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Why Marketers Are Turning to Creative Direct Mail as 3rd-Party Cookies Die Out

Why Marketers Are Turning to Creative Direct Mail as 3rd-Party Cookies Die Out
July 6, 2021

As we enter a new era of online privacy standards, one widely used tracking feature is likely on its last legs: Third-party cookies.

With many feeling that these cookies are intrusive, (since websites use them to monitor your activity even if you’re not on their page) marketers are quickly moving away. Partially out of a desire to be more user-friendly, but partially out of necessity. Chrome, for instance, is heightening restrictions on the use of cookies to give users greater security and control. And all signs seem to indicate that this trend will keep on rolling.

From a user standpoint, this is certainly welcome news. At the very least, it’s a step in the right direction after years of privacy scandals from some of the largest (and most trusted, previously) corporations in the world. Now, users are getting back in the driver’s seat, if ever so slightly.

But what about from a marketer’s standpoint?

The end of third-party cookies may be a blessing in disguise for marketers

If you’re a marketer, this may appear to throw a wrench in your operations.

After all, marketers in industries across the board have long been relying on third-party cookies — for gathering data on their target audiences and for retargeting preexisting customers with ads on other platforms.

… And can you blame them? These cookies provided extensive activity data from around the web that marketers could expertly plug in as they formulated their buyer personas. In other words, third-party cookies were a sort of crystal ball, enabling marketers to predict action and reaction with unprecedented accuracy.

But the value of these cookies to businesses doesn't make them any less shady.

And now that third-party cookies are on the decline, user data won’t be quite so easy to access. Which means that marketers will have to build more user-friendly methods of gathering data.

We’re talking about making users want to share their data by cultivating meaningful, genuine relationships. And to do so, you need to build trust.

Now, how do you build this trust that we all desire with your audience? In today’s day and age, it’s by providing genuine value. No tricks, no cookies, no shortcuts; just real value.

How to provide value in 2021? The answer lies with creative direct mail

The irony here is that building trust with customers often requires some form of targeting — precisely what third-party cookies helped achieve, even if to an extreme. Knowing how and where to contact your audience is key. But we’re now at a point where doing so noninvasively is also key.

One prevalent option, of course, is social media. Through the many social avenues currently available, you can gather direct, honest, first-party data directly from users who interact with your content.

But for our purposes, we’re looking beyond the scope of purely digital marketing. Especially considering that digital is becoming more flooded with content and more expensive, there’s no better time to consider alternatives.

Specifically, we’re talking about direct mail. But not the direct mail of yesteryear; we’re talking about creative, new-age direct mail. Mail that incorporates cutting-edge designs, new-age technologies, and unprecedented possibilities for personalization. What you get is an extremely effective, high-visibility tool that breeds trust in our oversaturated digital world.

But let’s put it in numbers: According to the Direct Mail Association, your average email has a response rate of 0.12%. And your average piece of direct mail? A cool 4.4%.

And when we introduce creative, dimensional mail to the party? Like the VR Viewers or 3D Holiday Cards you’d find here at Red Paper Plane? Well, then the response rate shoots up to 8.5%!

And what is response rate and engagement if not a direct reflection of user trust? The bottom line is that for any marketer looking to build deep relationships with users — especially in place of third-party data — dimensional mail may just be the answer you’re looking for.