The pandemic has impacted everything from how we live to the pace of snail mail. As we’ve worked and shopped from home, the post office has seen an onslaught of packages. Personnel shortages and the availability of sorting machines has extended delivery times over this last year. As such, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has fallen behind on expected delivery times. Individuals and businesses are suffering as the result of extended mail times. Direct mail campaigns, while an effective and popular marketing tool, have become less predictable.

Change is Here to Stay

While mail service delays are clearly tied to the pandemic, the challenges with mail delivery are going to continue according to Postmaster General DeJoy. Experts predict the preference for online shopping will last after life returns to normal.

DeJoy testified before Congress that the USPS plans to make policy changes that will increase the cost and USPS mail delivery times. The proposed changes reportedly eliminate the current tier system that allows for quicker local, first-class mail delivery. Under the proposed changes, all first-class mail will fall under the same category. Further impacting delivery times is the proposed change to eliminate air transportation for first-class mail.

In the future, accurately predicting mail delivery times won’t be as easy as it has been. For marketing teams without an omnichannel approach, these changes will directly impact your direct mail campaigns. When timely delivery of an offer or program matters, will you be able to count on the post office to deliver it on time?

Direct Mail is a Good Investment

Direct mail is a solid part of a strong omnichannel marketing strategy. Yet, sending mass mailers may no longer be cost-effective if you can’t count on timely delivery. If your budget permits an upgrade to first-class mail, maximize the direct mail impact by ensuring you’re reaching your ideal target audience with smart data analytics.

Direct mail alone may not consistently push conversions. However, when used in conjunction with other digital marketing touches, direct mail results in 28% higher conversion rates. Direct mail works for retargeting and as part of your larger marketing strategy.

With ongoing mail delays, you can’t rely on direct mail for timely information campaigns without spending more. For example, a postcard invitation to an event needs to arrive before the event. When delivery times are at risk, it might make more sense to use email or social media to ensure your audience has enough time to act.

Reliable Marketing Solutions

As a result of the pandemic, senior living communities have experienced a decrease in move-ins. To recover from that loss, communities need reliable marketing solutions. Direct mail is a solid part of our marketing comfort zone. It’s been working for more than a century, and it gets results. Direct mail has the advantage of making a personal connection with your audience. You can use direct mail to build brand awareness and re-engage with your leads. But in recent months, USPS backlogs have resulted in certain mail processing centers refusing to accept new mail.

Sabal Group believes your direct mail campaigns should be one touchpoint rather than the center of your marketing strategy. When you choose to use a direct mail campaign, we recommend adding additional channels to ensure mail delays don’t negatively impact the entire campaign.

Digital marketing lets you determine the delivery timeline for your marketing messages. With omnichannel marketing, each channel works together to influence consumer decisions. By connecting with your audience across multiple channels, you increase response rates and conversions. Want to know more? At Sabal Group, we help senior living marketers by providing the right data to identify the best audiences with targeted messaging. Let’s connect to discuss how to expand your marketing reach.