As the year comes to a close, marketers reflect on what went well in 2019 and what needs to be improved. To stay ahead of the curve, your 2020 direct marketing campaigns must fit into an ever shifting digital marketing landscape.
Thanks to the automation software advancement we witnessed in recent years, marketers can access and process bigger loads of data. And direct mail has become a much better measurable marketing channel compared to what we had in the past.
Here are five key direct mail marketing trends you should pay attention to as you craft your marketing strategy for the New Marketing Year.
Direct Mail Marketing Trends You Can’t Ignore in 2020
What marketing trends are on your radar as you head into the New Year? There are surely a number of innovations and evolving best practices that will have an effect on your business. We’ve identified five direct mail marketing trends we believe will make a significant commercial impact on modern brands in 2020.
Direct Mail Marketing Trend #1: Customers will consume more content, and fewer ads.
We talk a lot about consumers tiring of email promotions, banner ads and paid social media. The truth is, consumers are running away from digital ads with record speed.
By the end of the year, 30% of all Internet users will use ad blockers, according to eMarketer. This is something marketers must take into account. How are you going to reach an increasingly savvy consumer base that is becoming more and more prone to tuning you out?
There are several strategies to consider implementing:
- Ramp up value-add content marketing
- Seek referral partnerships
- Increase influencer marketing
- Invest in direct mail marketing, which consumers actually enjoy. Pro tip: Use direct mail as a consumer-friendly channel for the above 3 strategies, too. For example, send postcards as part of a referral program.
Always test your content on colleagues and friends first. Try even sending a copy of your direct mail marketing piece to yourself to see and touch the actual, physical copy of the direct mail content – exactly the same thing that your customers will receive – before sending it to anyone else. Consider continuous split testing for design or copy elements to improve your direct mail content at each iteration.
Direct Mail Marketing Trend #2: Video will make up more traffic share and direct mail content.
The value of video marketing has been overstated in the past, but the trend is strong and doesn’t appear to be slowing down. In fact, Cisco anticipates video will encompass more than 85% of all Internet traffic in the U.S. by 2020. 90% of customers claim videos help them make buying decisions.
The good news is, video is no longer out of reach to brands with small and medium-sized budgets. Any brand can create a highly shareable video with basic equipment simply by being engaging and authentic.
Integrate videos into your direct mail marketing campaign to get higher response rates. This will work for any type of business ownership: whether you are running a small business company or a non-profit organization. And, you can drive even more traffic to your videos with strong multi-channel marketing campaigns. You might even take an online+offline approach by using a “watch our video” CTA on your direct mail marketing piece.
Direct Mail Marketing Trend #3: Customers will expect seamless cross channel experiences.
If you have not already integrated email, direct mail, social media and mobile marketing strategies into cohesive campaigns, 2019 is the time. Cross-channel marketing is the way of the future. In fact, nearly 90% of retailers say cross-channel or omnichannel marketing is key to their success, yet many struggle to implement truly integrated marketing.
Adjust your direct mail advertising to make it consistent with other digital campaigns. Use the same colors, images, call to actions in your direct mails, emails, social media channels, and online ads. If you use the same branding across all your marketing channels, this will boost your brand recognition and enhance the effect of all your online and offline marketing efforts.
Pro tip: If you’re using a CRM or marketing automation platform, it is easy to add direct mail to your digital marketing workflows. Integrate Inkit with your automation platform to add direct mail triggers to campaigns.
Direct Mail Marketing Trend #4: Artificial intelligence marketing and Automation software will gain steam.
AI marketing will surely gain ground in the coming year. Many marketing teams are using more artificial intelligence technology as they aim to track consumer behavior and anticipate needs. AI can help you understand which kinds of messages your customers want at different stages of the funnel, and even forecast channel fatigue. If you use AI to manage channel frequency, when you receive signals of email overload or general digital ad overwhelm, you can reach out to consumers via direct mail marketing.
Direct mail automation with Inkit guarantees higher response rates. It will help you optimize your whole mailing process with considerable speed-to-market. You can now track and analyze your ROI with just a few clicks, as welд as easily synchronize your CRM platform with our automated direct mail tool to improve cross-channel results.
Direct Mail Marketing Trend #5: Personalization will become the new standard.
One of the most effective ways to connect with potential customers is to reach them with highly relevant, tailored messages. And you can now do this on every channel—even direct mail marketing with Inkit’s variable data dynamic content insertion.
Create targeted direct mail lists based on response rates and purchase history of your customers. Personalize your mail pieces taking into account actions your customers took before. Any additional personalized detail – especially a physical postcard addressing one by name as a special ‘human touch – decreases the chances your direct mail will end up in a junk pile.
With Inkit’s postcard builder, you don’t have to spend time searching for a designer and make multiple comments on corrections. You can easily drag and drop any postcard design part you wish to include. You can basically customize your mail pieces any way you like.
In 2019, you really have no excuse not to personalize your content across channels allowing for a cohesive, smooth customer journeys that maximize conversion and yield loyalty.
Is Your Marketing Plan Ready for 2020?
As you consider how to implement these and other direct mail marketing trends into your 2019 marketing strategy, we have just one more suggestion. Add a personal touch wherever you can this year. With the proliferation of marketing automation technology, there is a temptation to step back and use AI more and more. While machine learning has made great advances, bots cannot provide the human connection that is lacking in most ads.
Whenever possible, interact with your audience. Find moments in the customer experience where you and your team can have real conversations with customers, and then reinforce this human connection with more tactile, personal marketing messages—like triggered postcards, helpful text message reminders, voicemail confirmations and value-add content marketing throughout the customer lifecycle.
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