Direct mail has always been a main component of successful marketing campaigns. It’s tangible, measurable, and when used in tandem with other preferred channels, unstoppable.
But what elements of direct mail make it effective? The answer looks much different today than it did even a handful of years ago. The old drivers of direct mail were the List, Offer and “Other.” But the new drivers of successful direct mail campaigns are Frequency, Relevance and Integration.
Facing this new reality, we wanted to explain how we’re helping our customers take advantage of these new opportunities.
Digital Equipment Makes Frequency, Relevance and Integration Possible
By making significant investments in digital equipment, particularly 4-color digital equipment, IWCO Direct is allowing our clients to create even more highly personalized, customizable mail campaigns that allow focus on unique individual attributes. These attributes go beyond basic conventional print limitations and now extend into offer, colors, unique data characteristics, and graphics – all fine-tuned to the specific individual or program. Pinpoint targeting of these attributes allows marketers to increase the relevance of their offer, improve their loyalty programs, and engage customers or prospects in a more personal way. In addition, clients are better able to pinpoint delivery of campaigns through sophisticated in-home mail logistics models and shortened manufacturing cycle time – due, in part, to the new production environment of “white page to finished product.” All of this results in more targeted, relevant messaging, delivered at the appropriate time.
Trigger Mail Remains a Successful Strategy
Trigger mailings are still quite successful because they tie an event to specific messaging. For example, if someone has bought a new house, they may be interested in receiving information on homeowners insurance. Trigger mailings, done with the appropriate timing, are highly relevant and deliver very good marketing results.
Creative Must Adapt to New Media Channels and the Impact on Integration
From a design standpoint, we are no longer just crafting direct mail. The addition of new media channels and our focus on developing cutting-edge, highly-effective campaigns for our clients means that we are now creating companion pieces to complement direct mail. Marketing devices like email, landing pages, PURLs, QR codes, and augmented reality all impact our designs and how our clients’ customer receives the messages we are sending. We have the resources to create these new, trending media channels and the knowledge that cross-channel marketing is the most effective way to connect with an audience. So we put the same thought and ingenuity into these channels as we do our direct mail pieces to ensure that we are designing a campaign that keeps our clients’ seeing the benefits of our innovations.
The Role of Big Data in Creating Effective Direct Mail Offers
Using data effectively is probably the single biggest contributor to successful direct mail campaigns. No other channel has the robust systems and sophistication that direct mail has, which makes it more effective than email and other online channels alone. Other important components to an effective direct mail campaign (and growing in importance) are: offer, copy, design, and format. These elements, tweaked and measured with the proper testing methodology, can not only create success, but measured success for the long run. IWCO Direct’s clients have fared exceptionally well by utilizing our expertise across these various marketing elements.
Success Factors in this Evolving Environment
Taking direct mail campaigns to a new level requires focus in several key areas: marketing strategy, data services and campaign execution. Having the discipline to establish a testing methodology that uses data, offer, copy, design and format wisely, while constantly analyzing and tweaking results will yield best practices and results in the competitive direct mailing environment.
Full-service, performance-driven direct marketing solutions that effectively combine direct marketing intelligence and efficient execution will yield the most effective direct mail success in the future and lead clients to achieve the next level of performance and profitability with their direct mail campaigns.
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