Direct mail trends we expect to see this year

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Direct mail continues to be a successful marketing tool—that has not changed. What has changed are the print technologies available, the demographics and the growth of the digital world. Companies should continue to consider direct mail marketing to reach their audiences, but they must also be willing to adapt their strategies to the needs and technologies available.

Here are a few direct mail marketing trends you can expect to see this year:

Personalized messages

In the past, direct mail has been considered extremely impersonal, and customers have already figured out the mail-merge trick. Personalizing your direct mail piques your customers’ interests and encourages them to open and read your mail. Over the next year, direct mail that reaches the right customers at the right time will become a common trend. Some direct mail messages will be sent based on a consumer’s behavior or actions towards previous mail. The good news for you is that personalized mailers based on a customer’s behaviors will lead to better response rates and higher customer satisfaction.

Direct mail and digital marketing go hand-in-hand

We will continue to see direct mail and digital marketing be used together rather than battling each other. Many direct mail pieces will encourage readers to check out the company or their products on social media or websites. Using digital and direct mail together can help companies better target their audience, have a wider reach, reinforce their brand and build trust.

USPS lends a helping hand

After a successful launch program in Northern Virginia this past year, the USPS is rolling out a mail delivery notification service dubbed “Real Mail Notification” (RMN). This service will allow subscribers to be provided with daily photos of their mailbox contents sent directly to their email inbox. The service will also enable direct mailers to link the image of a direct mail piece directly to a landing page. RMN will simply encourage the digital and direct mail partnership talked about above, and also keep physical mail at the top of consumer’s mind during the day.

Shift from data to stories

Storytelling is often considered one of the most effective methods for creating deeper, more personal connections with consumers. We will start to see a shift from hard data and statistics to data elements that evoke more feeling and emotion. Good storytelling includes visuals and interactive elements that create the ultimate customer experience.

This is a fun time for direct mail marketers—there are plenty of resources and technology that make it easier to produce better mail. Imagine! Express would love to help you get your next direct mail project going.

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