COVID-19 has had a pervasive effect on our health, society, and the global economy, so I guess it should come as no surprise that it has had a dramatic effect on the local and international direct mail as well.
Both internationally and locally, delivery destinations can be a concern. With COVID-19 shuttering many businesses, your mail may not be deliverable if targeted at businesses that are not open to collect it. Additionally, even if they are open, many are running skeleton crews or employees are working remotely, meaning the individuals you were hoping to reach (in the case of marketing mail) are not there to receive it.
Residential mail is a different situation with its own challenges. There has never been a time in history (at least that I can remember) that the guarantee that a resident would be at home to receive your mail has been higher. However, with many people concerned about what they bring into their homes, mail is often quickly discarded because the homeowner is unsure who has handled it.
The guidelines state that the risk of contracting Corona Virus from products or packaging shipped over a few days is low. The World Health Organization has supported that same conclusion stating:
“The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, traveled and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.”
Nevertheless, that can be a challenge to explain to a concerned resident, as “low risk” is decidedly different than “no risk”.
That said, if your mail does get through and read, there is a situation right now where you are marketing to a captive audience. But what you plan to market now more than ever matters.
If you think back to your usual mail deliveries in a pre-COVID 19 world it often contained things like restaurant coupons, promotions for retail businesses in the area, real estate promotions and other things of that nature.
While restaurants might still be open for pickup, most retail businesses have seen shopping die off as Canadians and others worldwide are requested to avoid non-essential outings and stay home if possible, only leaving for the necessities. Rightly so, a stigma has developed where no one wants to be seen ignoring the public safety guidelines, so business for most of the retail sector has started to dry up.
But the right products or services marketed to the right customers can now more than ever work. Meal or grocery delivery services for example, or on-site services to allow people to get what they need while staying home, are in high demand. Home tutoring or remote activities for children are increasingly needed as schools remain closed. There are many services that would greatly benefit from Direct Mail right now, even though some of the traditional businesses that rely on direct mail are choosing to suspend mailing for now.
Now is very much a time of uncertainty, however as the world gets through this looming threat, we should start to see things return to normal, and normal business practices resume.
For now, stay home, stay safe, and stay healthy. To find out more on how JR Direct can help you manage your direct marketing efforts.