The onset of digital marketing (now a $100 billion industry) doesn’t necessarily spell the end of direct mail marketing. Among others, those in the financial service industry (banks, credit unions, and investment companies), direct mail marketing continues to provide an exceptional opportunity to connect with current clients, bring in new ones, and spread brand awareness – it just takes a bit of ingenuity to make sure your direct mail campaign is as effective as possible.
Direct mail marketing has always been a mainstay of the finance industry. Delivering the right message to the right consumer’s mailbox is one of the most well-established ways to maintain a wide demographic reach while offering personalized, credible messages that comply with industry standards.
Direct mail remains incredibly influential for consumers of all groups, but standing out from the crowd is the ultimate challenge. These are six best direct mail trends gaining steam in the financial sector:
1. Use Direct Mail as a Complement to Digital Advertising
Digital ads and direct mail don’t need to exist as separate campaigns. Banks, loan offices, credit unions, and even local financial service providers are extending the effectiveness of both their direct mail efforts and their digital efforts by combining the two into a cohesive advertising experience.
Together, print and digital ad campaigns can strengthen your message and drive additional traffic to your website. A good example of how to do this is to send out direct mail instructing consumers on how to access digital assets like whitepapers, e-books, QR codes, and social media accounts. The ultimate goal, of course, is to drive more eyes to your digital campaign without ending up in a consumer’s spam folder.
2. Personalize Messages with SwagIQ
Everybody likes to receive a gift, especially one that’s a surprise. Financial institutions trying to connect with high-level clients are greatly increasing their direct mail success by including a little something special along with their printed materials, like a branded USB flash drive or a box of assorted artisan chocolates.
Gifts like these serve two important functions when combined with direct mail: they make the recipient happy, and they make the brand and the message more memorable. Light a spark under a stalled deal by delivering something special right to your client’s desk and they’re unlikely to forget it.
3. Embrace Minimalism
Part of the reason that digital advertising is popular is because it gets your message across quickly and succinctly. By translating this to the physical world, financial institutions are utilizing snail mail and direct mail campaigns to convey their message at a tangible glance.
Maximizing white space and minimizing text are two big ways to achieve this. This serves not only to mimic some of the efficiencies of digital campaigns but also to modernize the look of your printed materials. Sometimes, something as simple as a postcard with a short and clearly stated purpose and a URL is all you need to make that connection with consumers.
4. Automate of Direct Mail Campaigns
One problem that has long plagued direct mail is the length of time it takes. From inception to delivery, conceptualizing, developing, proofing, approving, and printing materials can take weeks – if not months – which doesn’t always gel with a tight marketing strategy.
But today’s savvy financial businesses are using automation to speed up the process and get their campaigns out faster. Marketing software provides templates for high-quality printed materials that individual branches or divisions can personalize for specific demographics or clients within set guidelines. Proofs and approvals can be done quickly, with no need for back-and-forth email chains. Such a significant reduction in campaign creation means institutions can focus more on what really counts when it comes to marketing: seeing how well a campaign performs.
5. Use Innovative Direct Mail Formats
Traditional letters convey the authority that financial businesses require in their print campaigns, but they aren’t the only way to achieve that. Many institutions are turning to more innovative, formats for their direct mail, including dimensional mail and packages, prize opportunities (like scratch-offs stuck in self-mailers), and tactile mailers (think a foam credit card to introduce new rates). The key to making creative forms of direct mail that are just as useful as standard letters is making sure to use high-quality printing – and to always personalize your messages.
6. Utilize Direct Mail to Close the Deal
Direct mail offers a much more targeted way of following up on previous conversations than basic email does. Financial institutions are using creative print tactics to reinforce their efforts for both consumers and clients. For instance, sending a personalized note, presentation, and branded gift to lost prospects could reinvigorate a conversation that’s long since halted. Pair the mailer with an automated digital communication – say, an appointment request – to drive the message home and finally get the result you’re looking for.
Businesses across the financial sector are benefiting from new innovations in direct mail that make it easier to connect, communicate, and inspire. Make sure to combine print mailers with digital advertising for the most effective and well-rounded marketing campaigns and create ads that both boost your authority and instigate action.