Why Your Brand Needs Direct Mail Campaigns + Design Tips
Change is the name of the game and in the marketing world, there are always rewards for people who take the offbeat path. Sometimes that is how you find your best customers, understand your market better, and can score points in a game no one is even serious about.
This is a world that is extremely focused on trending topics and playing to their strengths. And the current trend is about generating first-party data and talking to your customers directly without any interventions from third-party platforms. This means improving your email marketing strategies and tactics.
Email marketing has kept many brands stronger over the years and helped them build a strong foundation for their campaigns. But that is not the only way to circumvent the platforms and talk to your customers.
Yes, we are talking about the good old physical mail.
Surprised? Well, you would be shocked to know that many brands are already doing it and seeing results too.
So if you are not one of them, this blog is for you.
The Kimp team is here to reintroduce the lost art of direct mail and tell you why you need it with some tips to ace the game.
Let us begin.
Direct Mail Campaigns
Direct mail involves sending physical or printed communication to your customers in the form of a physical letter, postcard, brochure, flyer, mailer, package, and so on. This has been a common practice for many years now.
You can employ direct mail campaigns for B2B and B2C efforts similar to an email marketing campaign.
One of the biggest reasons why direct mail campaigns are picking up again is because of the content and screen fatigue that people are experiencing worldwide. Ever since March 2020, people have been forced to move many of their personal interactions online. This means that screen times rose drastically and became a part of their work life, and not just social life.
With this, computer screens, mobile phones, and other digital devices now remind people of work and not just entertainment. This is not good for businesses that earlier sought to woo customers via these mediums.
On a more financial note, creating online content and buying advertisement spots has become more expensive than ever. Good creators are hard to find and according to Meta, the price per ad has gone up by 24%. The results are not promising enough to keep making these investments for many businesses, and that has begun to weigh on the marketer’s minds.
Leveraging direct mail marketing is a chance for them to experiment with a new channel before things begin to go downhill even more.
Direct mail campaigns are known to have a better response time due to the novelty factor, higher chances of personalization, and can become an effective marketing asset for your business. You can use this medium to reach your customers at every stage of the buyer’s journey, be it top of the funnel, or someone who is at the precipice of conversion.
6 Design tips to use Direct Mail Campaigns
Now that we know how significant direct mail campaigns can be, it is time to understand how you can make the most of it. Like most other marketing mediums, you want your customers to be hooked on to your message from the first word and be willing to transact with you again.
Gaining subscribers, paying customers, and interactions via direct mail is possible if you can make the process appealing and engaging for your customers.
The rules of engagement are pretty simple – be it online or offline, design something that people come back for and can enjoy beyond the marketing messaging.
So here is a list of the best design tips from the Kimp team to ace direct mail campaigns for your business.
Let’s dive right in.
1. Choose the right format
This is 2022, so you do not have to assume that direct mail campaigns have to run on postcards or brochures. In fact, you should definitely look at those options because it is pretty hard to convert customers or push them along the sales funnel by just sending a product list. While they are good for raising brand awareness, it is not a one size fits all solution.
Just as you do with digital marketing, you need a story and a reason to make them turn the page.
Explore innovative ways to attract customers to your brand beyond the first stage. Work on creating different content formats that you can send to customers in different stages such as a comparison document, tutorial tips, educational content, and so on.
Since printing is an expensive affair and direct mails may initially cost a little more than other digital efforts, planning the formats at the beginning itself can save a lot of time and resources while also streamlining the process.
Kimp Tip: If you are planning to kickstart a direct mail campaign to test the waters, begin by repurposing your high-performing digital marketing assets to see how it works.
If you need a hand with making your designs print-ready, connect with Kimp Graphics to work with our professional design team!
2. Combine with online marketing
When you pitch direct mail campaigns to your managers, clients, or just talk to your friends, you will hear an inevitable groan mentioning how tracking is so hard. Honestly, we are spoilt by all these shiny dashboards and reports that every tool allows us to generate every minute. While many of them end up being of no importance, it still feels good to know.
Well, this is a hurdle but the good news is that this is a hurdle you can jump easily.
The most important metric is being able to know which customer is interested enough to keep the conversation going so that you can direct your efforts there. Everything else falls into place eventually.
You can still track this metric by combining online tactics with this offline method by simply adding a QR code. These codes could take your customers to a specific landing page, product form, giveaway link, or discount code. Customers who are interested will scan in and then you can track the impressions and details from there on.
Kimp Tip: Now that you have decided to bring the digital world into your direct mail campaigns, ensure that your designs, branding style, and overall communication is consistent across all mediums for the best results.
3. Use powerful visuals
By now, we hope it is clear that while the medium of communication is different, it does not mean that customer preferences change a lot. The same person who interacts with your social media designs would eventually read and engage with your podcast or brochures too. So, it is important to carry some of the principles of digital marketing to this medium, especially when it comes to design.
The readability of your content instantly increases when you break up the text with visual aids such as images, infographics, product breakdowns, and so on. Since people take less than five seconds to form an impression, make sure that these visual aids win your customers over quickly.
A few ideas to amp up your visual marketing strategy :
- Do not tell what can be shown. And if you do tell, ensure that you supplement with a visual aid.
- Break down complex concepts using infographics or step-by-step descriptions.
- Ensure that the visuals you use in your communications are in line with your brand’s visual identity since they become an important customer touch point.
- Print samples before shipping to ensure alignments, colors, and overall print quality is up to your standards.
Kimp Tip: Minimalist style is usually a huge winner in these marketing campaigns. Resist the temptation to jam all the information and designs you have into a single postcard. Diversify and leave the reader wanting more to ensure the conversation keeps going.
4. Personalize your campaigns
We began this section by talking about the different formats that a direct mail campaign marketer can leverage. But those different formats and your campaign can only run smoothly if you have a personalization policy in place. Otherwise, your content may not reach the intended recipient.
Personalization is definitely possible offline too. Even though you have no algorithm to do that for you, it is possible to build elaborate buyer personas and go from there. According to studies, 41% of US buyers have listed the lack of personalization as a reason for discontinuing services from a brand.
We don’t want that, so we highly recommend adopting personalization strategies for your direct mail campaigns.
For effective personalization in your direct mail campaigns :
- Build elaborate buyer personas and understand their buying behavior and sales journey
- Segment your mailing list
- Choose the appropriate direct mail format for each segment
- Customize the design styles, content, and offerings for each segment
- Build branding and marketing style guides for each segment to automate the process
Kimp Tip: It is essential to vary the design style and content for each segment. Not everyone likes the same style and your content may not get delivered effectively for that reason. To know how check our guide on designing for different types of audiences here.
5. Pay attention to the design hierarchy
As much as we have been spoilt by digital marketing techniques, we have also been blessed by them. Most of these tools give us accurate insights into what customers like, how they engage with our content, and how the actual interaction goes. With digital campaigns, you can actually see what a user clicks first on a website and what works best.
While most marketers use it to run A/B tests, we think you can leverage it to plan the design hierarchy of your direct mail campaigns. Design hierarchy is the order of arranging things or the order of importance for the different design and content elements on your marketing material.
Traditionally, the CTA or the discount announcement is what everyone highlights. But you can go a step ahead and plan the entire design in a way that you take control of how the audience travels through the design.
- Understand the psychology behind design while choosing the right colors, fonts, design elements, and layout. For example, if you knew that red attracts the quickest attention and green signals wealth, you know how to design the CTA and price points.
- Know the design intent for the message. This way you can ensure that the customer’s attention falls on the right part of the message.
- Experiment as much as you can internally before shipping the material out.
Sounds too complicated? Hand over the reins to Kimp Graphics so that our professionals can create the best designs for you.
6. Think of envelope design too
We all know that packaging matters, but unless you are sending a specialized novelty package, the odds are your direct mail is going in a plain package. That was the norm and it worked for a while too, but we live in the “unboxing” generation. The box excites your customers as much as your product does.
So take a step back and understand how you can elevate the presentation of your direct mail material. When done right, the envelope can :
- Build excitement for the material inside
- Create a long-lasting brand impression on the customer
- Emotionally connect with the customer even before they read what you have in store for them.
You can also vary the envelope design based on your personalization and segmentation efforts. Gen X and Boomers may prefer a straightforward approach with a conservation design while your Gen Z needs something quirky to attract them.
Take a look at our guide on packaging designs for some inspiration.
Elevate your Direct Mail Campaigns with Kimp
Venturing into something new can be tricky, but it can also be the best thing that happened to your business. And it becomes an enjoyable experience when you do it with a team that is as passionate about your success as you are.
When you sign up for Kimp’s unlimited graphic design or video design subscription, that is exactly what you get. Our team of designers will work with you to create something that not just matches your standards but goes a step ahead.
Avail the ability to create multiple designs with unlimited revisions at a flat monthly fee.
Sign up for the free trial now!