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Figure 2: Factors Involved in Reading/Reviewing Direct Mail

As you develop your direct mail campaigns, you must plan for multiple touchpoints if you hope to reach your audience. Deciding ahead of time on the number of communications that will be sent can make it easier to design and deliver messages that resonate. The Power of Segmentation By identifying subgroups within your targeted audience, you can deliver more meaningful and tailored direct mail messages. Some of the more popular categories for segmentation include age, gender, income, geographic location, employment status, and marital status. In the past, it might have been acceptable to use one message and one design for everyone on your mailing list. To be sure, this was the cheapest and most efficient option. In today’s market, though, a “one size fits all” approach simply won’t cut it. Consumers expect the companies that they do business with to treat them as individuals, so marketers must adopt a new way of thinking when developing their direct mail. Fortunately, the digital and inkjet presses on the market make it easy to create targeted direct mail pieces that are truly relevant to the recipient. Keypoint Intelligence’s research confirms that personalized and relevant content can be a huge influence in prompting consumers to read their direct mail. In fact, nearly half of consumers state that personalized and relevant content was the factor that made them

most likely to read or review their printed mail. This should come as no surprise — a mailer promoting a serene, relaxing vacation destination will likely fall flat for an active family that is seeking excitement and entertainment. The chart above also shows that consumers cite a familiar and trusted sender as the second highest influencer of reading direct mail. This supports the earlier data point about gaining traction with multiple touchpoints. In marketing, familiarity comes with frequency. Most importantly, the data in the previous chart demonstrates that personalized and relevant content is roughly three times more important than design/imagery and four times more important than interactivity. If you hope to attract attention with your direct mail, it is more important than ever before not to put your target audience in the same bucket as everyone else. So first things first — send offers that resonate with the recipient’s needs and interests, then enhance that experience with great design and engaging content. With the proper foundation, print enhancements can also work well by breathing new life into an otherwise stagnant format. The use of unique colors or metallic elements, interesting paper textures, and creative finishing processes can generate a tactile and tangible experience between the brand and customer. Effective direct mail must also include response mechanisms that are easy to

use. Even the most beautifully designed marketing piece will fall short if it takes too much effort to engage and respond. Today’s technologies enable a quick and easy connection from a direct mail piece to a website or phone conversation. In addition, quick response (QR) codes can really nudge your audience to perform a desired call to action. The Bottom Line The deconstruction of a direct mail campaign points directly back to strategy. A solid strategy requires an understanding of what your target audience wants. Your direct mail piece could be a true work of art, but it will fail to pay dividends or move the needle if you haven’t already established an understanding of your ideal audience. Once you have this understanding, segment your images, messaging, and approach to connect with your audience in a meaningful way. With today’s production inkjet presses, marketers have more opportunity than ever to improve their dismount and really stick the landing.  Karen Kimerer of Keypoint Intelligence has experienced the many challenges of expanding current market opportunities and securing new business. She has developed a systematic approach to these opportunities, addressing the unique requirements of becoming a leader in our changing industry. She is well-versed in 1:1 marketing, web-to-print, direct mail, book publishing, supply chain management, data segmentation, channel integration, and photo products. MailingSystemsTechnology.com | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2021

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