DIA explores Smart Mail Marketing at October meeting and offers new Connectivity Whitepaper

From left are: Mary Cochrane, Director of Commercial Marketing, Smartmail Marketing, Canada Post; George Sittlinger, incoming DIA President; and Heather Luelo, Business Development Manager, Canada Post.
Mary Cochrane (left), Director of Commercial/Smartmail Marketing, Canada Post; George Sittlinger, incoming DIA President; and Heather Luelo, Business Development Manager, Canada Post.

The Digital Imaging Association (DIA) meeting held October 19, 2016 at Spicers in Vaughan, Ontario, examined Smart Mail Marketing – The Science of Activation. Canada Post presented its newest product – Smart Mail Marketing – which is a software-intelligent approach to direct mail. The new technology brings together the physical experience (physicality), data and connectivity – a potent mixture that makes marketing much more engaging. These elements combine to “inspire customers to act” and result in marketing campaigns that drive more measurable responses. Attendees learned about Smartmail marketing and how it can activate customer relationships with products such as Personalized Mail (Addressed Admail) and Neighbourhood Mail (Unaddressed Admail). Canada Post reps also explored the strengths that direct mail has over other media, and presented case studies and testimonials that demonstrated ways that other companies have successfully used physicality, data and connectivity to drive results and higher response rates.

Here’s a personal overview from Paul Tarvydas, Tsus4 and DIA First Vice President:

“Mary Cochrane and Heather Luelo presented the results of important research performed at Canada Post. Canada Post embraces electronic media and has studied how it blends with direct mail (DM). Its scientific study was outsourced to independent research companies. Neuroscience was used to study the subconscious versus conscious effects of various kinds of advertising – email, display (banner ads), pre-roll (ads one is forced to view before viewing chosen YouTube content) and Direct Mail (DM). The human subjects were outfitted with eye tracking and EEG devices that tracked the unconscious effects of the electronic ads (e.g. what part of the screen the subjects’ attention was drawn to). EEG was used to measure the emotional responses of the ads.

diameetingoct19-inThe tests were made to be as realistic as possible – the subjects collected DM physically from a mailbox. The next day, they filled out questionnaires that tested their conscious brand recall. All brands were invented for the tests, so that prior biases would be eliminated. The tests measured the combination of social media and DM and also measured the order in which the ads were delivered (electronic before DM, DM before electronic and various combinations). The results were extremely interesting and concluded that there is no single way to deliver such advertising. The order and kinds of delivery evoked different responses – but could ultimately be fine tuned for different effects, depending of the goals of the ad campaigns.”

And this additional perspective from Randall Stevenson, a Director of the DIA:

diameetingoct19a-in“Canada Post performed neurological monitoring in their test cases to establish the brain’s activity centre reactions when presented with digital stimuli. Using a fake brand for the demonstration, the subconscious picked up on the digital image, but was only in focus for 10+ seconds (attention span is short when you look at the digital image). They then waited 24 hours and presented the subjects with a physical piece of direct mail using the same fake brand. That grabbed their attention (I recall it was a 26% increase in a willingness to make a new purchase, as opposed to a DM piece without prior digital exposure). That’s the ‘Connectivity Link.’ One problem, however, is that Canada Post can’t drill down into the data to confirm the ROI for the program because of uncooperative companies and privacy laws.”

To get your whitepaper..…

Please contact the Digital Imaging Association at marg@digitalimagingassoc.ca for a copy of Canada Post’s Connectivity Whitepaper.

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.