Top 15 Direct Mail Marketing Trends For 2018

Top 15 Direct Mail Marketing Trends - 2018 - Design, Tech & Mailing

Direct Mail Marketing has been making a resurgence. With email and digital ads being such crowded channels, it is hard for marketers to stand out from their competitors. As a result, there has been a rekindled appreciation for direct mail as a channel that is less crowded and very effective. As a result, we’ve put together the Top 15 Direct Mail Marketing Trends For 2018.

Savvy marketers are leading the way with cutting edge design methods, marketing technology and mailing strategies that are making direct mail completely integrated with their digital and other offline efforts.

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Direct Mail Marketing Trends For 2018: Design Methods

1. Keep direct mail design simple and straightforward.

“The world is filled with digital chaos, complexity and instability. What many audiences are seeking is a return to honesty and simplicity. Minimalism is the way forward: an image with a clear and elegant purpose will prevail. Keep text short and to the point. Maximize white space and find a layout that’s simple, clean and authentic. Remember, less is more.”

9 Definitive Print Marketing Trends of 2018, ChilliPrinting; @ChilliPrinting


2. Big direct mail pieces stand out from the crowd.

“When there’s a glut of mail, very large pieces command attention. Despite the significant postage savings from mailing smaller-sized pieces that fit USPS standards for automated processing, I’m seeing many direct marketers mail huge, oversized postcards and envelopes.”

7 Trends to Watch in Direct Mail Marketing, Gianfagna Strategic Marketing; @jeangianfagna


3. Choose colors wisely.

“Color is everything. Your choice of color can make or break a good print design. But did you know that colors have the power to change our mood? Color experts Pantone have released their color trends for 2018, and they’re very intriguing. According to Pantone executive Leatrice Eiseman, if you want to look “resourceful”, go with blues and oranges; yellow is “playful”, pink is “discrete”, and gold is “sophisticated”. Or, you’re hoping to reach a diverse crowd, go with rosy tones; “this palette reaches out and embraces many different cultures”.”

9 Definitive Print Marketing Trends of 2018, ChilliPrinting; @ChilliPrinting

Top 15 Direct Mail Marketing Trends - 2018 - Choose Colors Wisely


4. Get creative by adding unique folds to the design.

“Endless folds: Create a fun mail piece by taking a normal, folded piece and creating a new look with endless folds. These go beyond touch by requiring people to manipulate the piece, unfolding over and over again to reach the next page. They create an urge to see more by building up people’s curiosity. What will they find on the next fold?”

Five Ways To Spice Up Your Direct Mail Marketing In 2017, Forbes, Summer Gould; @Forbes


5. Tell a story through visuals paired well with written content.

“In 2018, storytelling will be a crucial aspect of print marketing. Think about using strong and compelling visual images to convey some aspect of your brand narrative. Perhaps the image represents your ethos, your history, your future, where you’ve come from, or where you’re headed. Perhaps it simply captures your latest product, or some aspect of your brand character. Now combine this with written copy. Not the kind of informational stuff that everyone’s bombarded with, but the story that makes your brand special. Because everyone loves a good story right?”

9 Definitive Print Marketing Trends of 2018, ChilliPrinting; @ChilliPrinting

Top 15 Direct Mail Marketing Trends - 2018 - Tell a story through visuals


Direct Mail Marketing Trends For 2018: Direct Mail Marketing Technology

1. Use direct mail automation software to dramatically speed up the production process and get detailed tracking and reports.

“Marketers who are comfortable creating email templates can compose high quality, personalized letters and postcards with patent-pending tracking in minutes. Designers can use Postalytics to build templates directly in the production environment, bypassing old fashioned emailing and FTP processes of proofing their work. For the first time, marketers can tie direct mail campaigns into automated workflows. Leveraging’s nationwide print delivery network, Postalytics cuts the direct mail production cycle from 4-6 weeks to 1 week.”

Why Direct Mail Automation? Why Now?, Postalytics, @Postalytics

Download Direct Mail/Email Workflows

2. Integrate direct mail marketing in your buyer’s journey

“With new direct mail automation tools, marketers can now generate triggered HubSpot postcards at each stage of the buyer’s journey. Recent technology breakthroughs make the production, printing, mailing and tracking incredibly easy. When using these new, automated HubSpot postcards, the key is to focus the right content, messaging and calls to action for each step of the journey.”

How To Use HubSpot Postcards In Your Buyer’s Journey, Postalytics, @Postalytics


3. Add augmented reality to direct mail.

AR really has a lot of potential to make a big difference in how some brands use direct mail and print. It’s important to remember though, that even with a 2 percent USPS discount for using an “enhanced” or interactive form of AR in 2016, you still have to understand what your audience needs before you get started. Like any other direct mail campaign, you’ll also have to have a clear goal for your campaign, a smart design in both technologies, and a precise call to action.”

3 Ways to Introduce Augmented Reality in Your Direct Mail, Target Marketing, Paul Bobnak; @TargetMktg, @PaulBobnak


4. Connect offline to online with QR Codes and pURLs that can be easily accessed with a smartphones.

“Businesses can integrate direct mail with digital campaigns, for instance, by offering QR codes or personalized URLs on mailers. A reader can scan the code or go to the URL to reach a targeted landing page with content specific to client interests or needs. Some B2B companies segment audiences based on stages in the buying cycle. This approach allows the delivery of follow-up messages that relate to the level of knowledge and comfort of a particular target.”

3 Top Direct Mail Trends You Need to Know About This Year, Salesgenie; @Salesgenie_Team

Top 15 Direct Mail Marketing Trends - 2018 - Connect Offline to Online with pURLs


5. Use personalization technology to create a higher open rate by connecting with the audience.

“Personalizing the mailing will create a bond to your audience. Long gone are the days of sending out mass amounts of the same direct mail. Smaller amounts of a personalized mailing will give you the results you want to see. Researching your audience before sending out their mailing is growing in importance. Get to know the people you send direct mail to and then design your mailing to appeal to their interests and what is important to them.”

Direct Mail Trends To Use In 2018, Imagine-Express; @ImagineEXPRESS

Try Building A Personalized Postcard Online – Free Demo

6. Create coupon codes that are specific to the mail recipient.

“Printing coupon codes is a tried and tested marketing strategy to attract new customers and considerably boost sales. But 2018 will see the rise of unique coupon codes, which can be used for so much more. For starters, they generate higher ROI than generic coupon codes. Why? Because they can’t be shared with other customers, and they provide comprehensive personalized details, making customers feel valued on an individual level. Moreover, you can use unique coupon codes to track customers to gain more information about your audience. Code information can thus be used to develop more meaningful B2B relationships, whilst enhancing ROI and customer profiling. Now that is unique!”

9 Definitive Print Marketing Trends of 2018, ChilliPrinting; @ChilliPrinting


7. Use enhanced data to target the right people.

“Technology is available to produce accurate data. You can target a buyer’s shopping habits and needs, attempt to retarget them if they happened to leave their basket empty; you can even find out about their personal interests. The possibilities when it comes to data is endless, and you must keep yours up to date. Your prospects list should always be fresh to ensure you are placing your product and services in front of the right people, at the best time. It’s a massive waste of resources to target people on the off-chance they may be interested in what you are offering.”

—  7 Innovative and Exciting Direct Mail Trends for 2018, WDM Online; @WDMONLINE

Top 15 Direct Mail Marketing Trends - 2018 - use enhanced data to target better


Direct Mail Marketing Trends For 2018: Mailing Strategies

1. Limit the quantity of mail you send out by focusing on a target market to reach.

“Smaller quantities: Every client we work with that’s using direct mail is reducing mail quantities through better targeting, especially our business-to-business clients. This is good news for our industry; people who consider direct mail “junk” are usually looking at mail they never should have received in the first place because it’s not relevant to their needs. It’s also a smart marketing strategy: Mailing fewer pieces gives you the budget flexibility to increase the quality of your promotion, which could produce higher response.”

7 Trends to Watch in Direct Mail Marketing, Gianfagna Strategic Marketing; @jeangianfagna


2. Test out different direct mail trends to see what works.

“I often say that creating a really cool new design is great, but it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t work. Design trends are only good if they can grab an audience’s attention and compel them to keep reading and take action. Therefore, following trends needs to be done carefully and with consideration of direct mail best practices. Test trends before taking the plunge to make one your control package, and never get rid of direct mail fundamentals—like a P.S. or call to action—in favor of a trendy new design element.”

These Factors Will Influence Direct Mail Design Trends the Most in 2018, IWCO Direct, Mike Dietz; @SpeakingDIRECT


3. Send direct mail to existing customers.

“More and more companies are targeting their direct mail to existing customers, sending them rewards, discounts and coupons to encourage future sales. If you have an existing customer database, this is one of the single most rewarding direct mail tactics out there.”

—  5 Trends in Direct Mail, TMR Direct; @TMRDirect


The Top Direct Mail Marketing Trends For 2018 – They’re Easy To Try Out

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