Go Big or Go Home with Direct Mail

catalogsWant to improve your DM results? It’s time to step waaaay outside your comfort zone.

We all know the old saying about the definition of insanity. And yet, marketers consistently fall into the trap of striving for different results without fundamentally changing the way they operate.

Direct mail can really work when it’s done creatively. According to the 2015 DMA Statistical Fact Book, U.S. companies and organizations spent $46 billion on the medium in 2014. And surprisingly, younger consumers are the most responsive when it comes to direct mail.

The key to any successful DM campaign is, of course, the creativity and technology behind it. And direct mail in today’s landscape is a far different beast than it was just 10 years ago.

If you are still doing it the same way you always have, you’re wasting money, pure and simple. One of the newest trends is the use of augmented reality in print mail campaigns, notes Leo Davie in Tech.Co.

“To really stand out from the crowd, many innovative retailers and brands are deploying direct mail combined with augmented reality apps to really (and literally) bring their products to life,” Davie writes.

One fascinating example has been developed by Clickar, and helps real estate companies bring their printed mailings to life with 3D walkthroughs and other interaction. Augmented reality postcards are becoming popular too, turning ink and paper into a fully expressive and immersive experience.

To leverage the available tech into big DM returns, you have to think outside the box, and probably outside of your comfort zone. You need a new way of thinking about copy, graphics, production and mail data to make this work. This is where your partnerships with your vendors become so important. Engage with them early on in the project to avoid possible pitfalls, and be open to new ideas and new results.

Yes, direct mail is still a critical part of any marketing plan. The future is wide open for those marketers daring enough to try something new.