What's a Marketer to Do With These 3 Hot Direct Mail Trends?
At 4:20 p.m. E.T. on March 15th, I'm set to speak about "Who's Mailing and Emailing What? 2012 Direct Mail & Email Trends ... from Direct Marketing IQ." It'll come at the end of the Direct Marketing Day @ Your Desk virtual show, which is free for anyone to attend. In my closing session, I'm going to feature exclusive data and direct marketing campaign examples from both our Who's Mailing What! Archive and Email Campaign Archive.
Within the rapid-fire 40-minute presentation, I'll speak about three direct mail trends that all marketers must be made aware of. Here are three of them:
1. More Personalized Mail Pieces
2011 represented the highest percentage of personalized mail (pieces that used variable data printing, or VDP) than ever before, with 38 percent of all mail — which is 36 percent more than 2009, 2008 and 2007! In other words, more personalization, both with copy and imagery.
Why? Personalized mail pieces take care of job number one: get attention. Also, VDP instantly makes your mail more relevant. By using content that's relevant and unique to each prospect, that attention has a much better chance to turn into action than with the traditional direct mail piece.
I'll compare and contrast some excellent (and not so excellent) VDP mail pieces that succeed. I'll cover campaigns all the way from B-to-B and big brands to small businesses. I'll also include a couple of case studies about winning VDP campaigns.
2. The Premium Strategy
What about premiums, those gifts that are promised to prospects once they buy or donate? Still a great tool to turn the prospect into a customer, mailers use them more than ever for prospects who seem to appreciate it more than ever. In 2011, 19 percent of all efforts include a premium, so one out of every five mail pieces. That's the highest percentage we've seen in the last five years, and it represents a 7 percent increase from 2010. In other words, people are no longer just being promised teddy bears.
What kinds of premium? I'll showcase a few highly successful, and original, premiums that work wonders for the companies that put them in play. I'll also discuss how some new industries are deploying the premium strategy in this down economy.
3. QR Codes and PURLs?
They were so hot that they almost seem like they're not anymore. But that's not the case. While their usage is slightly down, they remain a significant presence in the mailstream, especially QR codes.
I will share some case studies of successful PURL campaigns, along with many campaign examples — across many different verticals — of QR codes that work very well.
Ethan Boldt is the chief content officer of DirectMarketingIQ, the home of direct marketing research and resources. Register for free and hear him speak at the Direct Marketing Day @ Your Desk next Thursday, March 15th.