021  by Harlow Russell

For over a century, the Swiss Army Knife has been a standard issue for every Swiss soldier and remains a favorite amongst outdoor enthusiasts. Why? Because it offers a range of functionality in the form of one cost-effective tool. As a result, the Swiss Army Knife is now synonymous with utility and function. It also provides a workable metaphor for the marketing potential of 3D direct mail.

Much like the iconic multi-tool, direct mail marketing has withstood the test of time, remains trusted by and popular with consumers, and covers a range of marketing uses. The strengths of 3D direct mail include:

Swiss Army KNife
  • High open rates
  • Strong customer affinity
  • Tapping into tactile marketing to create a micro-experience
  • Creating opportunities for direct customer engagement

Get Out of the Inbox and into the Mailbox with Direct Mail

To be clear, email is without question one of the most important communication technologies available to us today. That being said, it struggles to find footing as a reliable marketing medium, which studies demonstrate time and time again. Direct mail, on the other hand, is an economical and proven way to engage customers. If you’re looking for specifics, consider:

  • High open rates with direct mail – It’s no secret that email open rates are mediocre at best, struggling between 20-30%. On the other hand, data gathered by Fundera and SmallBizTrends shows direct mail open rates to average around 80-90%!
  • People spend time reviewing physical mail - One poll found that 42% of respondents reported reading or at least scanning the mail they receive. Additionally, the USPS found that 98% of people who check the mail daily spend up to 30 minutes reviewing it! By comparison, the average lifespan of an opened marketing email is around 17 seconds before it hits the trash bin. Combined with near 90% open rates, direct mail offers the best chance that your message is received and reviewed.
  • Consumers prefer direct mail over email - Whether it’s the nostalgia factor at play or simply lower volumes of physical mail compared to email, polls show that consumers simply prefer receiving physical mail. According to the numbers:
    • 70% of Americans polled said that physical mail feels more personal than email.
    • 70% of consumers also reported that they prefer unsolicited company offers and correspondence through direct mail rather than email.
    • 54% of consumers said they enjoy receiving direct mail from brands that interest them.

At the end of the day, unread messaging = wasted marketing dollars. Don't run the risk of having your marketing message lost in the spam folder. Instead, implement direct mail to cut through the digital noise and reach key contacts when it matters most.

Visit our previous post for more on direct mail statistics.

Implementing Direct Mail & Tactile Marketing to Drive Customer Engagement

In the digital era, superficial engagement with customers is easy. Building lasting trust-based business relationships, however, has never been more challenging. Thankfully, utilizing elements of tactile marketing with direct mail offers a way to start meaningful conversations with customers.

Historically speaking, humans have relied on their senses to survive and so tend to trust what they can experience firsthand. Of course, this presents unique challenges for conducting business online and building trust-based relationships. Thankfully, we can rely on tactile marketing to inject an element of emotion back into the sales experience.

While the impacts of tactile marketing are profound, the root idea is simple: by providing a physical element for customers to experience firsthand, businesses can make something abstract feel tangible and real. This triggers a positive emotional response that the customer will in turn associate with your brand. 3D cards are so impactful because they are:

  • Experiential – When a 3D card comes to life in the recipient’s hands, the micro-experience creates a positive emotional connection between the recipient and your brand
  • Memorable – Once you have surprised and delighted the recipient and created a positive emotional connection using an Awesome 3D Card, your customer will be much more likely to remember the gesture and respond positively to future outreach
  • Shareable – a 3d pop-up card sent as part of a tactile marketing campaign impresses the recipient in a way that makes them likely to share it with others, thus broadening your reach.
  • Personal – A handwritten note and signature go a long way toward solidifying a new relationship and creating a personal bond. Additionally, sending a card creates an organic opportunity to follow up directly to further the conversation.

By providing a physical element for customers to experience firsthand, businesses can make something abstract feel tangible and real.

Maximizing Marketing Versatility with 3D Direct Mail

To bring things full circle to our Swiss Army Knife metaphor from earlier, perhaps the greatest strength of Awesome 3D Cards is their versatility. In addition to furthering strong and consistent company branding, a custom pop-up card is perfect for strengthening relationships across the business spectrum.

Consider implementing 3D direct mail for:

  1. Recognitions, Celebrations, & Thank Yous --The individual appreciation strategy is situation-specific and, as its name implies, cards are sent on an individual basis. A 3D card is perfect to mark an employee milestone, thank a VIP client, or show an important lead the kind of next-level service you provide. In addition, there are many other types of recognition and celebration where cards may be used en masse to convey your message. Whatever the reason, a hand-signed pop-up card is guaranteed to strengthen any business relationship.
  2. Courting new customers – Whether you’re reaching out to a handful of key leads or launching a full campaign, consider incorporating direct mail. A custom 3D mailer will help you to stand out while also furthering company branding. Use the card as an opportunity for organic customer engagement. Calling to ask what they thought of the card provides a great opportunity to pitch.  3D pop-up cards can also be used to move the recipient online once you have their attention.
  3. Building excitement around events – 3D cards are perfect for lending a tangible element to an upcoming event. Build excitement for a product launch, spruce up digital event invitations, or create buzz around your next corporate event.

Of course, these are only a few possible applications. The inter-office and external marketing applications of a custom Awesome 3D Card are endless! Schedule your free consultation today to learn more about how 3D direct mail can give your business a boost.

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