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The Future Of Direct Mail

Posted by Tim Wheeler on September 27, 2018


Direct mail marketing is experiencing a resurgence, as even millennials read and respond to direct mail. Even in the presence of multiple new marketing channels, consumers often respond to direct mail more frequently than through digital channels. Even established digital marketers like Neil Patel recognize the importance of direct mail in a digital age. This is likely because research has shown that consumers view direct mail as credible, and often respond more frequently to it than other digital channels. Even though direct mail is currently still relevant, and will remain so in the future, technology will provide many advancements for direct mail. Here are four ways we see direct mail changing and evolving in the future, in order to drive more response and provide better customer experiences.

Using Behavioral Data Across Channels.

One of the biggest benefits of digital advertising is marketers’ ability to use data collected from user actions to better target and personalize messages. The amount of data we have as marketers is only growing, with 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created every day. 90 percent of the worlds data has been generated over the last two years alone. Going forward, marketers will find new and better ways to apply this data to their offline campaigns such as direct mail. For example, when a user views a product a certain amount of times, they are mailed a discount offer for that product in just a couple of days. Using data from other channels will benefit direct marketers as they look for other ways to expand their audience and provide more personalization.

Greater Personalization

Building on the previous point, the depth that direct mail personalization will achieve in the future will expand greatly. This is due not only to the increase in the amount of data available, but also because of the advancements in printing. Printers are able to personalize many different aspects of a piece, from images to copy, to provide consumers with the same relevant messages that they receive in other channels such as email. Consumers are demanding personalization, and marketers will start to deliver that more frequently and at a greater level in direct mail.

Faster Response Mechanisms

Studies have shown that, when paired with online direct marketing strategies, direct mail leads to a higher response rate, since 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 i, and having a separate app is no longer necessary. 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. If you were a bank trying to promote your new mobile app, providing your users with a check to deposit from their phone only through that app is a way to have them easily respond to the offer with technology.

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 will greatly help to make this an easier task for marketers. Companies should be investing resources into better understanding AI and how they can use the data they are collecting to understand their consumers and create one-to-one connections. Through AI, marketing departments can cipher though this large amount of data faster than ever and get actionable insights. For example, you could use AI to automatically determine user patterns, and recommend products a user may be interested in based off of similar user patterns.

While all of these might not seem initially relevant, we believe in testing as these are worth considering as direct mail evolves.  Throughout our 36-years we have seen direct mail evolve. If you are looking to discuss different direct mail strategies and/or tactics, let us know.

Download the Direct Mail Best Practices Ebook below. 

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