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How to Integrate Direct Mail and Advanced Tech for Stronger Campaigns

Article - 3 Min. Read

Technological innovations offer a wealth of new opportunities—but knowing the best ways to put them to use can be tricky. Learn how direct mail can take the latest advancements to the next level.

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Marketing is evolving faster than ever, as new technologies continue to change the ways brands can reach customers and the ways customers can respond. The power of omnichannel, however, remains constant: By combining emerging digital innovations with a time-tested physical medium—direct mail—brands can create unique, memorable moments that entice customers to engage.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)[1]

A type of computer science that forms automated marketing decisions based on advanced data collection and data analysis capabilities, artificial intelligence can make it easier to drive engagement and sales. By identifying patterns and trends, AI can help brands deliver more personalized, relevant marketing messages.

How to get started with AI

Through deep learning, a method allows machines to “learn” from your company’s data, generative AI can be used to generate high-quality, highly relevant messaging, images and offers for direct mail pieces and other marketing efforts. This may speed up creative development and help create more efficient processes.

Near Field Communication (NFC) and Augmented Reality (AR)

With NFC, marketers can embed a small sticker or chip into mailpieces, allowing recipients to scan the mailpiece with a mobile device and launch a digital experience, such as a video. Combining NFC with AR can make mail even more exciting: By layering 3D digital graphics over the mailpiece, AR creates immersive, interactive experiences that bring your mailer—and your brand—to life.

How to get started with NFC and AR

Grab customers’ attention with AR-enabled NFC: Embed an NFC sticker into direct mail, allowing customers to launch an immersive AR experience. If you run a subscription-based personalized skin care line, for example, you could create a 3D, interactive experience that showcases your offerings and presents customers with a short quiz to identify the right products for their specific skin care needs.

Interactive and Sensory Experiences

In the age of digital, direct mail holds an air of novelty, offering a uniquely tactile experience that can feel more personal and immediate than digital marketing. Pop-up features, varnishes, inserts with die-cuts, and special finishes that create texture can provide a sensory experience that draws customers in. You can even include scratch-off, chalkboard, scented and velvety elements.

How to get started with interactive and sensory experiences

What do you want to evoke with your mailpiece? Playfulness? If you’re promoting a winter sale, you could create a mailpiece that recipients can quickly assemble into a charming 3D snowflake. Luxury? Advertise your niche products with heavy cardstock and embossed lettering. Aspiration? Entice customers to book your resort by including a peel-off label that releases the scent of tropical fruit and lush foliage.

Emerging Technologies

As well as AR and NFC, there are many other emerging technologies changing the face of marketing. Voice-enabled mail allows customers to respond to mailpieces directly via voice assistants like Google Home. With video-in-print (VIP), you can imbed small video screens right into mailpieces. And with mixed reality, 3D digital experiences can even be superimposed directly onto real-world settings.

How to get started with emerging technologies

By including an easily assembled cardboard headset in direct mail campaigns, brands can provide customers with interactive, immersive experiences. Furniture brands, for example, could include a headset in a mail campaign that allows recipients to see how products will look within their home. Clothing brands, meanwhile, could give people the opportunity to “try on” items without having to go into a store.

Key Takeaway

Emerging technologies are transforming the world of marketing, presenting new opportunities to capture customers’ attention and set your brand apart.

Combining these advancements with direct mail can make them even more powerful—allowing businesses to create uniquely tactile, interactive campaigns that surprise and delight.

  1. [1]This is for informational purposes and is not advice from USPS.

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