The developments in technology, mail services and data protection regulations have undeniably impacted the way in which organisations use mail, enabling better targeting, more creativity and integrated multi-channel strategies for engaging supporters and the wider public.
Organisations have had to comply with changes to data protection laws. This has frequently led to contact databases getting smaller as organisations have deleted data they are no longer able to hold. As a result, organisations have a clearer understanding of who is happy to receive different types of communication from them. Typically, that means a more responsive and engaged audience, offering greater potential for better and more successful fundraising.
Technology too is bringing about positive change: enabling even greater personalisation, helping businesses build their brand and strengthen their storytelling by using personalised web links (URLs), QR codes and incorporating virtual and augmented reality devices, delivering a whole new supporter experience.
Organisations can track user patterns and response metrics, matching mail recipients to their next actions, whether that’s watching a personalised campaign video or going online to engage with the brand. Through Royal Mail’s Mailmark service, companies have the ability to track where their mail is in the system and prepare for its delivery. And through JICMAIL, a representative consumer panel, they can monitor how people react and respond to what lands on their doormat.
Technology is also adding value in other areas: improving responsiveness by enabling charities to send out mail campaigns within 24-48 hours of an event. Meanwhile, recycled paper, packaging materials, and biodegradable inks have become increasingly accessible, enabling mail to become an even more sustainable, environmentally-friendly option.