With a plethora of channels at our disposal, marketers are always keeping an eye on the “next big thing.” For those of you who aren’t already familiar with VDM (video direct mail), it’s time to investigate this new marketing concept and how it can benefit your organization.
What is VDM?
According to the 2014 Direct Marketing Association Factbook, VDM is a revolutionary marketing tool that will help your brand stand out amongst the more than 87 billion pieces of direct mail sent in the US each year. Easier to manufacture than one would think, VDM mailers look like a hardcover brochure. When you open the cover, a magnetic switch is activated, which makes the video start to play automatically. The LCD screens come in a variety of sizes and on average store about 10 — 15 minutes of video with three hours of playback time. At minimum, the recipient is able to pause, play, and volume up or down, through function buttons next to the LCD screen. A mini USB port, built into the mailer, allows you to upload content and charge the battery.
Why should you care?
Already a hit overseas, VDM has proven its ability to deliver results! Working with global brands like Xerox and Adobe, a UK company, Vidioh, is reporting VDM can boost your direct mail response rate by as much as 45 percent. According to the USPS 2012 Annual Report to Congress & Comprehensive Statement, 80 percent of recipients read, or scan, their mail daily, and the the 2012 Channel Preference Study for Both the Mobile and Non-Mobile Consumer from Epsilon states that 73 percent of consumers prefer mail to other channels. Knowing these stats, you could say VDM may become the “perfect storm” of success for direct marketers.
Here is an example of how Vodafone, one of the largest mobile phone network companies in the world, enjoyed overwhelming results using VDM. Using Amstore Innovation’s “VideoPak” product, Vodafone targeted decision makers across seven countries worldwide with an innovative VDM piece. Upon opening the mailer, a video automatically began to play and the recipients were immersed in a world of Vodafone product descriptions and benefits. The mailer allowed a multi-sensory experience and drove a deeper brand engagement. The campaign also integrated email and social media efforts to asset springboard participation among recipients, according to the Amstore Innovation Vodafone Case Study.
Within the first week, Vodafone sold a new contract that paid for the VDM campaign. More successes followed to include a £1 million deal across five countries. Vodafone’s head of marketing recognized the campaign as “the benchmark for all future campaigns.”
What does VDM cost?
Over the past two years, the average price per 1000 units has been between $35 and $50. Overall, it’s a small price to pay in instances where a new client can result in a $100,000+ sale. Experts are expecting the price to come down as the technology becomes more popular. In fact, over the past three months, I’ve seen units advertised for as low as $11-$20 per 1000.
VDM is already advancing in technology with the emergence of OLCD (organic liquid crystal display) technology. This is an advanced VDM format that uses an OLCD screen, as opposed to the more well known LCD screen. An OLCD screen is flexible and can bend to allow its application to items that are not flat. For example, soon you might see an OLCD screen on a souvenir cup with the purchase of a beverage at a sporting event.
With endless applications, Video Direct Mail is definitely something you want to watch in 2015.
Meet Shenna Coleman
Shenna Coleman is Vice President of Business Development at MEDiAHEAD. She also just finished three years on the AMA-KC board as VP Membership. There, she developed and implemented programs, projects, and activities to increase and retain membership in the association, as well as act as an AMA ambassador in her activities with other Kansas City area businesses, marketing associations, and professional groups.