Marketing trends such as paid advertising, SEO, and direct mail tend to evolve quickly as the months and years go by.
This evolution of direct mail, SEO and paid advertising is due in part to increased competition in a cluttered landscape as well as a more demanding and savvier customer.
One of the most significant marketing trends we saw in 2018 was “personalization,” which is the creation of a more natural, personalized message that resonates well with your intended audience.
Those companies who personalized their marketing campaigns saw a massive rise in customer engagement and sales.
Over the past decade, people have grown tired and weary of being bombarded with emails, advertisements, banners, commercials, and promotions. This is referred to as “ad blindness” and can cause the ROI on any given marketing campaign to drop exponentially.
Long gone are the days of making a self-promoting Facebook post and expecting a massive amount of user engagement to follow.
We’re going to look at four direct mail trends that Raleigh businesses can take advantage of. We’ve seen these trends grow throughout 2018 and fully expect them to continue to grow throughout 2019.
The best way to connect with prospects and customers is to send them highly targeted and personalized direct mail. This enables you to communicate on a much more personalized level than if you just sent out a postcard with a generic sales message.
How do you go about personalizing your direct mail?
It all starts with your customer lists. If you don’t have a good customer list, then now is the time to start one.
Keep a spreadsheet or use a CRM to log as much data on your customers as you can.
When you’re ready to begin your next direct mail campaign, you can easily export that data and use variable data printing to create your mailers.
Segmenting Your Lists
Having a basic list of customers just isn’t enough anymore. You should segment your customers so you can then begin writing personalized messages that speak directly to each group or demographic.
For example, if you run a non-profit, your list could be segmented as follows:
- Small Donors
- Community activists
- Big Donors
Once you have the list segmented, you can then start writing a custom message that speaks to that particular group.
For example, those who have donated big in the past might respond better to a message that tugs on proverbial heartstrings and asks for a bigger donation than those who have given smaller amounts.
Even the images can be segmented such that they would speak directly to the person receiving it.
Artificial intelligence, or “AI” as it’s more commonly referred to, is no longer science fiction. Many companies are using big data and high-powered software and computers to find actionable business insights.
While supercomputers and million-dollar AI software packages are out of the reach of most businesses in the U.S., some companies offer to take your data and parse it to find the same insights.
The Google Marketing Platform will take your data sources and use AI to find actionable insights. The more data you can feed the artificial intelligence machine, the more accurate the results will be.
If you don’t have a list, there are list building services available that will help you gather data in an organized and efficient manner.
As paid online advertising costs continue to rise, many companies will find such services as Google Adwords and Bing Ads to be cost-prohibitive.
As such they will eventually “rediscover” direct mail as a marketing method, and the competition for the mailbox will only increase as 2019 goes by.
This is why it pays to get ahead of your competitors by focusing your 2019 marketing budgets on building a proper segmented list and perfecting the mailer, design, and copywriting aspects of your direct mail campaigns.
As the year goes by, your customers and prospects will look forward to reading your personalized messages in the mailbox.
Your competitors will still be stuck in the stone age, as they routinely send out generic mailers that get thrown in the trashcan.
Seamless Cross-Channel Brand Experiences
Customers will start to expect that the brand experience they receive in-store, on social media, in an email, and through direct mail will be seamless and cohesive.
Not only does this mean making sure your branding is the same cross-channel but ensuring that your direct mail efforts are being combined intelligently with your other marketing efforts.
There are many CRM’s on the market nowadays that will allow you to add direct mail to the marketing workflow.
This will ensure that what your customers see on social media, email, and in-store will be congruent with what they receive in their home mailbox.
Integrated marketing can be a challenge, but AlphaGraphics of Raleigh is here to help.
Direct Mail Experts in Raleigh
If you’re looking to get help with your direct marketing efforts or start a new marketing campaign, give the experts at AlphaGraphics Raleigh a call.
We’re not only expert printers, but we also specialize in helping Raleigh-area businesses with their marketing efforts.