If you ever watch a morning show when you’re getting ready for work, you’ve probably seen a multitude of “trends for 2016” lists. So far, I’ve learned about fitness trends, financial trends, technology trends and fashion trends. The news stations never seem to cover direct mail trends though, perhaps because it’s the fundamentals of direct mail that are more interesting,
Direct mail fundamentals stand the test of time and response rates aren’t heavily dependent on what’s hip or trendy. However, some verticals are more susceptible to design trends than others. For instance, a retail store might choose to go with a certain color scheme to complement the newest fashions, while a bank won’t take that into consideration. But for the most part, the success of direct mail depends more on the fundamentals of getting the package noticed in the mailbox than it does on trends.
However, there is one major direct mail trend that has been steadily growing and is sure to continue gaining popularity in 2016: digital printing. Many of IWCO Direct’s clients are shifting from conventional to digital production because it offers highly personalized messaging that allows them to address their prospects in a more targeted way. This drives higher response than less targeted mailings.
That’s in part because, in an online world, audiences are becoming accustomed to being addressed on an individual level (read Hyper-Targeted Marketing to Millennials for more on this phenomenon). But it’s also because it helps the recipient see more clearly why they need the offered product or service. Think of how a department store’s mailing featuring baby gear is much more appealing to an expectant mother than one that features swimsuits.
As digital printing continues to gain traction, it’s important to find the right balance between personalization and scalability. For instance, if your mailpiece includes a window to feature variable text, it’s important to make sure that the window is large enough to accommodate a variety of message sizes. This means that designers must take equipment capabilities into consideration for their designs, so they are able to run efficiently and are optimized for production.
Come back tomorrow to learn how IWCO Direct uses Product Engineering to help close the gap between design and production and take the guess work out of unique and dynamic formats that leverage our existing technology.
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