The United States Postal Service (USPS) is constantly improving efficiency, and as a result, the mail is more accurate and faster than ever before. One notable recent improvement? The USPS’ new mail tracking and sorting system, Intelligent Mail Barcodes.

For mass mailings, you’ll now notice a new and improved barcode underneath the address block. This “intelligent” code contains all the information the post office needs to direct mail to the right distribution center, postal route, and ultimately, address. …but that’s not all.

In addition to allowing for more efficient routing, the new codes let you track commercial mail in the same way you can track a UPS package. For business who currently use (or want to use) direct mail in conjunction with a digital marketing campaign, this is great news for your integrated multichannel marketing strategy.

Why Use Direct Mail At All?

Believe it or not, direct mail is still one of the most effective marketing methods. One of the reasons? Great shelf life. Emails are read and discarded within a few hours, text messages almost instantly. But people keep intriguing mail up to 6 weeks.

The Need for Integrated Multichannel Campaigns

Today’s customers are tuned in and turned on. They are constantly consuming marketing messages online, in print, and on social media—even integrated into TV shows. It’s getting much harder to get and keep their attention. Multichannel marketing strategies give savvy marketers an edge over the competition.

If you’re unfamiliar with integrated multichannel marketing, you’re missing a prime opportunity to integrate your direct mail and digital campaigns to best reinforce your brand and repeat your campaign message. See for yourself… Here’s a great example of a successful integrated multichannel marketing campaign: “Blue Pillar, a critical power technology company, upped its game with a baseball-themed campaign, putting physical mail, phone calls and email into play to knock in 15 executive briefings with 22 health care systems—all starting with a miniature wooden bat.” …and this was before Intelligent Mail, so just imagine what you can do now!

Timing is Everything

Remember the old days (before last year) when you had no idea when (or if) your direct mail piece was delivered? You just dropped your best pitch in the mail and hoped for the best. In today’s world of measurable marketing, direct mail campaigns are far too hit-or-miss for comfort.

Tracking with Intelligent Mail Barcodes offers new possibilities for expanding your marketing strategy. Now you can track your direct mail and know exactly when it hits—so you can give your recipients two or three days (no more than a week), then email your follow-ups.

Learn from your Traffic

Commercial direct mail tracking also gives you better insight into the effectiveness of your direct mail campaigns. If you know when your mail hits, you can see when and if that prospect is checking out your landing page.

As with every marketing campaign, you risk wasting time and money unless you target your market and segment your list. Follow the same rules you would follow for any email or social media campaign and deliver messages across all channels—and be sure it’s content your prospects and customers want. Ensure your message is consistent and clear.

To see where your traffic is coming from, set up landing pages for each avenue of communication: mail, email, social media sites, etc., then separate those channels into meaningful segments, such as location and/or market. You’ll know exactly where and how to build better presence—and that’s immensely key when constructing a successful integrated multichannel marketing campaign.

Direct mail isn’t at odds with a digital strategy. Used wisely—with URLs for targeted landing pages, follow-up emails, and integrated campaign support across all channels, direct mail can be a powerful component of a really successful integrated multichannel marketing strategy.