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Make Your Direct Mail Smarter This Holiday Season

Article - 3 Min. Read

Learn how to leverage technology in your holiday direct mail campaigns and reap the marketing benefits.

A man scanning a QR code with his cell phone.

The months leading up to the holidays can be a particularly demanding time for senior-level marketers.

For some retailers, the holidays can account for as much as 30% of annual sales.[1]

And with customer expectations at an all-time high, marketers are increasingly accountable for their spending and under pressure to show clear-cut business results.[2]

Fortunately, by implementing various technologies, marketers can better reach customers, and track campaign success to understand what is and isn’t working. Read on to learn how you can use technology to make your direct mail campaigns intelligent for the holiday season.

How to make your holiday mail more sophisticated.

By marrying print and digital, you can ensure that your direct mail campaigns yield powerful insights.[3]> Consider implementing the following technologies in your next direct mail campaign:

Icon depicting an envelope and a QR Code.

Add a QR code to your mailpiece.

Quick Response (QR) codes, which look like barcodes, can be scanned with a smartphone, prompting a related app or website to open. Think of QR codes as a way to provide your customers and prospects with additional value. In one example, a grocery store retailer used direct mail to send food-themed magnets with QR codes, which, when scanned, allowed customers to instantly buy grocery store items from the comfort of their home.[4]

Icon depicting an envelope and a near field communication chip.

Include an NFC chip in your direct mail design.

Embedding Near Field Communication (NFC) microchips in your mailpiece will allow you to instantaneously transmit information through short-range radio waves to NFC-enabled smartphone devices. Unlike QR codes, NFC does not require users to download an app or open a separate web browser, enabling a seamless experience. In one example, a musician engaged her fans by embedding an NFC tag on a mail piece that gave them access to extended album content, including song lyrics, photos and videos.[5]

Icon depicting an envelope and a mobile phone with augmented reality enabled.

Consider incorporating Augmented Reality (AR) in your design.

With AR, you can transform a piece of mail into an interactive experience by layering digital graphics over a physical mail piece. In one example, a surf camp sent a mailpiece featuring an image of waves as the AR trigger that prompted recipients to download the AR app. This in turn, activated the AR experience, which concluded with a promotional offer.[6]

With each of these technologies — QR, NFC and AR — you’ll be able to gather a rich pool of data and learn about your most-interested customers, allowing you to refine and better target your future direct mail campaigns.[7]
Icon depicting an envelope and a mailpiece inside with phrase PURL on it.

Add a PURL to your direct mail design.

A PURL is a personalized URL that features the recipient’s name in the link and leads them to a personalized landing page. By including a PURL in your direct mail copy, the recipient can access and complete a response form prepopulated with information from the direct mail. This is a surefire way to capture leads.[8]

Icon depicting a desktop computer with the phrase Personal URL Site on the screen.

Go one-step further by adding a remarketing code to your PURL.

After a recipient views your mailpiece and visits the personalized landing page, you can then tag them with a cookie so that they can receive an ad later while browsing the internet, redirecting them back to your website to help drive conversions.[9]

A desktop computer monitor with a pop-up window displaying targeted ads.

Send your direct mail to a targeted group.

Similar to the above approach, you can serve online ads to the targeted niche group that received your mailpiece to leave a lasting impression.[10]

In Summary

Direct mail is more intelligent than ever before. Each of the technologies described above can provide you with a rich pool of data, allowing you to better target your customers with more relevant messaging, ultimately resulting in a stronger return on investment.[11] Consider how implementing smarter direct mail campaigns can help you reach your marketing and sales goals.

  1. [1]“Holiday FAQs,” National Retail Federation.
  2. [2]Stacey Hawes. “4 things marketers should know this holiday season,” SmartBrief. October 26, 2017.
  3. [3]“Analytics,” Irresistible Mail.
  4. [4]“QR,” Irresistible Mail.
  5. [5]“NFC,” Irresistible Mail.
  6. [6]“AR,” Irresistible Mail.
  7. [7]“Analytics,” Irresistible Mail.
  8. [8]Patricia Odell. “Marrying Direct Mail and Digital,” Chief Marketer.
  9. [9]Ibid.
  10. [10]Ibid.
  11. [11]“Analytics,” Irresistible Mail.

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