Direct mail is not dead — in fact, this print marketing communication form is very much alive and well. A recent United States Postal Service report found that 75% of respondents said receiving personalized direct mail makes them feel special, and today’s consumers still put more trust in the print communication channel compared to the digital channel.
There are a couple of reasons for the effectiveness of direct mail marketing across a variety of industries like higher education, healthcare, and financial services. First, direct mail pieces offer a tactile or sensory experience that digital marketing communications can’t quite replicate. Plus, direct mail campaigns are a way to help brands differentiate themselves from their competitors and stand out in the oversaturated digital landscape.
With this in mind, we’ll look at five trends that are likely to help steer the direction of direct mail marketing in 2024, and how working with a strategic print partner like Quantum can help you leverage these trends to make your direct mail marketing hit home.
Interactive direct mail campaigns will lead the way
Direct mail pieces that incorporate interesting design elements or digital components to create a more interactive, engaging experience can help brands connect on a deeper level with their target audience. Not only does this help your messaging truly resonate with consumers, it can also help increase response rates and drive a more robust ROI on your print marketing spend.
For example, creating direct mail pieces that use specialty inks, finishes, or even scented papers can help enhance the sensory experience of your mailer, and using quick response (QR) codes that launch videos or open special landing pages helps to increase the interactivity of your campaign.
Plus, thinking in a more interactive way about direct mail campaigns can help you save on postage. This year’s USPS® Promotions and Incentive Programs offer significant discounts for mailers that incorporate new and emerging technologies, and Quantum’s 2024 USPS Promotions Guide can help you take advantage of this year’s incentives.
Multi-channel direct mail campaigns will help brands make an impact
Digital technology like QR codes in direct mail can be an effective way to create more engaging, print communication, but such components can also be a key element in creating a more multi-channel marketing approach that communicates with consumers in ways they prefer.
Research shows that consumers prefer to engage with brands on at least three different channels before they purchase a product or service. Integrating digital technology with direct mail creates a seamless link between the digital and print space to message consumers in a way that is most likely to generate a response.
Imagine your ideal customer visits your website and registers for an online store account. Aside from a confirmation email that prompts them to browse products and make a purchase, you could send the customer a personalized postcard or brochure with a special offer that positions specific products they might also be interested in.
Plus, you could also print a QR code on the mailer that makes it quick and easy to access your online store, or this code could launch additional content, like a video or even an augmented reality experience.
This is where partnering with a print automation expert can help you think more creatively about how you can leverage direct mail campaigns in ways that seamlessly connect print and digital for a more multi-channel experience.
Print sustainability will remain a point of emphasis in direct mail marketing
Hitting specific sustainability benchmarks will continue to be a top priority for brands in the coming year and beyond, and these initiatives can range from reducing your overall carbon footprint to adopting a more responsible, eco-friendly use of resources. The good news is, with a little strategic thinking, brands can execute sustainable direct mail marketing campaigns that can also have a positive impact on the bottom line.
For example, a print automation solution that utilizes print-on-demand (POD) technology can help you print the precise quantity of pieces you need without excess or wasted copies. Not only does this conserve resources like ink and paper, it also helps to reduce the costs of printing or warehousing unused mailers. Speaking of ink, the continued development of new ink technologies now makes it possible to print the same stunning color and image quality with less water.
NanoInk® technology uses pigment particles that have significantly smaller diameters than other inks, which makes it possible to produce stunning images with less pigment. NanoInk technology also allows for colorants to be shipped as concentrates and mixed with water onsite. This means NanoInk can be shipped without water, which reduces space and weight during shipping to help you cut your carbon footprint.
Data security and compliance will emerge as key considerations in printing direct mail
A recent report found that 91% of Fortune 500 organizations have updated their business and operational strategies to address data security risks, and these efforts are extending beyond security and compliance in the digital space. Brands that execute a large volume of transactional or critical communications print need to ensure that jobs are completed in a secure manner to protect consumer privacy and remain compliant with industry regulations.
Partnering with a print automation expert to execute these kinds of mailings can help create visibility and transparency into each step of the preproduction and print process, and this connects data entry and processing workflows to help minimize errors and ensure that high standards of regulatory compliance are upheld each step of the way.
An automated print solution can also help companies log and track activity within the system itself to better monitor access to sensitive consumer data and allocate permissions to the appropriate teams. Working with a strategic partner that prioritizes an automated approach to print can help companies print critical communications with the confidence that their data is accurate and secure to help reward the trust and confidence consumers place in print.
As a strategic print automation partner, Quantum can help you take your direct mail campaigns to the next level of success. Learn more about our print automation or direct mail solutions, or download our 2024 USPS Promotions Guide to jumpstart your next direct mail campaign.