Direct Mail Trends for 2023

 

Author: Camille Lehmann, Senior Marketing Specialist 

2023 is here and one thing that has not changed, no matter the year nor the climate, is your need to reach your consumers. The challenge lies in reaching them in an efficient and effective way that aligns with your marketing budget.  

With over 60 years in the direct mail and catalog industry, we’ve garnered a thing or two from interacting with the evolving market space. In 2023, we’re seeing a stronger case than ever for utilizing direct mail in your marketing campaigns.  

As the economic environment has shifted and the priority for personalized, highly-targeted campaigns have increased, we’ve seen a few trends populate that will help you amp up your marketing game. 

Optimize with Highly Targeted Campaigns 

Gone are the days of throwing spaghetti at a wall, just hoping something sticks. Your customer base is unique and your direct mail should be as well. 

Mailing smarter by strategically choosing your audience means less mail produced, less money spent, and more engaged consumers. Win-win-win.  

It’s time to optimize your direct mail campaigns by making them highly informed with fresh data, fresh strategy, and fresh results.  

How does Nahan do this? We can provide prospect leads generated by predictive models. These tools are built via analytics derived from multiple data sources and elements not commonly found in standard sources. By utilizing data across sources, we can identify highly predictive data elements—leading to greater response and conversion results. 

Depending on available data, we can identify patterns based on past behavior and transactions, then supplement the target development universe for analysis with appended demographic, psychographic, and attitudinal data. We often build multiple models that work in concert for the best solution. 

“Consumers can be hesitant. Get to know them and what keeps them from taking action. Once you know that, you can address it right away in the copy itself. It’s personalized and targeted pieces that will get you results. That requires thought and intention, but delivers in ROI.”

-Mike Dietz, Executive Creative Director

Digital Retargeting and Digital Overlay 

You send your consumer a direct mail piece on the biggest sale of the year. It arrives in their mailbox, and three days later, they receive a digital display ad on their Instagram account reminding them about the coupon they received. This is not a coincidence, but a strategic digital retargeting.  

Digital overlays can display the same message in your direct mail piece on a digital display ad, packing double the punch. These types of ads can be useful in driving traffic to a specific landing page for generating leads. 

Consumers don’t have a great retention span and see multiple marketing messages per day. But you know what they say about repetition – it sticks. 

 

Direct Mail Testing 

Direct mail is not a “one-size fits all” or an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” type of situation. Yet, many marketers treat it that way.  

“We find that marketers can be reluctant to test, simply because they don’t know how. While others may not want to risk the company’s budget on a test that may not out-perform the control. And sometimes it’s a combination of the two. But not doing any testing, will ultimately result in performance decline. 

-Alan Sherman, VP Marketing Strategy 

In 2023, both creative and data testing will be the way to go to ensure a campaign keeps hitting the mark. Testing must be a regular ongoing process.  

Ideally, that means part of every campaign or at least testing quarterly. The aim is to develop a stable of high-performing creative packages and a precisely optimized audience by testing new data sources and predictive models to continually improve results. 

Teaming Up with Informed Delivery 

Marketers who utilize Informed Delivery will receive a 4% postal discount in 2023 from August 1st to December 31st.  Informed Delivery is a free program through the USPS for consumers who wish to participate that allows them to see photos of the mail before it arrives.   

It consists of two main elements:  

1) A large grayscale image of the piece or a full-color representative image of the mailer.  

2) A smaller, “Ride-Along” image that offers interactive marketing potential. Clicking on this image or on the “Learn More” call to action opens the URL associated with the campaign. It can also be used to open a marketer’s phone app for the recipient to call. 

With over 44 million consumers signed up for Informed Delivery, there is major potential for marketers to take advantage of that audience with links and Call-To-Actions accompanying the user’s mail images. 

Saving with the USPS Tactile, Sensory, and Interactive Promotion

Each year the USPS has multiple promotions, one of the newest being the Tactile, Sensory, and Interactive promotion. Marketers can save 5% by utilizing including elements such as specialty metallic or thermal inks, textured papers or varnishes, scented coatings, or interactive pull strings and die-cuts to make use of the promotion and stand out in the mailbox. 

For your easy access, you can download our promotions guide here. The guidebook provides a quick glance over each promotion’s most important information including eligibility and effective dates. 

 

Time to Get In the Game

Direct mail is a core part of an omnichannel marketing strategy. Now is the time to engage with optimization and testing opportunities. Settling for the status quo is not going to lead to results. 

We challenge you to not sit on the sidelines with your marketing strategy in 2023, but instead find ways to improve efficiency, effectiveness, and overall ROI. And as direct marketing experts at Nahan, we’d love to help you do it.  

 

Author Bio: Camille Lehmann is a Senior Marketing Specialist and has been on the Nahan team since early 2020. Camille is responsible for managing Nahan’s social media, blog content, and other internal and external content communications. She graduated with her Masters of Science in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management in 2020. In her spare time, Camille enjoys visiting new coffee shops and restaurants with friends, playing tennis, and finding new Pinterest projects.

Gen Z and Direct Mail: Reaching the Newest Consumers

Author: Camille Lehmann, Senior Marketing Specialist

Did you know that Gen Z makes up 20% of the population? While it may be hard to believe at first, the newest generation of consumers (born between 1997 and 2012) are now a major contender in the world’s retail scene. The oldest of this generation is a recent college graduate and starting new life stages, while the youngest of which are just embarking into their teenage years. This generation of consumers boasts a spending power of approximately $140 billion (Rolling Stone, 2021), making them an extremely valuable target audience that you should be reaching. They’re ready to spend their money, but they hold brands to high standards.

Embrace the Physical Quality of Direct Mail

Gen Z may be known as “Digital Natives,” meaning they grew up around technology, but they’re also overly served digital ads. Additionally, in the midst of a pandemic, they have a thirst for the personal and physical touch (Forbes, 2021) that digital ads cannot provide in the same way tangible items can. Utilizing direct mail helps reach this audience that has overflooded inboxes and social ads with something that fills this innate need.

Integrate Technology with Direct Mail

As mentioned, Gen Z is often referred to as “Digital Natives” and most do not know a world without the Internet or smart phones. And while marketers should embrace this opportunity to stand out with the physical quality of direct mail, it is also a chance to integrate technology with it for the best of both worlds. How can one do this? Marketers have found success with using a scannable QR code for a quick way to assimilate information while keeping the copy and creative on a mail piece minimal. The use of augmented reality also provides for a unique way for consumers to virtually try on or place items.

Make Sure You Stand Behind Something

At the end of the day, Gen Z cares about more than service offerings and discounts. They care about what your brand stands behind. They want to know what you support, how you support it, and they will do the research to find out. Gen Z is also more likely than other generations to switch brands to align with their personal beliefs/values (Business Insider, 2021). The social justice movement is one example of a cause that Gen Z is often passionate about. They are more likely to give their brand loyalty to brands that have diversity programs and support related local and national organizations.

Use Gen Z to Market to Gen Z

Who does Gen Z want to listen to? Whose voices do they care about? Your messaging is more likely to resonate with them if you are using those who are similar to them in age and life stage. Gen Z is very different from previous generations in the environment they grew up in, and they are more likely to take the word of those who are coming from that same frame of reference. This generation of consumers is actually twice as likely as millennials to make a purchase based off an influencer recommendation or testimonial (70% of which are under 34) (Rolling Stone, 2021).   Are you ready to expand your reach to Gen Z? We’d love to help you with your direct marketing strategy and creative to do just that.

Sources: Rolling Stone Sprout Social Business Insider     Author Bio: Camille Lehmann is a Senior Marketing Specialist and has been on the Nahan team since January 2020. Camille is responsible for managing Nahan’s social media, blog content, and other internal and external content communications. She graduated with her Masters of Science in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management in 2020. In her spare time, Camille enjoys visiting new coffee shops and restaurants with friends, playing tennis, and finding new Pinterest projects.

Direct Marketing Trends for 2022

Author: Camille Lehmann, Senior Marketing Specialist

The new year brings new direct marketing trends and continuations of ideas that advanced in 2021. Like the beginning of last year, 2022 gets its start in an advertising saturated society with technology at the fingertips of nearly every consumer. In such an environment, knowing how to stand out to the right consumer at the right time, is a necessary skill for differentiation. Below we’ve rounded up five direct marketing trends for 2022 for you to ponder as you plan your marketing strategies:

1. When it comes to words, less is more

Want to catch a consumer’s attention in the mail? Don’t overload it with unnecessary text that crowds the mail piece. You only have a limited amount of time to entice the consumer to act. If the consumer perceives that it will take too long to read the piece, you may have just lost your chance for them to get to your Call to Action. Provide enough to get your point across, but don’t leave the consumer drowning in words.

2. Combining Digital and Print

While both digital and print advertising have their own advantages, together, they make the ultimate power team, especially in the wake of the phasing out of third-party cookies. Whether it’s using QR codes or pre-in-home-date digital ads, the addition of digital to print will become more popular as marketers get creative to increase ROI. Nahan’s solution to this is Direct Mail Companion™, used to create a seamless message before, during, and after your direct mail or catalog in-home date, leading to greater response and higher ROI.

3. Augmented Reality

Marketers can harness the power of Augmented Reality (AR) to layer computer-generated dimensions onto a real-world setting. Consumers can use their hand-held technology to view direct mail and catalogs with AR to view how certain products would look in a space. Utilizing this technology gives consumers a memorable and enriching experience that is hands-on.

4. Targeting by Challenge and Not Demographic

What prompts consumers to pursue a service or product? Most often it is a need that they want to fill and they believe that a specific service or product will fulfill that need. Instead of only looking at consumer targeting by age or geographic region, including the segmenting of your target audience by unique challenges and/or behavior may return more favorable responses and make messaging feel more personal.

5. Use of Informed Delivery

When consumers use Informed Delivery from the USPS, they are able to see ahead of time the mail pieces they are receiving each day. Not only are they aware of what is coming, but they are also able to interact with the mail pieces by clicking on the images and view offers from the business’s website. According to the USPS, by September 2021, nearly 43 million users had registered for Informed Delivery and that number is expected to grow throughout 2022.

Author Bio: Camille Lehmann is our Senior Marketing Specialist and has been on the Nahan team since January 2020. Camille is responsible for assisting in Nahan’s marketing strategies and goals. She graduated with her Masters of Science in Marketing with a specialization in Project Management in 2020. In her spare time, Camille enjoys visiting new coffee shops and restaurants with friends, playing tennis, and finding new Pinterest projects.