22 Direct Marketing Trends in 2022
Direct marketing is the discipline of communicating directly with your audience through one-to-one mediums such as email, direct mail, social media, and text. Contrary to mass media, direct marketing can be personalized on an individual level, and is much easier to track a return on investment. At Preferred Direct, we assist customers around the nation with direct mail and direct digital communications to achieve their goals. Whether your direct marketing is for transactional, informational, educational, or promotional purposes, Preferred Direct is the preferred provider of secure, successful direct mail and print communications.
22 Direct Mail Trends from Preferred Direct
As we close out the first quarter of 2022, our team has noticed some direct marketing trends among our client’s projects and within the national market. In honor of it being the 22nd year of the millennium, here are 22 direct marketing trends to pay attention to this year:
#1. Personalization: This has been a consistent trend since the beginning of 2020. With variable data printing technology, commercial printers can now customize names, images, colors, and more on each print piece.
#2. Strong Brands: Consumers want to feel a personal connection to your brand. We’ve seen companies increase the success of their direct mail campaigns when they include information about who they are and the impact their brand wants to make in the world.
#3. Omnichannel Marketing: Direct marketing is very successful when reinforced among multiple communication channels. Clients who follow up direct mail campaigns with direct emails or texts, and vice versa, can further their brand message and improve customer recall.
#4. Sustainability: Sustainability has been a trend among consumers for years and it’s important to show that you value the future of this earth too. Include sustainability statements or links to your social responsibility pages in your direct marketing promotions and show you care!
#5. Reusable Print: When clients and customers receive high-quality print pieces, many will re-use the print for other purposes – keeping your brand top of mind. Preferred Direct can help with generating ideas like using perforations to make bookmarks or mini table games from postcards to keep your brand front and center.
#6. The Digital-Print Shift: As digital marketing becomes harder to track and customers request more privacy online, many customers are open to receiving more promotional communications in the mail. With email as the new “junk mail”, the ol’ mailbox has much less competition and a higher impact.
#7. User Intent: Conducting research to understand how your audience approaches and consumes your content can effectively improve the impact of your marketing campaigns. Understanding if your recipients intend to buy, research, share, or save your content, helps you create an engaging campaign designed around what your customer REALLY wants. Knowing what prospects expect from a company like yours, and the intention behind their actions will help build focused content for your direct mail campaigns that achieves your goals and theirs.
#8. FOMO: The “Fear Of Missing Out” is a natural curiosity that can be a successful tool to engage your audience. Include just enough information in your direct mail to peak your reader’s curiosity and they just must learn more to satisfy the knowledge gap you’ve created.
#9. Two-Factor Authentication: For transactional direct marketing campaigns, it’s important to safeguard your customer’s information. Sending a letter with changes made in a customer’s digital account can help reduce fraud and identity theft for customers that may have had their digital passwords hacked. Creating “two-factor authentication” through digital and print mediums protects your company and your customers, but only if processed through a secure printer like Preferred Direct.
#10. Large Postcards: As consumers become more open to promotional mail, some clients are seeing success with oversized postcards. Sizes such as 11 x 6, 8 x 17, etc. stick out from other mail pieces and won’t get lost in the stack.
#11. Catalogs: To cut through the digital clutter, DTC and eCommerce brands are going back to the future of sending full catalogs in the mail. They recognize print is not dead and online shopping doesn’t necessarily have to start online. Others have even gone a step further adding print coupons to their catalogs to increase online sales.
#12. Emotional Connection: Using less corporate verbiage and more natural conversation text, Companies can make a more personal, emotional connection with consumers. Customers deal with “fake news” and “fake profiles” all day long. They want real, honest companies and your print text can communicate that.
#13. Designer Envelopes: Who said professional print needs to be plain? Using a full-color envelope design, insurance carriers, finance institutions, billing companies, and many high-volume direct billing companies are seeing greater engagement on their transactional and promotional direct mail campaigns. Work with a Preferred Direct designer to create the perfect full-color envelope for your customer mailings today!
#14. Privacy/User Consent: To appease to growing concerns around data privacy and user consent, try sending a direct mail campaign to consumers requesting opt-ins for your digital direct marketing. Skip the firewalls and SPAM folders and connect with visitors directly in a non-invasive medium.
#15. QR Codes: QR Codes have made one heck of a comeback due to COVID-19. Now that many people know how they work, marketers are seeing success in converting print interest into digital conversions using scannable QR Codes. To be scannable, QR codes must be at least .8” x .8”.
#16. Tip-On Giveaways: Whether a gift card, a mock bank card, or other card giveaways, adding a rigid piece of cardstock to your direct mail campaigns can increase its premium feel and entice the receiver to open.
#17. Specialty Fold Options: Create a big reveal with your direct mail campaigns through designs with specialty folds. Asymmetrical folds, accordion folds, and gate folds are just a few direct mail folding options that allow more space for your content to delight with every unfold.
#18. Retargeting Print: You may have heard about retargeting digital ads, but have you considered retargeting ads using print? Creating a process to automate print campaigns for abandoned carts or product upselling can help nudge customers, that have digitally “checked out” of your company, to reconsider a purchase.
#19. Print Security: Customers want to know their data is safe with your company. That’s why more and more businesses are partnering with print providers who are HITRUST-certified, HIPAA-compliant, and have shown they follow strict data security standards. If a company says they are secure, they must ensure their vendors are too.
#20. Company Magazines: As more companies are creating content for digital, marketing-savvy businesses are maximizing this content and distributing it offline in a company magazine. Once your company has 5-10+ educational blogs, you can create a company magazine to distribute to your customers, periodically. This trend can increase your customer retention and referral rates.
#21. Concise Copy: Keep it simple! Customers are already overloaded with marketing messages all day long. A concise, well-thought-out slogan and supporting text are more memorable than a full paragraph. Direct marketing campaigns with a clear, simple message can be all you need to tip the scales in your direction.
#22. Contact Preferred Direct! We would like to think it’s a trend that more and more companies are choosing Preferred Direct for their print and mail needs. Popular reasons businesses have moved to Preferred are: their printer is struggling to meet deadlines, their printer isn’t investing in security technology or their printer has limited options. Working with a more connected, technology-focused printer is a trend that can make a big difference in your marketing.
Before You Dive All In, Contact Preferred Direct
Not all trends will work for your audience, so it’s important to partner with a print provider to discover the right campaign for your goals. At Preferred Direct, we have a team of designers and print experts to help you create the perfect direct marketing pieces that engage your audience. As a HIPAA-compliant and HITRUST-certified printer, we have invested in top print and fulfillment technology and follow the strictest data security standards to ensure the safety of your data. Partner with Preferred Direct today and implement one or more of these direct marketing trends for your most engaging direct marketing campaign yet!
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