Using Direct Mail During Crisis Times
Communication during times of turmoil is recommended by Crisis communication specialists. The future, strength, and survival of your business depends upon the choices you make now. Having a proactive communication strategy with your clients during these challenging times is crucial. Many of us have had to make alternate work arrangements, and also need to make alternate communication arrangements for staying in contact with our clients. Inc.com has an article featuring Mark Cuban (owner of the Dallas Mavericks) about marketing. They report Cuban states “Build that base now,” he Says, “because the companies that are advertising now are going to look strong.”
The United States Postal Service is still a trustworthy source for delivering this communication.
For people wondering about the safety of mail during these crisis times the CDC reported that, “Although the virus can survive for a short period on some surfaces, it is unlikely to be spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with mail or packages, and there have not been any cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods.”
The COVID-19 virus is spread through the respiratory tracks, so proper sanitary practices like hand washing combined with other hygiene practices, plus the wearing of face masks in public are the most important means of prevention. Wiping down your mail as it comes in with a disinfectant wipe while wearing gloves can also provide you with that added peace of mind.
According to the USPS COVID-19 April 30, 2020 Media Statement, the USPS is helping to reduce health risks plus safeguard both clients and employees by putting the following measures into place:
- Everyday the Postal Service supply chain distributes cleaning and sanitizing products to over 30,000 locations. This includes millions of face masks, gloves, sanitizers, and other COVID-19 protective products. The USPS went one step farther by providing local purchasing and sourcing options for employees to also have access to these Covid-19 sanitation products.
- Non-public Postal Service employees are required to wear face coverings while at work when there is no ability for proper social distancing.
- Where there are local mandates to use face coverings, the USPS is requiring public facing Postal Service employees to always wear face coverings.
- Where local jurisdictions have mandates requiring the use of face coverings in public, the USPS is requesting that customers visiting the USPS facility wear face coverings.
- The USPS has put safety measures into place at their retail facilities along with mail processing centers to help ensure preventative procedures are being implemented. These procedures include cough/sneeze barriers, signage, floor tape, and more. Mobile delivery procedures have been modified to no longer require customer signatures. Employees have instructions to ask customers to stay at a safe distance, and even close the door or screen during the transaction so they may place the package at the customer door for safe pickup.
- Cleaning policies have been updated to follow the CDC guidelines that relate to COVID-19.
- The USPS telework network has been expanded to include employees that are able to perform their work remotely from home.
- Policies have been updated for a more liberal use of leave time to include employees that feel sick, have to care for a dependent, or other qualifying reason that falls under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
- USPS has set up daily communication channels to interact with employees through articles, talks, videos, and more with the latest information for guidance on the current situation.
- The USPS is leveraging local continuity of operations plans to ensure national mailing functions remain intact during emergencies. History has shown the USPS quickly adapts to changing conditions during emergencies like natural disasters along with other emergencies to maintain the national mailing system remain intact. Any disruptions of mailing service will be reported on the USPS Service Alerts Page at https://about.usps.com/newsroom/service-alerts/.
The 39 U.S.C. §101(a) statute that created the Postal Service starts with: “The United States Postal Service shall be operated as a basic and fundamental service provided to the people by the Government of the United States, authorized by the Constitution, created by an Act of Congress, and supported by the people.” This makes the Postal Service an essential service for compliance with shelter in place orders, along with any other social distancing mandates.
The USPS delivers the most online purchase packages, all Social Security checks, medications, and other important parcels, so safeguard measures are critical during these times. Use the USPS to stay in communication with your clients, along with new prospects. Let your clients know about any changes in your business while providing them with empathy, instead of focusing on sales.
These times have forced us to be creative, because promotion and advertising should reflect the current mood of the entire world. Send a supportive message to your customers about this temporary situation, because we are all navigating unfamiliar territory. Direct mail is the perfect channel to reinforce your online communication with clients and prospects. Partner with Chicago Fulfillment Services to leverage decades of Direct Mail experience along with industry connections to receive the lowest mail pricing available.