Direct mail has been one of my passions since my first job as a copywriter at a direct marketing agency in Washington, DC. I’m always on the lookout for trends that impact this channel and creative mailings that grab prospects’ attention and demand response.
So what’s new and what’s working in direct mail these days? Here are seven interesting direct marketing trends I’m seeing as a marketing consultant who often recommends direct mail in a smart marketing strategy:
1. Oversized mailings:
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.
2. Adding a soft-touch varnish to increase tactile appeal:
Another clever way to make your direct mail stand out is to apply a soft-touch varnish coating to the carrier. The soft-touch coating literally makes the paper feel soft, which makes you want to touch it.
Doug Mack of Duke Print & Mail Solutions in Cleveland says financial services marketers like using soft-touch “to create an impression of prestige or a high profile status. It’s also great for annual reports and many colleges use soft-touch varnishes for their first-impression pieces or view-books.”
3. Luxury marketers who are doubling down on direct mail:
Luxury product marketers have never given up on direct mail. In fact, they seem to be boosting their use of this channel, with very high-end mailings that support their brand exclusivity and feature stunning product photography.