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6 Jan

7 Creative Direct Mail Campaign Ideas to Inspire your Marketing Efforts

Author: Megan Rainey

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Direct Mail

Creative Postcards

Direct Mail has been revolutionized through the use of data and technology in the last decade. Check out these top 7 creative direct mail campaigns that are shaking up the mailbox. 

7 Creative Direct Mail Campaign Ideas to Inspire your Marketing Efforts

These days, traditional direct mail marketing campaigns have evolved and improved and are replacing old campaign design methods. Traditional design of direct mail is often seen as antiquated, especially in the digital age. Markets are crowded and the internet is flourishing in aspiring content. Creativity with direct mail is needed. 

Invigorate your business with new and creative direct mail marketing campaigns to introduce yourself to potential customers. Targeting your customers through unique and personal direct mail methods can help improve brand awareness, resulting in increased customer retention. Here are 7 creative direct mail campaign ideas to inspire your campaign efforts and increase customer engagement. 

Design and Encourage Group Effort

To encourage companies, large businesses, and even families to use your product or service, design a direct mail campaign that can bring your targeted customers together. Earth Hour encouraged targeted customers to save energy by turning off their lights during this hour. In order to promote this event, Earth Hour created a campaign design placing yellow candles in boxes and sending to CEOs of electrical energy businesses. The creativity comes from the front of the box, which was designed to look like the front of a building. When the customer pulled the yellow candle out of the box, it looked as though the building was turning all of its lights off. 

The companies that supported the “lights out” event led a 260% increase in saved energy. This direct campaign awareness design brought communities together, and made them much more aware of the businesses objective. Design a creative direct mail campaign that uses your business in a clever way to promote the value of your product / service.

Offer a Free Sample of the Product

Sending target customers a free sample of your product is a great way to create and increase brand awareness. Consumers enjoy the surprise in finding a small token of gratitude disguised as regular mail. In fact, Nestle did this exact direct mail campaign with their Kit Kat Chunky bar.

Nestle sent a piece of mail that read, “We’re sorry we couldn’t deliver your parcel” card to the doors of their targeted customers. The reason? “It was too chunky to fit through the letterbox.” They encourage people to receive their free candy bar from a local newsagent’s shop. Straightforward, eye-catching pieces of mail gave Nestle a surge in Kit Kat purchases. 

When creating your own mail campaign, design a sample that treats your targeted customers individually for a personal touch. Design mailing samples that encourage customer feedback. After receiving this little “surprise”, consumers may be more inclined to post their findings on social media, further spreading awareness. 

Twist Your Product to Fit a Theme

Consider developing a mail campaign that supports an approaching holiday. And, add a little twist to the product to provide a fun experience for your targeted customers. 

We all love fortune cookies, right? It’s both a ritual at the end of the meal and entertainment.

Hell Pizza created a box of “Mis-fortune Cookies,” a unique way of entertaining their customers outside of a normal context. In this box of cookies, customers could find fortunes that read, “Help! I am being held in a Chinese bakery!” instead of messages of good fortune. Each one of the cookies had their own unique mis-fortune. Twisting a fun piece of your product to appear abnormal during your marketing campaign can increase brand awareness. 

Make Your Mail Unusual

Take the time to design your mail around your brand in a unique way. By thinking outside the box, you may find that your mail can relay your product's intent better through mail that looks unusual in the mailbox. This can be done in a variety of ways such as a fold-out letter, cut-outs that pop when the letter is opened, or making your mail look nothing like a typical letter. 

A real world example comes from Papa Johns, who send physical paper versions of their pizzas to their customers. On each slice was a coupon for pizza deals that could be used to order food. Taking advantage of unusual mail design may grab the attention of your target audience far quicker than other direct mail campaign methods. 

Design an Experience for Customers

Griffiths, Gibson, and Ramsay Productions, a Vancouver based recording studio, created a marketing campaign where people were sent a working cardboard record player. Those who received the cardboard simply had to set up the record player and spin their own records. Consider adding a fun experience that can be built from your product in your next direct marketing campaign. The creation and application aspects in a direct marketing mail campaign can build positive brand reputation. 

Mimic the Product in the Mail Piece

If you sell a small product, consider delivering direct mail in a tiny envelope. Instead of sending oversized, large letters to sell cars, Smart Car did the complete opposite. Targeted customers found tiny letters in the mail, which showed them how the compact build of the Smart Car was an embodiment of the product. With these creative marketing ideas, your business can stand out with a letter that represents the embodiment of your product or service. 

Add a Personalized Message

The marketing idea of adding personalization in your direct mail campaign shows the customer that you are aware of how they utilize your product or service. HelloFresh sends personalized messages to every customer as a token of thanks for trusting their service. Mailing a personal thank-you message makes customers feel special. Find ways to personalize your messages to every target customer. That way each one of your targeted direct mail campaign customers will feel special. 

Although developing a direct mail campaign can be time consuming, the opportunity to spread awareness can be effective when the campaign design is creative. You are more likely to stand out by using a physical outreach compared to digital outreach found with online advertising. During your next direct mail marketing campaign, use these creative marketing ideas to increase your brand awareness. Utilize new direct mail ideas in your campaigns to keep customers curious and informed about your future products and services. Get creative with these direct mailing techniques today!

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