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What's In Store for the Future of Direct Mail?

Posted by Tim Wheeler on September 7, 2019

Direct mail marketing has experienced a major resurgence. Contrary to popular belief, even millennials read and respond to direct mail. Despite the emergence of countless digital marketing channels, consumers actually respond to direct mail more frequently than online channels. Why? Well, consumers view direct mail as credible. Yes, traditional direct mail techniques are still relevant — but technology is changing the game. Here are four ways one of the oldest forms of marketing has evolved in the age of technology. 

Use Behavioral Data Across Channels

Digital advertising has a HUGE benefit. It gives you the ability to collect data from user actions. Good marketers use this data to better target and personalize messages. Going forward, marketers need to find smarter and better ways to apply this data to their offline campaigns. For example, if a company's data shows a certain customer viewed a product multiple times, they could follow up with a mailed discount offer for that product in just a couple of days. Data from other channels will benefit direct marketers as they look for other ways to expand their audience and provide more personalization.

Greater Personalization

The depth of direct mail personalization can only grow. There's more customer data available that you can incorporate into your piece. It's not just name and address anymore. Personalization can include coupons based on shopping habits, member ID numbers and data-driven recommendations. Furthermore, there have been major developments in how direct mail pieces are printed. Printers are able to personalize nearly every aspect of a piece — from images to deadlines to offers and beyond — to provide consumers with the same relevant messages that they receive in hyper-personalized digital channels. Consumers demand personalization and marketers must deliver.

Faster Response Mechanisms

Studies have shown that direct mail leads to a higher response rate when paired with online direct marketing strategies. That's because direct mail triggers more emotion than digital ads. There are many ways that marketers can incorporate today’s technology into their direct mail to make it easier for consumers to respond to an offer. The QR code is a response device that has been around for a while, but has made a resurgence as the camera on many phones is now able to read it — no need to download a separate app anymore. Another example includes incorporating Augmented Reality to engage consumers and provide them with an experience or the ability to truly visualize how a product or service can work for them. Say you're a bank trying to promote your new mobile app; you could mail out a check for users to deposit from their phone through the app.

Greater Automation Through Artificial Intelligence

Many of these approaches, from deciphering large amounts of data to personalizing each individual message, may seem daunting at first. But Artificial Intelligence can make this easier. Companies should invest resources into understanding AI — and specifically, how they can use the data they are collecting to understand their consumers and create one-to-one connections. Through AI, marketers can decipher vast amounts of data faster than ever to get actionable insights. For example, you could use AI to determine user patterns and recommend products a user may be interested in based off of similar user patterns. 

Throughout J&C's 36 years in the direct mail space, the agency has evolved just as much as the form. In fact, J&C specializes in using data-driven insights to make creative decisions that truly resonate with customers. For even more on direct mail, download the FREE Direct Mail Best Practices eBook — just click the button below.  

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Topics: Direct Marketing

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