Earlier this year, I offered several recommendations to marketers facing down the challenging reality of increased marketing costs. Unfortunately, this reality persists 

In fact, inflation continues to have major implications — certainly on us as consumers, but also on us as marketers trying to drive sales. For example, the USPS announced in October that the price of postage will go up. This means reliable and effective marketing tools like direct mail will become more and more expensive.  

I said it before and it’s still true: “Everything costs more.” 

Graphic depicting self-defeating cycle marketers go through when marketing activity is cut

And the slide just continues from there.

But what if you could transform that cycle from one of self-defeat into a success story? What if you could meet consumer demands while managing costs and delivering a solid return on investment?

Cooperative shared mail was made for times like these. It delivers precisely the benefits both direct mail marketers and consumers need most.

A solid direct mail foundation

Direct mail of all types — postcards, solo mailers, co-op mailers, inserts, etc. — continues to have a moment as a marketing tactic. The moment was sparked during the pandemic as people stayed home more, but direct mail continues to be a preferred marketing tool in the post-pandemic economy.

For a variety of reasons, more than 70% of people we surveyed regularly read or look at the ads that come in their mailbox. This is especially so for baby boomers, millennial parents and affluent consumers.1 Of course, messages that include savings and rewards are particularly motivating to consumers. Nearly half of the consumers we surveyed said they want more offers to help them save money and just over 40% specifically wanted offers that reward them for their loyalty.2

And they respond with their dollars. Nearly half of the consumers we reached in a separate survey agreed that direct mail motivates them to try a new store or business.3 Over one-third of them said direct mail ads encourage them to go online to make a purchase from that advertiser.4

The shared mail network effect

Cooperative shared mail networks build on the power of direct mail by ensuring your marketing message reaches the largest number of U.S. households effectively and efficiently.

Well-known branded co-op packages get attention: Two-thirds of consumers we surveyed say they look at ads in the Save Direct Mail Package. This is due, in part, to the big-brand strength reflected in each mailer because consumers are attracted to deals on brands and stores they know and love. Frequency is critical, too. When the direct mail package shows up on a regular basis, consumers begin to expect it, and they start looking for it to arrive. But out of sight … out of mind.

The best cooperative networks have been optimized to reach the largest number of households who will give the package the most enthusiastic reception. With good data and insight, some networks have identified and focused in on the DMAs (designated marketing areas) and neighborhoods that have stronger responses to direct mail marketing. That focus enables marketers to spend money on shared mail where it works well and spend on other marketing tactics in other areas to create a holistic engagement strategy for every targeted consumer.

Bottom line savings AND topline contribution

While cooperative shared mail offers a subtle symbol of the “we’re all in this together” solidarity, it also provides a very practical benefit of shared costs for direct mail marketers. As a result, it will cost you less to get your advertisement in the ready hands of your target market. With the cost of everything going up, cooperative direct mail offers quantifiable savings without sacrificing the marketing impact.

And shared mail is about more than cutting costs; it’s an effective marketing tool proven to deliver big results.

It works to:

And with proprietary data and expert analysis, cooperative mail can be measured and refined to deliver an even better return over time.  

Most of the shiny new marketing tactics and the cool execution plans just cannot clear the ROI hurdles and volume thresholds that smart marketers require for their programs to be cost-effective. But built correctly, shared mail programs can spur incremental foot traffic and sales and reach more households to deliver a remarkable ROI. 

Transform the marketing cycle from self-defeat to success  

Cooperative shared mail networks were made to help marketers thrive during tough economic realities like today. With a combination of tactical efficiency, brand power, and effective direct mail marketing, shared mail may be exactly the boost your 2023 advertising strategy needs.  

Be prepared for whatever 2023 holds in store. Check out Vericast’s perspective on marketing in the coming year: “14 Trends That Will Define Marketing in 2023.”  

1 Vericast Awareness-to-Action Study, September 2022 (n = 1,842)
2 Vericast Awareness-to-Action Study, September 2022 (n = 1,842)
3 Vericast Awareness-to-Action Study, March 2022 (n = 1,968)
4 Vericast Awareness-to-Action Study, September 2022 (n = 1,842)