Mintel recently released their report “Innovative Direct Mail Campaigns 2018,” which highlights what they describe as “brands that stood out in the mailbox with eye-catching creatives, exclusive invitations, and functional formats.” Throughout the report, we saw how direct mail campaigns are using technology to link recipients to a digital experience and extend the life of their campaigns.
The report confirmed what we already know about what works in the mailbox. In his recent blog post Direct Mail Best Practices: An Update for 2018, our Executive Creative Director and design expert Mike Dietz said, “Things that are different stand out.” To get recipients to open the envelope, Mike recommends incorporating proven direct mail design attributes such as weight, shape, color and texture of the envelope, unique die-cuts, stickers, labels, handwritten fonts, and scent.
There were 32 direct mail campaigns showcased in the Mintel report across the auto, financial services, retail, telecom, travel, and tobacco verticals, and even a campaign from the USPS. In each campaign, the goal is the same: to “create a message that grabs consumers’ attention and keeps it.”
From the 32 campaigns in the report, Mintel selected their five favorites that they said “epitomize what direct mail is capable of when marketers give full consideration to the consumer.” Of these top five direct mail campaigns, two are in the travel vertical (Carnival Cruise Line and Overseas Adventure Travel), two are in the financial services vertical (Capital One and LendingClub), and one is in the retail vertical (Jet.com). Of Mintel’s picks, my favorite direct mail campaign was:
- Carnival Cruise Line’s “Scan, Scratch, Sniff and Win!” I selected this piece because… I miss the beach! The coconut scented scratch ‘n’ sniff feature and QR codes linking to videos of families having fun in the Bahamas immerse recipients in a tropical experience. Both elements encourage interaction with the direct mail piece, making it a keeper!
Of the remaining 27 direct mail campaigns in the report, here are my three favorites:
- Kirkland’s “Save the Date”: As a fan of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper,” this postcard grabbed my attention because it featured elements of a Joanna Gaines design: a wreath of white coffee mugs, each containing coffee-themed words (“Drink,” “Sip,” “Enjoy”) on a background of distressed hardwood decorated with swags of greenery. A handwritten font was used in the “save the date” mailer to showcase items as part of a designer collaboration. The piece announced the release date and invited recipients to “mark your calendars to shop these special items before they sell out.” Included were discount coupons for various merchandise.
- Kia “Express Service”: I’m a fan of QR codes, and this piece, sent to drivers of Kia vehicles, used the technology to enhance the customer experience. Scanning the codes gave recipients the ability to schedule a service appointment using their smartphone. Coupons for various car maintenance services were also included. As a busy working mom with two very active daughters, I would totally use the QR code to schedule a service appointment at my convenience… between dance lessons, softball innings, or halftime of the basketball game.
- Videotron’s “Coffee Sleeve Mailer”: I love coffee, so this direct mail piece from Videotron immediately caught my attention. This Canadian telecom provider formatted its direct mail offer like a cardboard coffee sleeve. To promote its ultra-fast internet to students, it used the phrase “unlimited, like your caffeine rate” to relate to the stress students feel during the final exam period. The unique physical design of the piece increased the potential for future brand recognition.
Want your direct mail piece to stand out in the mailbox “with eye-catching creatives, exclusive invitations, and functional formats”? Our team of creative direct marketing experts can help! Contact IWCO Direct today.
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