Each year we ask ourselves the same question – how do we help our clients better connect with their members? While technology and social media are driving us all toward digital solutions such as texting and TikToks, recent data indicates that direct mail continues to be our most effective outreach tool even in this digital age.
The past couple of years have been unique and unpredictable to say the very least. The pandemic has challenged us in ways we could never have imagined and made us think creatively when it comes to how we communicate and engage with members today.
Marquis utilizes demographics, P$YCLE, and propensity data to gain better insights into the membership of our clients, and many of the recent shifts we have seen reflect the current climate. For example, data shows that while school closures and delays related to the pandemic have led to a decline in college graduate members, the number of high school educated members our clients serve has increased.
Another insightful pattern revealed by the most recent data appends is the growth of overall member net worth. This can be attributed to the increase in deposits from stimulus checks, changes in buying behaviors due to the pandemic, or people simply using this time to pay down debt.
With changes in education, income, and our general way of life, new patterns of behavior were born – or in this case, reborn.
A study conducted by the United States Postal Service in 2020 measured the impact the pandemic has had on mailing behaviors. Their findings confirmed an increase in traditional snail mail. During a time of social distancing, mail was a way to stay connected. Marquis clients used a combination of both direct mail and email programs to stay connected with their members and help them stay tied to their accounts. And the results suggest the use of consistent outreach using direct mail and email is effective. In a 2021 meta-analysis of response rates, our average response rate when using both direct mail and email together was 250% greater than using email as the only communication vehicle. The below table illustrates results between channels over 2021.
If we have learned anything over this challenging period, it is the importance of human connection. Technology will continue to move forward and us with it. We will continuously innovate new ways to engage with members, but that does not mean sacrificing one method in favor of another.
Our priority is to instill ourselves in the member journey, and that journey does not just take place in the digital space; it is in the branches, on the phone, on our drive to the store, and in our mailbox.