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15 Jun

Direct Mail and the Metaverse?

Author: Tristan Wise

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Direct Mail and Metaverse

As brands seek different channels to engage and convert consumers, more and more marketers are doing their research on the Metaverse. Why all the hype? Many marketers are considering the Metaverse as the “next big thing.” It’s estimated that by 2024, the global Metaverse revenue opportunity could approach $800 billion, according to a recent study by Bloomberg Intelligence. Likewise, Alvin Bowles, Meta’s VP of Business Ecosystem Partnerships, believes that the Metaverse will reach more than a billion people and see billions of dollars in digital commerce over the next decade.

So, what does this all have to do with Direct Mail? I’ll get to that in a minute.

First, what is the Metaverse?

If we’re keeping things simple - the Metaverse is an interactive digital reality. If we’re being more specific, Investopedia defines it as a “digital reality that combines aspects of social media, online gaming, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and cryptocurrencies to allow users to interact virtually.”

The concept is promising for advertisers. Nearly everyone is using social media these days. Innovations in the AR and VR sectors are making these technologies more accessible to the general population. And the growing popularity of NFTs and cryptocurrencies showcase a willingness to spend. Combining these audiences and utilizing different technologies creates a channel that every marketer seemingly wants to tap into for revenue.

Where Direct Mail fits in…

However, one problem with brands wanting to tap into the Metaverse for revenue is time. We have estimations on Metaverse revenue opportunities, which are promising but are a few years out and take time to implement. Some companies don’t want to wait that long to grow their revenue. The saying “money today is better than money tomorrow” remains true for everyone.

Another potential issue is the phenomenon known as banner blindness, which causes consumers to ignore ads subconsciously. It happens a lot, whether it be on social media, a website, a TV ad, or a billboard on the freeway. This mostly stems from relevancy and needs. Consumers don’t want to be sold to unless it is relevant or there is a need for them. How ads will be designed and targeted to users in the Metaverse is still in the air, but the possibility of banner blindness within the digital reality platform remains to be seen.

Enter Direct Mail Retargeting, a traditional channel that leverages digital intent and recency to reach website visitors who are most likely to convert. It’s a win-win for both consumer and brand. Consumers feel their needs are heard and are pushed to get what they want. Brands tap into audiences they don’t realize they have, which drives immediate revenue.

Wait what??

Let’s back up. Direct mail retargeting to your known and unknown browsers is the sending of a personalized postcard, letter, or flyer to a website visitor that didn’t convert. This visitor may be a cart abandoner, form abandoner, or site abandoner. The beautiful thing about those three segments is the correlated data to each unique visitor.

Time spent on particular pages, number of clicks, items viewed, forms checked, and the information requested creates a beautiful piece of first-party intent data. When a website visitor is looking to make a purchase, sign up for a service, open an account, or looking to enroll, their behavior shows. Brands can capitalize on this information and gently push consumers into making a decision that they want to.

While waiting to implement the Metaverse in their marketing approach, brands can see immediate results with direct mail. The data shows direct mail retargeting as highly responsive with an average 5% conversion, compared to an average .7% conversion for display and 3% for email. What makes direct mail so effective is the channel’s ability to be personalized, relevant, and maintain a whopping average lifespan of 17 days. That’s a lot of touches, views, and reminders compared to 17 seconds for email and even less for digital!

Direct mail is also great for brands to reach their email unsubscribers. John or Anne might’ve unsubscribed from the brand’s marketing email, but that doesn’t mean they’ve unsubscribed from the brand. While email marketing is important, brands must find ways around a consumer’s oversaturated inbox.

That’s why direct mail fits so well in an omnichannel approach. Consumers may briefly hear or see your brand, but it's the power of touch when holding a physical piece that connects the person to the rest of the brand.

Summing up what we just learned. The Metaverse seems promising, but the effectiveness of marketing in it for brands is still to be determined. While brands test the channel out, they can expect to continue to see results from direct mail. And when the Metaverse fully rolls out, brands will still have the ability to cut through the digital clutter and meet consumers in their natural environment, home.

Hitting the (re)Target Directly