Posted By Seamus Barton
Magazine Direct Mail Marketing Trends
Each year seems to present new technological developments that will “revolutionize” marketing. And yet, year after year, statistics show that some of the most classic forms of marketing — like magazine creation and direct mail distribution — continue to be among the most effective ways to reach people.
As we begin a new year, let’s take a look at some trends that we can expect in the magazine/direct mail industry, and find out how you can leverage these channels to get your message in front of as many people as possible.
1. Digital Ads Keep Declining
One reason printed material like magazines and other direct mail pieces are so effective is that they’re distinct and increasingly unique—especially in a world where we’re regularly bombarded with digital advertising.
Now that services like Facebook and Google can target you with ads that seem to follow you around the internet for days or even weeks, users are growing wary of sharing too much data online and taking steps to block digital ads altogether.
In 2018, 30% of all internet users used some type of ad-blocking software, and that number is expected to continue to grow. As users increasingly take steps to shield themselves from digital ads, direct mail marketing and magazines will continue to gain traction, and prove even more effective at reaching your target audience.
In addition to standing out more than easy-to-block digital ads, print marketing also leaves a stronger impression on the reader. Because printed marketing material provides readers with something tangible, it creates a more tactile—and therefore more memorable—experience.
This advantage will become increasingly important as digital ads continue to proliferate, only to be forgotten almost as quickly as they arrived.
2. Magazines and Direct Mail will Drive Video
For years now, print advertising has included calls to action that drive people to their websites or online platforms, and that trend shows no signs of slowing down.
But in 2020 it will start to take a slightly different form, as brands increasingly use magazines and direct mail pieces to drive not just to a text-filled website, but to video content. Video content has been on the rise for years, and Cisco estimates that in 2020 it will make up more than 85% of all internet traffic.
Fortunately, one of the big reasons for video’s rise is the fact that the cost of creating video content has dropped precipitously, meaning that companies who are already creating editorial magazine content can repurpose it into video content cost-effectively, allowing them to extend the content’s reach and maximize their ROI.
3. Consumers Expect Cross-Channel Marketing
Increasingly, consumers have come to expect a certain degree of uniformity across marketing channels.
If you’re sending out a printed direct mail magazine in 2020, consumers will expect that you’ll also have a dedicated website – or at least a subsection of your company’s larger website – that uses the same colours, wordmarks, imagery, and brand voice.
They’ll also expect to see these design elements carry over into email, social media and any other channels, whether digital or physical, that you use to extend your brand.
By integrating your direct mail marketing pieces with your email marketing and other digital strategies, you strengthen your message and reinforce it in the minds of your target audience.
They might check their mail this week and find a well designed, high-gloss magazine they can flip through. Next week, they might open their inbox to find an email newsletter with the same masthead, containing bonus content or a video, as discussed above.
The good news is that this cross-channel-integration is not just better for messaging, but for your own internal processes. Once you invest the upfront time to design a magazine or piece of editorial content, you can leverage the effort you’ve put into that piece by repurposing its design across all other channels.
4. Consumers Expect Personalization
While consumers seem to be tired of digital ads, they’ve also become accustomed to the degree of personalization that digital offers—and they now expect to see it in other forms of advertising as well.
The good news is that personalizing direct mail is easier than you might think. For instance, if you’re sending out a direct mail magazine to your mailing list, every person on your list might get the same magazine. Yet you could personalize the message by including an insert or introductory letter that addresses them personally.
You might have one insert for returning customers saying “we hope to see you again,” and one for prospects saying, “we hope to have the opportunity to serve you.”
Working some form of personalization into your direct mail magazines will help give you the best of both worlds: you’ll make your marketing piece feel more personal and relevant to your audience while reaping all the benefits offered by a printed marketing piece.
Direct and Online Mail Continue to Integrate
In 2020, direct mail will remain a dynamic and effective marketing channel that can help you make a strong impact on your prospects and customers, especially if you opt to send an editorial piece of magazine content to your mailing list.
By harnessing some or all of the trends listed above, you can make an even stronger impression on your audience, and make your direct mail magazine more effective.
At Troi Mailing Services, we know the ins and out of magazine printing and mailing, and can help you get a high-quality magazine in the hands of your target audience.