It’s easy to forget, but there was once a time when ‘you’ve got mail’ meant something different. As a species, we’re at a tipping point, where those accustomed to digital communication begin to outnumber those to whom written communication was at best a twice-daily occurrence – we now expect immediate information – particularly when it comes to business.

But maybe we’re forgetting something important? How many of us routinely ignore the information we receive, whether by email, SMS, Slack, or the myriad channels that bombard us minute by minute? How often have you glanced at your inbox, sighed, and thought ‘I’ll have a look later’. And then don’t.

On the other hand, how often have you received a parcel, personally addressed and decided that you can’t be bothered to open it? Just ask Pandora – we’re programmed to want to open boxes…

Direct mail gives us an opportunity to express brand personality in a way that goes beyond the virtual or digital – it’s tactile, tangible and can achieve an emotional reaction in a way that’s hard to replicate on a screen, no matter how creative the messaging.

Sure, it can be expensive and there are practical and economic constraints to its reach – it obviously doesn’t make sense to send a physical flyer to 10,000 prospects in the same way that you’d target them through, say LinkedIn. So maybe we should reevaluate the purpose of direct mail – moving it away from generic top of funnel to targeted, enticing messaging that converts.

A great direct mail campaign can be truly inventive, can amuse, entertain, intrigue – and more importantly convert. Perhaps we should think of it more as a sales enablement function, rather than pure marketing? A focused, targeted campaign can be that crucial brand differentiator, separating you in the customer’s eyes from the competition. It shows that you know them – understand them at a personal level and value them individually. And who doesn’t like that?

At Sköna we value the digital as the most compelling way to tell a brand story – to project an image to the world – but we also appreciate that every now and again going analog can be the difference between ‘also-ran’ and ‘over the finish line’. Sometimes the best campaigns are those that combine both digital and physical worlds – strong digital messaging and landing page with a targeted physical element to convert the strongest prospects.

Here are just some of the projects we’re most proud of.

Paynova

For payment solution provider Paynova, we designed interactive decoder glasses – when the prospect viewed the attached flyer through the glasses, they were able to see just how much they could save by partnering with Paynova. The direct mail formed part of a broader digital campaign and landing page, intriguing, raising awareness, and driving lead-gen. By combining the digital and analog, we were able to leverage the reach of mass-market online media while personalizing engagement with high value prospects.

Snowflake

Snowflake is an innovative Silicon Valley provider of cloud-based data warehousing. Our work with them has involved brand, website, events, billboards – and in this case direct mail. The campaign focused on ‘last-mile’ conversion, targeted at a small group of high value C level executives, who were invited to spend the day with Snowflake at Wimbledon. The invite was presented in a box of ‘tennis ball chewing-gum’ with the paper invite itself resting on the astroturf base of the box. Conversion rates were great, with deals closed on the day well exceeding costs.

HYCU

HYCU is a leading multi-cloud data protection solution, partnering with industry leaders such as Nutanix, Google Cloud, and VMWare. The focus of this direct-mail was slightly unusual, designed to both drive sales revenue and strengthen relationships with their main partner, Nutanix. Our ‘HYCU HOTLINE’ coffee cup and telephone handset was sent out to Nutanix’ sales reps – a light-hearted but powerful way to act as an on-desk reminder to stay in touch, while conveying a sense of urgency and the real value of re-selling HYCU’s solutions.

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