The future of direct mail marketing is that it is here to stay. As shown in one our previous articles, even in the digital age we live in, direct mail is still a strong medium for showing off your business. This is because of the more personalised experience it brings, the 100% delivery rate and the fact that there is less competition utilising this medium. In this article, I will be highlighting how future direct mail marketing may change. And in turn how you can utilise new technology to obtain a higher level of consumer engagement.
Augmented reality – or AR – is a technology which superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view1. This technology is already here and is yet to be used more widely. Your business could use this technology by releasing an app for mobile devices that can interpret a code or pattern to show a 3D model of the product you are trying to sell. Alternatively, instead of a 3D model showing up, you could instead link a video to that code. This will allow the consumer to get a greater idea of what service or product you are selling. It also allows you to include much more detail in your mail shot without wasting space on the physical piece. It also encourages the consumer to interact with your piece – making them more likely to eventually do business with you.
Near Field Communication
Near field communication (NFC) is a set of communication protocols that allow two devices to interact with each other and establish a connection between them2. Companies have already been utilising this – from Nintendo’s ‘Amiibo’ to Apple Pay. In the future, you may be able to include a NFC chip within your mail piece which will allow the transfer of data to the consumer’s smart phone. This transfer is very quick and easy and will allow you to provide the consumer with whatever information you wish to share. It also encourages the consumer to interact with the mailshot, making them more likely to remember your business and buy your products/services.
Linking the Physical and Digital Worlds
Direct mail is going to stay relevant in the future with its ability to link something physical to something virtual. Augmented reality and near field communication allow you to do just this. Augmented reality allows you to bring your direct mail piece to life. This enables the consumer to get a feel for what your product is like without leaving the comfort of their home. Similarly, NFC chips allow for the seamless transfer of product data to the consumer’s phone making it much easier for them to find more out about your product online. Both these methods make it easier and more enjoyable for consumer to get in contact with your business.
Direct mail is here to stay. Ever evolving alongside technology, keeping it relevant in the future may mean incorporating technology within your future direct mail mailshot.
1: Augmented Reality definition: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/augmented_reality
2: Article on what NFC is: https://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/what-is-nfc-and-why-is-it-in-your-phone-948410