Direct mail has always been a vital communication channel for financial services. It is used to interact with customers and prospects on everything from information about fluctuating interest rates to new loan and mortgage products. Its popularity is backed by research by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), which revealed that about 70 percent of all banks and credit unions make use of direct mail, with 35 percent planning to increase its use.
Why direct mail is the number one communication channel in 2022
Direct mail spending is holding up well despite the growth in digital channels that offer low-cost ways for those in financial services to connect with their audience. The large number of digital channels – from email to social media and its content – makes it difficult to create a hack. As consumers spend more time on their screens at home, particularly during the pandemic, people are becoming less sensitive to messages in the digital space.
It’s also important to remember that some people still can’t communicate digitally. The reason may be that they are struggling with online communications. Or maybe they are completely offline.
Recent research from JICMAIL reveals the value of direct mail. They found that 96 percent of people engaged with direct mail in the second quarter of 2020, up from 91 percent in the same quarter of 2019. Good email open rates range from 10 to 20 percent, but average mail open rates Email can vary greatly.
Direct mail is important to banks (and all sectors of the industry, for that matter) because it provides a solid physical position on the doormat. Your audience can’t avoid it. It is also possible to be very creative with direct mail, because screen size is not a limitation. Finally, direct mail can enhance messaging as part of a more comprehensive communications campaign via other media methods.
If direct mail is precisely targeted, it helps create a strong response, whether that means going online and filling out a form, making a purchase, or completing some other brand-friendly action.
Having accurate address data is critical to the success of direct mail
The most important barrier to delivering effective direct mail campaigns is inaccurate address data. Without constant attention, the quality of the data in the database will decrease. Contact data deteriorates at a rate of 2 per cent per month, with 25 per cent of data corrupted annually as people change houses (2.2 million people move each year in the UK), acquire new mobile phone numbers, or die. There are significant time and cost implications in correcting this erroneous data, as an average of 2% of the organization’s revenue is lost in correcting it. This is the time and money that could definitely be better spent.
Another problem in the age of mobile devices is the increasing reliance on user-provided data, which leads to increased collection of inaccurate data at the customer setup stage. Those who enter their contact information on a small screen are more prone to typing error; This is often called “obese finger syndrome”. Not surprisingly, about 20 percent of addresses entered online contain errors, such as misspellings, wrong house numbers, and inaccurate zip codes.
Address verification and search ensure accuracy
Address verification and search tools will play a vital role in ensuring the accuracy of address data in 2022. These automatically detect the suggested correct version of the address as the user completes an online contact form, enabling them to choose one that is not only accurate, but recognizable and easy to identify on him. Correctly coordinated for their location in the country. These tools also eliminate the cost of correcting data later. In addition, the address finder reduces the number of keystrokes required by up to 81% when typing an address on a small mobile screen, thus improving the user experience.
In the UK, the address verification service used must have access to the Postal Code Address File (PAF) from Royal Mail and be able to enrich the data by filling in any gaps such as a lost postcode. It should also provide geocodes that help with accurate delivery and improve user experience. Finally, it should be able to rectify the user’s address data and enrich it retroactively.
Sustainability and Identity Verification
It’s worth noting that ensuring accuracy with verified addresses will reduce carbon emissions from the production and distribution of incorrectly returned mail – helping those in financial services achieve their sustainability goals. Moreover, having accurate addresses will help with identity verification and fraud prevention.
Direct mail is set to remain the premium communications channel for those working in financial services in 2022 due to its wide range of benefits, such as offering a prominent position in a digital world and driving engagement. However, only by taking steps to obtain verified address data will those in this sector improve the accuracy of the address data they hold. This will increase participation in their direct mail campaigns, reduce the cost of erroneous deliveries, reduce the impact on the environment, and reduce the chances of fraud.