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.