Creating a humble letter, coupon or postcard may seem like the opposite of using technology for your business, but incorporating some of the hottest marketing trends and tech into your direct mail piece is easier than you think. Learning more about how technology can be used to enhance the recipient’s experience can help you make a piece they’ll enjoy, hold on to and hopefully respond to. From using data for personalizing your pieces to incorporating QR Codes and even Augmented Reality, here’s what you need to know about emerging technology and your latest direct mail piece.
4 Ways to Combine Technology and Direct Mail Marketing
Augmented reality allows the real world to interact with an overlay of elements from a fantasy world or setting; the viewer or user can see and interact with realistic images on a screen via an app. Pokémon Go allows you to catch Pokémon in a real-life setting, while IKEA and other retailers use AR to give you a preview of what their pieces will look like in your own home.
Incorporating AR into your direct mail pieces allows you to offer your prospect a whole new way to interact with your product and materials – -and may even ensure the recipient keeps your catalog, card or mailer. The USPS even implemented some incentives for using Augmented Reality technology in direct mail campaigns in 2016; a 2% postage discount was offered for pieces featuring AR and other emerging technology.
Tips for Using Augmented Reality Technology and Direct Mail
Not every recipient is going to understand the concept of augmented reality right away. If your prospects are all 14 year olds (or their parents), they’ll catch on pretty fast, thanks to Pokémon Go – but everyone else is going to need some direction. Include directions on how to use the feature, what it does and why the prospect should interact with the piece.
Make sure you are using AR for an actual purpose – it’s fun to play with and include, but it should enhance the user experience in some way. That 2015 Toys R Us catalog with AR for shopping also featured a “find the mascot” interactive game, with Geoffrey the Giraffe hiding on select pages. Kids looking for Geoffrey also handled the catalog multiple times and carefully perused every page, just to spot the giraffe.
QR Code Technology and Direct Mail
QR codes are simple, flat barcodes that can be scanned by any mobile device and create a bridge between your mailer and your digital content. Once your code is created, it can be added to any direct mail piece you’d like, they are small enough to effectively fit in any area. QR codes are increasingly useful in marketing, since so many prospects are fully mobile; according to PEW Research, about 85% of all adults use a smartphone regularly. Use a QR Code to link to a specific offer instead of your home page; linking to whatever promotion you’re offering in the direct mail piece will take your prospects right where they need to go to place an order. Make sure that landing page is truly mobile friendly to make sure that customers who rake the time to scan the page are rewarded with responsive content.
Benefits of Using QR Codes
The codes are small; they don’t need a lot of space or distract from the design of your piece, making them easy to incorporate into even a small, simple mailer. QR codes also open up a whole new world for your recipient; they can simply scan the product or offer they like and immediately be taken to the right landing page. Best of all, with a QR scan, there is no chance of user error – the prospect doesn’t have to retype your site address or worse, head to Google, where they could be intercepted by another vendor.
Variable Data Printing Technology and Direct Mail
Variable data printing done correctly won’t even be noticeable to the customer. They won’t understand or recognize the technology and work that went into creating a piece that is designed to appeal specifically to them; they’ll just think you’re really in-sync with their needs and wants. Printing out specific, on demand pieces that perfectly match your customer’s needs and preferences obviously increases your chances of making a connection. In a world where personalization and customization in marketing messages is becoming more popular and important than ever, variable data printing can help you stand out in even a crowded marketplace.
Using Variable Data Printing for Direct Mail
The ability to personalize your message makes it easier than ever to really target your efforts and ensure that your pieces resonate with recipients in a big way. Better targeting generally equals better response, so tying your data to variable printing allows you to forge a valuable connection quickly.
Targeting customers for your weightloss shakes? 55-year-old Thomas likely has different likes, concerns and interests than 18-year-old Karen, even though they might both enjoy your chocolate shake – and both hope to drop a few pounds in the new year. Variable data printing allows you to present the same offer in different ways and to tailor each piece to the recipient it is intended for.
Direct Mail Landing Pages
The online and offline marketing worlds come together to form an effective marketing strategy – if you make the most of your landing pages. A targeted landing page can help you bring your direct mail prospects to the correct offer and ensure that they are easily able to take whatever action you want them to.
If you already have a digital marketing strategy in place, then you know the importance of a good targeted landing page for each campaign or offer; applying the same method to your direct mail pieces makes it easy to grab the customer’s attention and make sure they don’t get away.
Using Landing Pages in your Direct Mail Strategy
Curious prospects who want to know more about your product, service or offering will likely turn to the same source – Google – to find out more. While being looked for on the world’s largest search engine is a good thing, you risk losing your prospects to a competitor or a distraction when they hit the Internet on their own. Sending them directly to your landing page via QR code or another device ensures they get where they need to go and don’t become distracted or frustrated.
Using a landing page to bypass a Google search has other benefits as well. Someone taking the time to check you out is already partially convinced; too much information could overwhelm them or direct them elsewhere. If your competitor or a big box store has taken out an ad, you could lose the customer you’ve worked so hard to obtain. Your landing page allows you to bring your prospect to your own personal space and ensures they don’t get lost along the way. Once your prospect arrives, they can stay neatly in your own personal spot on the web and hopefully complete a purchase without distraction.
You’ll need a quality landing page to make sure you get all the benefits of incorporating this useful feature into your campaign. The page should not be a duplicate of the mailer or simply repeat the same information. The right landing page will provide your buyer with more information and include a strong offer or call to action, too.
By incorporating technology into your direct mail campaign, you can combine the best features of each approach and ensure that you are truly resonating with your prospects. Intrigued by AR, QR codes and other emerging technology? We can help you come up with a plan for integrating these innovative and effective methods into your marketing strategy. Contact us today to start reaping the rewards of technology for your next direct mail campaign.