Five key takeaways from this blog:
1. Print is tangible and trusted by consumers
2. Integrated digital/print campaigns can deliver amazing results
3. Direct mail is a post GDPR opportunity
4. Personalised digital print is not just for short runs
5. Digital print allows you to easily test and improve messaging
Multi-channel marketing is all about consumer engagement across a wide range of marketing channels. It takes one strategy and deploys it across many different waves such as social media, direct mail, TV and radio. They allow consumers to interact with a brand or product in multiple ways.
Despite experiencing a dip due to digital experimentation by marketeers, direct mail is still very much a big part of this. It is coming back as part of larger, multi-channel strategic plans. Companies are now able to collect more relevant and in-depth data on their consumers, enabling them to produce targeted and personalised pieces that can be tailored to the individual on a massive scale; from images to text, each mailer can be completely unique.
Society demands real-time responses that marketeers need to be aware of and more importantly, prepared for. Data campaigns are a major upgrade on campaigns of old and with the cost of short runs looking more appealing, direct mailers won’t just be reserved for blanket campaigns. Trigger campaigns, for example, can allow brands to send frequent messages to consumers in smaller groups. An individual could visit a website and click on an image of interest, which in turn, triggers a mailing to be sent with an offer on the product. The data needs to be used wisely so the consumer is not blasted with a variety of mailers but rather what would be useful to them. Market testing can fine tune such messages to connect to the customer on a deeper level. Testing a target audience allows brands to tweak messages, adjust approaches and receive greater feedback before the first mailing has hit the printers.
Every digital channel is flooded with content, making it harder for brands to stand out. Using direct mail opens all kinds of possibilities and thanks to GDPR, the letterbox is an exclusive channel, subject to less regulations than digital communications. Direct mail can help build brand awareness and places the message right in front of the reader. Research has also shown that mail is retained longer and makes the reader feel more valued than its digital counterpart, and by using both channels together, you’ve got a pretty strong marketing toolbox; digital gives the reader a wave and the piece of mail delivers the hug.
Printers and suppliers to the industry need to listen and pay attention to what their clients are trying to achieve for their consumers in order to reach them efficiently. Clients aren’t just asking for items to be printed and mailed anymore – they are trying to figure out how best to connect with their consumers and how to make the most of their data whilst keeping within budgets.
There is a bright future in direct mail. Direct marketing is, without doubt, here to stay. It is not a medium to sit still and it is constantly evolving and changing. Direct mail providers need to keep pushing the boundaries of its limits to uncover its full potential and fully cement it as part of the bigger marketing strategy picture.