The 5 Biggest Direct Mail Trends Taking Over 2018

As we are now well into 2018, direct mail has yet again evidenced that it’s not going anywhere, despite the increasing focus on digital. So, why is this? How is direct mailing fighting off the powerhouse of digital media?

Today, we’re going to take a look at 5 of the biggest trends that have been helping (and will continue to help) direct mail stay one step ahead of it’s digital competition. However, it’s important to recognise that direct mail isn’t simply ignoring the advancements of the digital world, instead, they’re merging those advancements into their campaigns.

This goes to show that digital and print can form an effective partnership to produce authentic and innovative experiences for the customer.

So, let’s take a look at what some of these trends are!

5. Texture, Colour and Crafty Designs

This one’s a no-brainer. When it comes to grabbing your audience’s attention, there’s nothing better than having a design that stands out, something that’s electrifying, bold and full of colour. This works, and companies are looking for new, creative ways to adapt and improve on the concept.

So, what does this entail? Well, arguably the most interesting concept is the way mail feels in your hands. Yep, we’re talking about textured mail!

Studies indicate that touch memory has an incredibly strong impact on the human memory, so companies are trying to find ways to incorporate texture into their designs. For example, if you’re designing print mail for a construction company or carpentry business, why not use a sandpaper-esq finish? There’s a chance your piece of creative mail may be triggered anytime they pick up a piece of sandpaper!

Or, you might want to opt for holographic mailing if you’re promoting a finance, law or any business company. Spot-varnishing is an incredibly popular choice if you’re going down the holographic route, as it adds depth, shine and clarity to images. If you’re looking for a slick, professional look, then this is definitely an option to consider.

The key to using these designs is that you want to use a design that resonates with their audience! Remember, just because you can use a textured design doesn’t mean you need to.

4. Dimension Mailing

These are always fun, and some designs have even gone viral because of how innovative they were! WVRST are a company who used dimension mailing brilliantly for their Sausage Part Campaign. They wrapped up their pink, branded t-shirts in butcher paper to resemble sausages and handed them out at their event to promote their food!

Dimension mailing engages the brain in a similar way to textured mail, in that it encourages the user to touch, feel and engage with the product. Plus, people love getting free-bees, even if it becomes a t-shirt you use for the gym or something you’ve built that now sits on your office desk. If these products can remain part of your life, even in a small way, they've done their job!


3. Integrated Direct Mail

We’ve mentioned it previously but 2018 may be the year where direct mail and digital come together to make a formidable partnership. Why? Well, we’re living in a world where digital is becoming bigger and bigger by the second and if print doesn’t keep up with it, it’s going to be fighting an uphill battle.

There are a few ways this partnership has already seen success, most notably with:

  • QR Codes – these have been around since 1994 but have only really been embraced over the last 10 years. Companies use the codes to entice customers to scan the image/code with their phone to get onto their landing page.
  • Voucher codes – freebies and discounts are always great ways to make customers feel valued and there’s a chance they’ll use your service again if they've had a good experience.

It's only a matter of time before companies start digitalising their direct mail campaigns and 2018 might be the year to officially kickstart it. 

2. Programmatic Mail

Programmatic mail is the data-driven approach to direct mail, where customers online behaviour leads to real time, action-triggered direct mail. Whenever people click onto a website, an email; or even like, comment, share or subscribe to a company’s product it’s transformed into data. This data can then help the company direct and send targeted mail to the customer.

This is a great way to follow-up leads because the company is able to see that the customer has taken a clear interest in the product or service and therefore have a legitimate cause for contacting them with future offers. The best part of this process? It’s automated! Meaning that it takes no time at all and reduces printed waste. A win-win!

1. Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is difficult to leave off the list, considering it’s growing influence in the digital market. You may have witnessed the power of augmented reality with apps like Pokémon GO which was released in 2015 with roaring success. It’s a simple concept that can go a long way, especially for direct mail.

As it’s still relatively new, it might be an idea to educate your customers on how it works and why it will benefit them. Provide detailed instructions and an experience they won’t forget if you’re going down this route. Gaming companies have seen huge success using augmented reality, so there’s no reason why the concept can’t be applied to direct mail.