7 direct mail trends you should know about

2 September 2019

7 direct mail trends you should know about

Numbers of physical mailshots are declining across all of Europe. But the value of direct mail will continue to grow until 2021,

 

according to the latest European Direct Mail Market Report from the Integraf and FEPE*. If direct marketing were no longer worth investing in, companies would have stopped doing it long ago. But that feeling of being a VIP, which only DM can give customers, is priceless.

Here are some trends within direct mail that, as a marketer, you should know about.

Psychological tricks

Before you start contemplating your direct mail strategy, it is important that you take the time to understand your audience. You must understand the psychology that drives people when it comes to your direct mail. What works and what is it that causes a customer to convert based on the reception of direct mail?

Decide what you want the customer to do. Is there an action you want them to take? Is there an objective you want them to meet? Once you know what you want your direct mail to make your customer do, you can use some psychological tricks when it comes to your strategy:

  • Things which are unusual and stand out are easier to remember. How can you make your direct mail more “outside the box”?
  • Did you know that it is easier for people to remember things that rhyme?
  • Give customers the sense that they have options. Always give consumers a number of alternatives and possible actions – but be sure to keep them simple and manageable!
  • Patterns appeal to the eye and can even create happiness.
  • Do not treat your readers as a uniform group. When designing your strategy, imagine that you are writing a letter to each of them.

Understanding the psychology behind your direct mail makes it easier to influence your customers into doing what you want them to do.

Sense of touch

Take advantage of the power of the sense of touch and contact. We are all sensitive to touch, and it is something that we humans need every day. Take advantage of that in your marketing and direct mail. That way you will capture your customers’ attention and leave a lasting impression. Here are some ways in which you can activate the sense of touch in your direct mail:

  • Do not choose paper based on price alone. The most inexpensive choice is not always the best. Think about what will make the most lasting impression on your customers. Something as simple as paper can make your direct mail stand out in a positive way.
  • Consider doing something fun and different, e.g. embossing or punching out part of your direct mail.
  • Special folds or pop-up effects are always fun to get in the mail, and are a good addition to your direct mail. The goal is to give your customers an experience they cannot get digitally. Think outside the box and integrate a sense of touch when developing your direct mail. Create an experience that your customers will want to share with everyone they know.

Personal mail

Impersonal, mass distributions in the postbox are history. Consumers expect you to know and understand them when you send them mail. Offers should be based on who they are and their current relationship with your brand. Take the time to get to know your customers before sending them their first direct mail.

Database

In order to get to know your customers better, you need a stable database. What kind of information are they interested in? The more you know about your customers, the better you will be able to target and customise your communications with them. Set up customer profiles, e.g. in a customer club, and keep up to speed with their growing relationship with you.

Integration

If it is to generate additional sales, direct mail distribution has to be an integral part of a broader communication campaign. The number of ways in which you can reach your customers is now huge, and the more touch points and channels your message is seen in, the greater the effect of your communication efforts. The same applies to your user-friendliness and to customers’ options for getting in touch with you on various devices.

Spend time on your CTA (“call to action”). How many different ways can a consumer do what you want them to do? Offering several devices and ways for consumers to get in touch is a good way to ensure a response. That way, they can choose the one that suits them best.

DM to exclusively selected VIP customers

If you go from big, mass distribution to fewer and more targeted distribution, it pays to invest a bit more in look & feel. To add that little bit extra. The gold card, the exclusive chalk-white envelope, the handwriting, the smell. Physical distributions to the select few. The ones who are among the most loyal.

Measurement

Unsurprisingly, the direct marketing industry is working hard on innovation and adaptation to customers’ purchase journeys. However you choose to work, you will need and want to follow up on, measure and analyse the impact of your communication. Make sure to get help to obtain an overall impression of your customer so that you can monitor their behaviour, online and physically. For example, did your customer book a trip online the day after a direct mail landed in their postbox? Or are you inviting them to an event at a newly opened shop? Well, then you need to know which members are linked to that particular shop.

* INTEGRAF – EUROPEAN FEDERATION FOR PRINT AND DIGITAL COMMUNICATION • FEPE – EUROPEAN ENVELEOPE MANUFACTURER ASSOCIATION

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