Despite the rise of technology and the digital age, direct mail and printing is more relevant than ever, with direct mail having a much higher response rate than email. While many draw the connotations with mail being simple about letters in envelopes, there are dozens of ways in which you can use new innovations in a direct mail campaign, use different printing, and ultimately deliver a greater impact to your recipients.
Just as technology is constantly developing, so too is direct mail. Better still, many of these innovations in technology can be used for a direct mail campaign too! In this guide we have laid out some of the many innovations in direct mail and printing.
Appealing to a customer’s five senses with your direct mail
Humans have five senses, but companies often only appeal to one; making their customers visually read text. Below we have outlined other ways in which you can use innovation to appeal to a customer’s sense of sight, as well as appealing to their other senses too through multi-sensory stimulation techniques.
Visual stimulation techniques in a direct mail campaign
If you can create other eye-catching shapes in your direct mail, this will create a unique campaign that will stand out from others. Different shapes and colours elicit different emotions from the reader, and if you can get the right emotion attached to your campaign, you’re sure to do well.
Creating a greater level of interaction is just another way that you can make your direct mail campaign more memorable than any other piece of marketing your potential customer will see that day.
Appealing to a customer’s sense of smell with direct mail
Our sense of smell is our most powerful sense, and is closely linked with emotion and memory, so targeting this sense is a great marketing strategy. One way you can do this is by including sample products within your direct mail. These could give off a sneak smell of your product, or maybe even a taste!
If your product doesn’t have a smell or taste, then think about making your direct mail itself scented. You’ll need to make sure you do your research to choose a scent that is appropriate and draws out the right emotion, but get this right and it can be a great direct mail tactic.
Using technology in your direct mail
Any company that ignores technology in this day and age is likely to fall behind the competition. But, the same can also be said of direct mail. We have looked into how these two can go nicely hand in hand for your direct mail campaign, and the benefits that they can provide.
Incorporating direct mail with social media
2.34 billion people use social media worldwide, so this is a definite platform that you want to tap into. Rather than have people land on your social channels through email, a medium which only has a 0.12% conversion rate when it comes to purchasing, why not use direct mail?
Augmented reality and direct mail
Augmented reality is a growing technology, and as such its use and benefit haven’t yet been fully realised. While everyone is caught up in the hype of virtual reality, few are aware that augmented reality can be used in a brilliant way to market a product or service.
Consider implementing an augmented reality campaign with your direct mail; ways in which your customer’s direct mail can come to life and have them interacting with it in new ways.
There has been some great success with this. For example, Toyota saw a 600% increase in the number of downloads of their app when they used an augmented reality direct mail campaign
Direct mail with clickable paper
Clickable paper is one way that you can get creative with your printing process when incorporating new innovations in your direct mail campaign. Clickable paper is still essentially just paper, but you can scan it with your phone and it’ll bring you to a specific website.
We check our phones around 85 times a day, and for many of us this is the main way in which we connect with the things that are happening around us. So it makes perfect sense to combine direct mail with people’s smartphones.
Direct mail with QR and PURL codes
Quick response codes (QR) and personalised URLs (PURL) are great ways to personalise your campaign, do something a little different with your customer, and also track and analyse conversion rates.
These codes are things that your phone can scan, so as with the above point, are a great way for getting people involved in a different way. Miami University recorded a 1466% increase in student recruitment when using PURLs, so there’s no doubt that it works!
Sending direct mail with USB web keys
Although this isn’t quite like sending a free sample as previously discussed, it’s still something free that will entice the reader. You can have it designed with your brand on the side for further marketing, and even preload it with information that you want the customer to see.
Sending USB web keys with your direct mail is an inexpensive form of marketing that, if you have preloaded it, you can use to track and analyse those that have interacted with it and conversion rates.
While it may seem like a time-consuming direct mail route to go down, it can have huge benefits. Rolls Royce, using this type of marketing, created a sales funnel of £5.9 million!
Direct mail that has been integrated with Google AdWords and Google Remarketing
This route is a particularly innovative, yet simple, marketing route that you can go down. Google Remarketing allows you to retarget people that have visited your website but didn’t convert, while Google AdWords allows you to display adverts on web pages.
How can you combine these two tools with direct mail? You can identify the users who visited your website but didn’t convert and send them a personalised piece of direct mail with a unique PURL inside.
You know that they are already interested as they have previously visited your site, and the personalised touch could be just what they need. Plus, you can track conversions using the PURL, so you easily know success rates.
At least 26% of people who receive this kind of direct mail will keep the mailshot for future reference, so it’s a worthwhile direct mail innovation. Furthermore, 56% of people trust printed marketing the most, so if they haven’t converted on your website, then there’s a good chance that they may convert from your direct mail.
Handy tips and tricks for innovating your direct mail
There are also some handy tips and tricks you can use to innovate your direct mail and printing processes. We’ve looked into these here.
Variable data printing
Variable data printing is a useful tool that allows you to print as many documents as you like, but you can vary what is printed across these. So for example, rather than printing 10,000 of the same piece of direct mail, you can print the same number in the same number of time, but with multiple designs, pictures and messages on them.
What are the main benefits of variable data printing? It gives you a great deal of freedom and flexibility when launching a direct mail campaign. You can vary the message that you are trying to get across, which will allow you to target different groups with personalised messages.
This personalised approach, as we have touched on earlier, will help make your company and your product stand out from what others are offering. And, furthermore, you can print personalised QR codes or PURL codes on these documents – allowing you to track responses and success rates as you go.
Envelope optimisation tips for your direct mail
We’ve talked a great deal about how you can optimise your direct mail, but it’s important that we don’t forget to optimise your envelopes too! While not all direct mail will come in envelopes, it is safe to assume that a great deal of it will.
There are a range of things to think about when optimising your envelope. It will likely be the first thing that a potential customer sees, so why not add some of the things we talked about earlier like colours or interesting shapes?
Furthermore, there’s a 50% chance that your envelope will fall on the ground face down. So just as you’re marketing on the front, it’s important to market on the back too! Even if your customer is likely to turn the envelope over to see who it’s from, if the back of your envelope looks like every other one, they’ll have already subconsciously listed it as “just another piece of mail.”
Some direct mail innovation statistics
Want to know what the statistics are backing up these various innovations in direct mail? We’ve listed some of these below:
- By implementing augmented reality into their direct mail campaign, one company gained over a million new Twitter followers
- 43% of people like interesting and eye-catching shapes in their direct mail
- 26% are attracted to scented direct mail
- 98% of people want their direct mail to be personalised
- 60% of people are strongly influenced to visit a website that they see listed in a direct mail campaign
For more innovation statistics, be sure to visit our direct mail innovation statistics article.
Find out more about how bakergoodchild can help you with your direct mail campaign
The above is a comprehensive guide on the numerous ways in which you can use the latest innovations to influence your direct mail campaign and increase its chances of success. Direct mail remains the most successful marketing strategy when it comes to conversion rates, and while the amount of mail that is being sent each year is declining, it is still an area you can’t afford to fall back in.
It’s easy to put together a few letters that you send off to potential customers in envelopes, but you need to do something a bit different and stand out from the crowd. We’ve listed some of these ways above, but if you want to discuss this in more detail, then you can reach us here.