Direct Mail Marketing That Defies the Imagination

We know that a direct mail marketing piece has a higher likelihood of being viewed by the targeted consumer than a digital ad, but the things you can do online to engage the consumer are vast and varied and really cool. A printed marketing piece is static, limited and there’s not much more that can be done to make it engaging than inventing a clever, catchy headline and using bright colors to grab the attention of the recipient. Or is there?

There are some very cool technologies becoming available to step up the consumer experience of your printed mailer and the United States Postal Service is offering an incentive to give them a try with The 2020 Emerging and Advanced Technology Promotion. The program lists seven types of tech that are eligible to receive the discount offered by the program. Read these brief descriptions and let your imagination run wild.

Mixed Reality creates an environment where images or video shows on a screen that allows reality to show through. Using headsets connected to Extended Reality (XR) devises, the consumer can be immersed in a virtual experience that can include sight, sound and touch. A mixed reality experience that relates to the marketing message can blend virtual with the physical. The mailer will have copy that explains the aps and can contain a QR Code of NFC chip to simplify access for the consumer.

Virtual Reality (VR) computer technology recreates a replica of an environment that the user interacts with by artificial sensory experience. The experience must forward the marketing message to qualify for the promotion, and should contain copy that directs the viewer to the aps and devices required.

Digital to Direct Mail technology turns things around based on a consumer’s online behavior. A personalized mail piece is triggered after a digital experience. So instead of the mailer driving the reader to a digital address, the online site will trigger a custom mail piece to be mailed within two days of the online behavior. Using Variable Data Printing techniques, the mailers can be designed to appeal to the consumer’s individual purchasing behavior.

Another amazing technology is Near Field Communication (NFC). Using an embedded NFC chip, the mailer can be placed near or be touched by an enabled device such as a smart phone, tablet or other NFC chipped product to engage in an online experience.

“Enhanced” Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that is evolving quickly resulting in easier user experience. AR is any experience other than static or popup worded displays. Gamification (mobile game play) video animation and 3D interactive graphics are used to enhance experience.

Video in Print (VP) integrates video content into a printed piece. It is more than just linking to a video online. VP can use translucent paper to allow a static image to become animated when laying over a digital screen, personalized interactive videos, or a shoppable video.

And one more technology that is wildly popular is Integration with Voice Assistants. The mailer should include specific instructions on how to activate a command to engage the virtual assistant to perform a task related to the brand or marketing message.

The USPS recognized how much more powerful these technologies can make a printed mailer and have designed this fantastic program to encourage marketers to explore using them. The 2020 Emerging and Advanced Technology Promotion implements a discount, currently scheduled for March 1 to August 31, 2020 for mailers that incorporate Emerging or Advanced Technology in their design.

This would be a great time to experiment with using these technologies to connect your offline marketing efforts with your online and save a little money while you’re doing it. The team at T/O Printing can help you explore your options and your imagination to come up with a sizzling, high-tech mailer to knock the socks off your targeted consumer.