Direct Mail Trends for 2020 & Beyond

Marketing strategies have personalized printing with direct  mailchanged throughout the years, yet one tactic has shown to produce results time and time again: direct mail. However, just because direct mail has been in the marketing game for the long-haul, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be refreshed or used in new ways today.

As your business evaluates options for direct mail marketing, there are plenty of different methods, designs and features to test. It’s a tried and true approach, but the success of direct mail comes from what you put into it.
 

Make it Personal

If you’ve ever received a mail piece addressed “dear neighbor,” or “valued customer,” you may know the feeling of being just another recipient on the mailing list. Personalize and customize your materials as much as possible to reach your targeted audience in a meaningful way. Address each card using real names and offers tailored to the recipient’s needs or interests. For new and prospective customers, offer trials or free consultations to get them in the door. For past customers, include promotions for services or items they’ve previously shopped for to get them coming back for more. Direct mail has the power to evoke emotion and memory and customizing your strategy to fit your target audience on an individual level will help make that connection.

 

Leverage Multi-Channel Opportunities

Direct mail doesn’t have to end on the flat surface of a mail card. With today’s advancements in technology and multi-channel platforms, your direct mail strategy is simply the beginning. One easy step to take your message beyond the mailbox is printing QR codes on your mail pieces. Whether it is for a promotional offer or a resource for more information, recipients will be able to scan the QR code from the mail card with a click of a button on their smartphone and be instantly redirected to a website page, social media profile or any other digital platform. If you want to experiment even further, consider integrating Augmented Reality (AR) technology to stand out from traditional methods and bring your message to life.

 

Aim for an Attention-Grabbing Design

If you’re familiar with the eight-second rule for websites – the statistic that online viewers have an attention span of just eight seconds on average – you might be interested to know that the attention threshold for direct mail is just as short, or even shorter in some cases. Use a creative approach to make sure you can grab your audience’s attention at first glance. Showcasing original imagery and bold design will catch the recipient’s eye while also appearing more personalized and thought-out than stock photos. Don’t be afraid to integrate out-of-the-box elements like unique folds, tear-backs or 3D features too.

 

Direct mail strategies will only continue to evolve as the years go on, but the long-standing tactic will remain a staple in the marketing world in one way or another. While your business may benefit from experimenting with different designs, customization and features, take note of what works for you and what doesn’t. How are your customers or prospective clients responding to your direct mail strategy? What are your competitors doing? The world of direct mail marketing is larger than you may think – immerse yourself in it.

Contact the experts at Allegra to discuss ways to make direct mail work for you!

How to Make the Most Out of Your Website

web designIt’s been said that the average web user today holds an attention span of about eight seconds. That means your website needs to act fast to grab their attention and stand out among the rest.

There are a number of key aspects to keep in mind when deciding how you want your brand’s website to look and function. If you’re starting to build your website, or considering refreshing an existing one, here are some ways you can make the most out of your digital platform.

 

Put What’s Most Important First

If you only have eight seconds to intrigue a web visitor, it’s important to waste no time. Your website viewers should be able to learn about who you are and what you do just by glancing at the first few sentences on your page. Giving a quick and concise overview of your brand can help cut straight to the chase. Users don’t typically enjoy having to do extensive research and digging to find out what your brand is about, so give them an introduction right off the bat. The quicker they are able to understand your mission and message, the quicker they can decide if your brand is the right fit.

 

Keep It Simple

If website users don’t find what they’re looking for in a short amount of time, they can abandon ship quickly, so keep your messaging brief and simple. Make sure the paragraphs on your site are short and direct using simple language. There is a lot of room for creativity when it comes to creating a website, but the verbiage should remain clear. Trying to use clever or intricate language when describing the work you do can confuse visitors, which will likely convince them to give up the chase. People inherently don’t like what they don’t understand.

 

Make Your Social Media Presence Known

Consumers can spend upwards of three hours a day browsing social media platforms, which is a significant difference from the eight seconds they devote to a website on average. To keep the conversation going after they close the browser tab, make your social media presence available. Linking to your brand’s social media profiles at the top and bottom of each landing can encourage visitors to seek you out elsewhere. If they are browsing on their phone, transferring their search over to a mobile-friendly app like Instagram can help keep them engaged.

 

It’s All About the Imagery

Many people feel the same way about books as they do websites – they enjoy looking at the pictures. For that reason, creative imagery should play a central role in your website content. There is one caveat: don’t go overboard. Using an overabundance of stock images can look forced and contrived. Preferably, your website should showcase real photos of your brand and your team. However, if you’re not able to integrate original photos in your web design, take some extra time to find the right stock photos that work best for you. This will help ensure that the images you use still convey who you are and what you do, even if you didn’t take them.

There are many factors that play into how your website is received and how effective it is in moving your brand forward. The tips laid out above are a good start to creating your online image, but it’s also important to continue developing and evolving your site as you go. You may only have eight seconds of a viewer’s attention, but a great website can change the course of a consumer’s decision and, eventually, your success.

Count on the experts at Allegra to review your website and branding elements to ensure you’re leaving people with a lasting impression.