Marketing: Top Direct Mail Tips And Trends

Mike Gunderson
Marketing: Top Direct Mail Tips And Trends

Key Takeaways:

  • Top 7 top direct mail trends for 2021
  • Integrate your mail with tech, including smart speakers
  • Better targeting = lower cost, higher response

Things tend to go in and out of style, and while some may believe direct mail is a thing of the past, it remains one of the most successful and relevant marketing tactics to date. Sure, digital marketing has opened the door for a lot of innovation, but it has become so widely used that it’s now hard for brands to cut through the clutter and stand out.

On average, we receive 121 emails per day and very rarely do we enjoy going through each one to find the diamond in the rough. On the flip side, 6 in 10 people actually enjoy checking their physical mail because of the emotional connection involved with receiving and opening something tactile. This psychological impact and sense of excitement translate to much higher brand recall, an elevated response rate, and a revived appreciation for direct mail in general.

Although direct mail inherently has the upper hand on emails, it’s important for companies to be intentional with their strategy if they want their message to resonate.

Here are seven direct mail tips and trends to help marketers make a significant impact on their target audience:

1. Include An Offer

For direct mail to be effective it needs to motivate a response, and a strong offer is important to make this happen. An offer works to incite action by the recipient within a timeframe (expiration date). No one wants to miss out on a good deal, so it’s best to create some urgency by limiting how long the offer is redeemable. The offer could be tied to a response or a conversion, depending on the product and where the prospect is in the funnel. The best offers relate directly to the product and are easy to understand.

2. Add A Keepable

To keep your brand and the offer top of mind for the consumer, including a branded “keepable.” For instance, you could load a USB flash drive with a promotional video or other info and customize it with your logo for a keepable that recipients are likely to use over and over. Other possibilities include a miniature LED flashlight, a keychain fob or, for a summer campaign, a tube of lip balm.

3. Keep The Design Simple And Clean

We can thank digital madness for our society’s reawakened affection for direct mail, and to keep the attention of the audience, it’s best to keep designs simple, honest, and minimal. Include well-designed images that serve a clear purpose, leverage and use white space, and highlight clear headlines. One of the direct mail’s many advantages is its ability to relay ample information, communicate the value proposition, and explain complex offerings. An engaging text that is clear and to the point allows the recipient to thoroughly understand the message, resulting in the likelihood of a response.

4. Make It Texturally Appealing

One of the toughest challenges of direct mail is getting people to actually open the envelope.  If a company wants to help ensure that its direct mail piece is opened and read, then it’s best to give some allure to an otherwise plain mailer and pique the audience’s temptation to see what’s inside. Including purposeful inserts or objects adds thickness and texture, creating a tactile engagement that sparks a recipient’s interest and increases the likelihood that the mail will be opened.

Marketers can also get creative by adding unusual folds to their mailers. This tactic can heighten the opening experience by making it fun, interactive, and intriguing.

5. Integrate Direct Mail With Technology

Some of the most successful direct mail campaigns are those that engage people on a multichannel level and correlate with the brand’s digital marketing efforts.

The company’s online and offline marketing platforms can be integrated by including QR codes, personalized URLs, and new Voice Activated Call To Action (VACTA) technology to connect to smart speakers, which makes it easy for people to visit customized campaign landing pages. From there, they can seamlessly complete a form to receive their offer, which, in turn, converts them into a more qualified lead.

The campaign can also integrate direct mail in the buyers’ journey. There are new automation tools on the market that can trigger postcards at pivotal stages along the way.

6. Personalization

People already feel connected to the mail they receive, but marketers can fortify that bond by personalizing their mailings according to the recipients. As a matter of fact, personalization is one of the main reasons direct mail generates such incredible ROI for companies.

With the use of technology, companies can learn more about their target audience, create mailers that directly speak to the issues that are important to them, easily add individual names to envelopes and the mailers themselves, and even generate unique promotion codes and personalized landing pages to enhance and simplify their experience.

7. Target Your Audience

One of the main reasons people toss out what they consider to be “junk mail” is because they’re receiving mail they should never have received in the first place. Today, companies are learning that smaller quantities of mail sent to a more targeted audience are a much smarter marketing strategy. It’s more cost-efficient, it elevates the quality of the campaign, and it results in a much higher response from recipients.

It’s important to remember that direct mail trends are only valuable if they speak to your specific audience and entice them to take the prescribed next steps. Therefore, it’s best to test new tactics to see what works before diving in. If you decide to go out on a limb and try something new, remember that certain fundamentals should never be forgotten, like a strong offer or CTA at the end.

Want to know if direct mail will work with your marketing mix? Drop us a line.

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Mike Gunderson

Mike is the founder and president of Gundir, the award-winning direct marketing agency. Since 2003, Gundir has helped businesses drive new leads and close more sales through traditional offline channels, especially direct mail.

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