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Direct Mail Trends

Direct Mail Marketing is the leader of the marketing pack. It is the “go to” tool that everyone uses because it can be depended upon to always get results. Email, social media ads, google ads and all of the other ways to market are great and should be used on a regular basis. But, if you need a workhorse, direct mail is the marketing genius. There are many new design methods and technologies that have recently added to the direct mail world along with some mailing strategies that can integrate with email, social media and online ads that make a marketing campaign complete. The following is a list of new trends and new avenues to make your marketing efforts successful.

Direct mail design works best if it is kept very simple and to the point. It has been proven over and over again that the most effective marketing is simple, personal and appears to have a great deal of trust in the consumer. A minimal approach is not only a new way to go about designing your marketing piece, but it also gives off elegance and purpose. The content should be short and exact. White space should be abundant and the layout should be clean and original. The image is the impact piece. A simple silhouette of your product, a picture of a single tomato for a restaurant, a pencil for a back to school sale are all images that create a huge impression.
Big is trending right now. Big ideas and big postcards are standing out in the mailbox lately. They command attention. This should be no surprise as the very large pieces tower above all of the other postcards and envelopes. The message on a large postcard can make a huge impact as the image can be a collectible, one that people hang on their refrigerator. And, the call to action can be bold with a unique font. Much more information can be placed on a large card, but the layout needs to remain simple and elegant to get the right message across.
Color is another trend that is working well in direct mail. Color choices can be based upon psychological preferences to the action that you want the receiver to take. There is a lot of expert advice you can research on which color combinations motivate people into certains selections. Color can change a mood. It can excite or depress. The colors blue and orange together are hot right now and they give off the aura of being inventive and creative. Celery green and a berry purple says that things are healthy. Bright yellow and neon lime green are fun and pink is powerful. If you are targeting a diverse demographic, then warm yellows and rose red are the combination that will work. Color must be wisely chosen so that it communicates the right message.
Folds are another new angle in direct mail. People are getting very clever and creative by putting unique folds in their designs. Endless folds is one technique that is catching the eye of the receiver. By having to open a piece fold over by fold over, the receiver becomes involved with the message. Each panel has a word or a direction until it is completely unfolded and the entire text is revealed. This method creates an eagerness to see what comes next and a curiosity about the company who sent it. Then there are the mailers that are folded like origami art and others who have folds that create a three dimensional pop up. Folds keep the receiver engaged for a longer period of time which guarantees they are reading the material.
A happy trend that has started is the direct marketing storytelling campaigns. Your images and content work together to tell a story. This can easily be transported to your online marketing too. This will require the use of strong and powerful art or photos that describe your brand and its message. You can tell a story using these elements that describe the history or your company, its future or the unique usage of your products. If you use a type of character in your logo or marketing, it can be the stories base. Combine the graphics with text that explains it all. Tell the story about what makes your company and its brand stand out from the rest. Asking people to do something with a call to action is one part of the story and you will need to fill in the rest. Bring your brand alive.
Targeting your market has always been part of your marketing campaign, but now, it has gotten very tight in describing the target. Limiting the amount of mail that is being sent out at one time is giving you more control over the response rate and your reaction. This is helping to create a mailing piece that is more relevant to a particular audience and creating pieces that speak to each individual group. This gives you the editing process for those who don’t respond or react to your mail. They just won’t be there for the next one. This also helps with your budget and makes it more flexible to increase the number you mail or decrease when needed. The tighter the audience the greater the response rate.
When putting together a direct mail campaign, test each mailing piece to see which one works best. Great art, wonderful text and a cool call to action might seem perfect, but if you get nothing in return, then it is not working. Send each piece to a small sample group and see which one works. Then, use the one that got the most response on a bigger group. Or maybe, the test will come back and you will have to tweak a new layout or message. You need to grab an audience’s attention and urge them to take action.