NEMOA Spring 2022 brought together the best and brightest minds in ecommerce and mailing – albeit virtually. The result? Compelling sessions and robust virtual networking. Couldn’t make it this year? Don’t worry. We’ve compiled the top themes and sessions standouts for those of you who couldn’t make it.
Two years into the pandemic, organizations are still pivoting to adapt to our ‘new normal.’ Several post-COVID challenges were on everyone’s lips.
The U.S. Postal Service has said that they are slowing down service in order to save money.1 They officially began slowing deliveries of first-class mail nationwide on Oct. 1, 2021. This means that more meticulous planning is needed in order to get mailers to your audience in a timely fashion.
In August 2021, the price of a stamp rose from 55 cents to 58 cents. To add insult to injury, temporary holiday price increases for packages and other mail are now in effect.2 Priority Mail Express will see an average rate increase of 2.2% during the 2021 holiday period, Priority Mail will see an average rate increase of 6.3% during the 2021 holiday period and First Class Package Service will see an average rate increase of 8.0% during the 2021 holiday period.
The lumber shortage is causing a ripple effect across the industry, from housing to furniture to paper, consumers have experienced price increases, shortages and delays in the lumber-based goods they need. This also affects marketers, as the price of cardstock and envelopes has risen – and they are in short supply. Boston and New York City both reported problems with their recent elections, due to envelope shortages.3 “There’s just not enough paper to go around,” said Chris Wells, executive vice president for DS Graphics/Universal Wilde, a print and mail company. “In 20 years, I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said.4
Day one’s panel discussion, featuring Will Kuehn, Director, Marketing, Title Nine, Greg Lambert, VP, Digital, MIIR, Margaret Moraskie, CEO, Levenger, and Kelly Murphy, Director of eCommerce, Mirror, addressed how to retain COVID buyers. And several of the roundtables addressed these issues as well with spirited discussions on how to manage and measure success on the shift to digital channels while navigating print and paper issues and navigating direct mail when paper is in short supply.
Whether it’s direct mail or digital – you need to work to ensure that your campaigns are reaching your target audience. This means having clean, accurate addresses and emails. This means taking proactive tactics such as using the National Change of Addresses (NCOALink®) file as the cornerstone of any direct mail initiative. It’s an effective way to keep your customer file as clean as possible while also being a cost-effective solution.
Data Axle’s own Kelsey Vigh, Creative Director, and Kathleen Schaefer, Director, Inboxable, discussed adapting direct mail to email campaigns for optimum deliverability. Attendees of this session walked away with key takeaways on how to evaluate email campaigns with a scorecard for design, content and coding, strategies to ensure emails are mobile-ready, how to leverage data to make emails personalized and dynamic, and best practices to ensure optimal inbox placement.
Schaefer also addressed key metrics marketers need to keep their eye on in 2022, such as seedlist inboxing, spam complaint rates, blocklists/spam traps and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) threat data.
Everyone at the event probably already uses some level of a multichannel approach to marketing. Quite simply, this means you incorporate a variety of advertising and communication outlets into your overall marketing strategy. Multichannel marketing can be highly effective, but at the conference, we considered what creating a true omnichannel marketing program would look like.
With omnichannel marketing, companies can use audience-centric strategies to achieve consistent messaging across channels for a more-personal, cohesive experience. Liz Dolinski, Chief Growth Officer at LUNYA, discussed going beyond digital multichannel marketing and including catalogs, postcards and print advertising.
A standout session was Brooke Whittakers’ (Director, Virtual Sales at Signet Jewelers) “A Case Study in True Omnichannel Commerce.” Whittaker shared a compelling firsthand account of how Signet Jewelers found ways to improve both the customer and the employee experience by offering virtual consultations with many options to carry the customer through their journey from first contact through purchase. These experiences carried from online connection to offline purchase pick-up and started with a people-centric design and training approach.