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​How to Use Technology to Make Your Direct Mail Marketing Campaign More Successful

September 14, 2015

How to use technology to make your direct mail marketing campaign more successful

It's impossible to ignore the prevalence of technology in the world of marketing today. Whether you embrace or shy away from it, there's little doubting its effectiveness. For any company looking to increase the performance of their own direct mail marketing campaigns, the use of various forms of technology might just hold all the answers.

Striking the right balance is key when it comes to making sure you're using technology in the right way regarding postcard marketing. The level of technology integration in your marketing pieces needs to carefully consider your audience's behavior, but by meticulously planning your actions, you will be able to seamlessly weave technology into most of your direct mail marketing endeavors.


What Sorts of Technology Can Be Used in Direct Mail Marketing?

There seems to be an exponential growth of technological innovations used alongside direct mail campaigns. It is often difficult to keep up with all the new innovations given the frantic pace in which the marketing technology world evolves. This article will help you get up to speed with the most pivotal technologies that may be helpful for your next direct mail marketing campaign.

If you're reticent about combining traditional direct mail marketing with technology innovations, you're certainly not alone. It can be daunting for companies who are used to crafting their marketing collateral in a certain way to be then faced with making it engaging for today's technology-minded consumer. Thankfully, there are simple ways in which you can make use of technology in your 2015 direct mail marketing campaigns and beyond.

Let's take a look at some of the chief innovations and tools that any company should consider using. Those in the list below have tangible benefits which will help your engagement, revenue, and brand recognition soar when used properly.


Augmented Reality

Best described as literally bringing your postcards to life, augmented reality is an interactive technology that will let you engage with the postcard in 3D. This is done by using a smartphone or tablet app to scan certain images found on your postcard.

Let's look at an example of how you would use this in a campaign. If your company sells a product such as a video game, and you want them to view a preview, you could send out a brochure to your clients or potential customers layered with an augmented reality overlay. When they view it with their smart device, you could show them a demo of the game in action. This is just one example. Many companies are now beginning to witness the potential benefits in using highly advanced and innovative technology like augmented reality as part of their direct mail marketing campaigns.

Given the relative immaturity of augmented reality and the potential costs associated with it, it might not be the sort of technology you would consider implementing immediately. However, if you're an established company looking to create a genuinely unique and engaging direct mail marketing campaign, you'll struggle to find something more unusual than augmented reality.

Keep in mind that the costs associated with using augmented reality with your direct mail marketing campaign include any assets you would need to develop, such as short product videos and demos. But if you are after a form of technology that can add a real pop to your brochures, postcards, and other forms of marketing, test out the wow factor of augmented reality.


QR Codes

QR codes are by no means a new innovation, but they are still relatively under­utilised in direct mail marketing. Like augmented reality, QR codes can add an extra level of powerful engagement.

Essentially a scaled back version of Augmented Reality, QR codes are a straightforward 2D barcode that can be scanned with your smartphone. It will then send the user to a webpage on their phone filled with additional information, sign up forms, or practically anything you can think of that will encourage your audience to engage.

A QR code can be easily incorporated into your direct mail postcard, but relies on your postcard recipient's scanning capabilities.

As QR codes become more mainstream, the scanning apps on smartphones have become more common. Since the pixelated box is easily created, customization is simple and can easily take the reader directly to a targeted page on your website while you track engagement. Some of the main ways in which companies are successfully deploying QR codes as part of their direct mail campaigns include:

● Direct your customers to a specific campaign, offer, or promotional landing page on your website

● Link through to a limited time offer, promotion, sale, or event online that will then drive the leads to your retail store

● Send customers to an email newsletter signup page so they can receive special information and offers. Later, their email can then be used for future marketing activities.


Google Adwords / Remarketing

When strategically planning your marketing mix, Google Adwords Remarketing and direct mail marketing can be great allies. Google Remarketing and postcards may seem like very different platforms, but there are many similarities between the two which makes them ideal partners in achieving impressive business results.

For example, both postcards and Google Adwords Remarketing are specifically geared towards targeted campaigns that let you hone in on the right audience. Typically speaking, direct mail lets you target specific demographics in offline audiences, whereas, Google Remarketing lets you target online audiences. Combining the two will allow you to use data to monitor activity within specific demographics to help you gain a greater understanding of your audience.

You can use a combination of Google Adwords Remarketing and postcards to generate interest around a specific type of product, commodity, event, or service.

Many brands are now beginning to pair their direct mail campaigns with Google Adword Remarketing. This might seem daunting, but it is actually quite a straightforward process.

Outlined below is one way in which you can leverage both direct mail and Google Adwords Remarketing for your next campaign:

1. Use the Google Adwords Remarketing tool to target users who visit your website from a direct mail campaign

2. Add Google Remarketing code to your website, so that it frequently incorporates your message in the user's online activity.

3. Send targeted postcards to your prospects that redirect them to your website or specific landing pages. This ensures accurate tracking of the effectiveness of your postcard.

4. Track postcard engagement by tracking downloads of specific forms such as registration or offer transactions, etc.

5. Use Google Remarketing to display follow-up ads to postcard recipients throughout their future web searches

When combining tactics of Google Remarketing and postcards, it's important to ensure your landing page is as impressive as your postcard design. Creating a consistent campaign can improve overall brand recognition, furthering engagement and long-term brand loyalty.


Near Field Communication

Last but not least in our list of technologies comes in the form of near field communication (NFC). Though this isn't something that is being heavily used by marketing departments presently, don't be surprised if it becomes a mainstay of marketing techniques in the near future.

NFC, put simply, is triggered when a sensor (typically a smartphone or similar device) is in close proximity and can be used to deliver targeted, relevant information to a consumer.

Due to advancements in the technology surrounding NFC, it is now possible to print postcard correspondence on NFC­-enabled paper without the need to use physical chips. This means that if the recipient of your postcard has their smartphone near them, you can connect with them directly via the data sent from the NFC paper you've used.

This is an incredible piece of technology which really could bolster the world of direct mail marketing. It will certainly become more prevalent as more marketing departments understand the proper implementation of this tool with their prospective consumers in mind.


Increased ROI

The ultimate objective of these technologies is to use mail as a tool to reach prospects and customers offline and encourage them to engage with your brand online. As response rates and redemptions increase, marketing departments can showcase their success in positive ROI.

Adopting a multi­channel approach that integrates technology with traditional direct mail items such as brochures and postcards is unquestionably the direction which professional marketers are taking. Companies that want to enhance their brand recognition and revenue will need to follow suit.

It remains the case that postcards have so many tangible benefits such as tactile touch and feel, and more importantly, a 100% open rate. Layering technologies such as geo-targeting through physical locations as well as online activity makes the mail channel even more effective at grabbing attention. Then, you can keep your prospects moving through the consideration funnel with frequent and consistent communications.


Segment Your Database

Segmenting your customer or prospect database can help you capitalize on the benefits technology brings to the direct mail marketer. This ensures that campaign dollars are spent only on the prospects most likely to purchase, therefore engagement data is a better snapshot of your ideal customer. This can lead to a better understanding of your target audience and reduce budget waste in future campaigns.

Database segmentation is inherently important when it comes to all direct mail marketing but is particularly vital to campaigns that integrate these new technology elements. Incorporating technology in your postcard campaign can increase overall cost, but with the latest direct mail marketing capabilities, it's easy to control the consumers you reach.


Use Google Analytics

Using web analytics tools like Google Analytics to measure the traffic that your website is receiving is a great means of establishing how best to formulate your direct mail strategy. Using hard data will help you to improve the engagement in all of your marketing efforts. For example, if a piece of content on your website is particularly popular and receiving a high level of social interaction, chances are it's a good topic or message to test with your next postcard.


Always Remember the Goal

As marketing technology advances, it's important to remember your end goal, stick to a strategy, and consider your audience. Marketing tools are useful ways of listening to your customers and gaining a better understanding of their preferred communication methods. Keep the business goals in mind when researching the best technology to incorporate in your marketing mix. Obtaining and maintaining a positive ROI is often the simplified end goal, so carefully prioritize when testing your tactics and messages. Properly implementing technology with your postcards can make your budget go further, lead to more impactful messaging, but it's all reliant on understanding your audience better.