Direct Mail trends in 2018

It’s no secret that direct mail has rekindled a romance with marketers looking to stand out from competitors. We love working with clients that are willing to lead the way with exciting design methods, marketing technologies and mailing strategies which intertwine direct mail with their digital and offline efforts.

Here are six trends we've seen unfolding in 2018.

1.       Building direct mail into the buyer's journey

We predict the biggest trend in 2018 to be direct mail automation and the inclusion of direct mail in the buyer journey. By tagging web pages, you can trigger letters, cards or postcards at certain stages of the buyer’s journey. The key is to focus on the right imagery, content, messaging and calls to action for each step of the journey. Digital print technology is faster than ever and Mailshop automate much of the process, triggering direct mail sends to customers with an abandoned basket, new subscribers, first time buyers, frequent buyers and more.

2.       Story telling

Everyone loves a good story, so this is nothing new. However, as direct mail is built into the buyer’s journey, storytelling is a crucial aspect of direct mail pieces in 2018. Strong, relevant visual imagery combined with an aspect of brand narrative is compelling. This is different to the informational messaging one might be bombarded with online. This story is about your brand and the interaction of your customer with your brand.

3.       Minimalistic designs

The letter box is a far cry from the cluttered digital landscape. Many audiences look forward to a simple, honest message that is clear, relevant and to the point. Respect negative space and keep it authentic. We’re crushing on the ‘New Minimalism’ creative trend identified and described by Shutterstock here. Showing that minimalism can be bold and colourful in 2018 while still respecting clear space and fluid lines.

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4.       Bold colour choices

There's a new world of possibility in digital print with our new Iridesse printer  featuring metallic, clear and WHITE inks. Bold colours and 80’s themed designs have made a huge comeback in the last few years and with the true metallic colour spectrum of the Iridesse, even the on trend holographic effect is achievable. Think bright colours when considering paper stocks to create a direct mail piece that stands out. Brands like Nutella are embracing strong colours in a big way.

5.       Fold in the experience

Getting creative with paper folds can create a fun mail piece that goes beyond touch by requiring people to interact with the piece. A fun creative concept can build a story and build curiosity as the user unfolds their way through the journey. Our Iridesse printer can produce banners up to a length of 1200mm 1 sided and 729mm double sided for major folding potential!

6.        Augmented Reality

Building further on the user experience, we see AR respond to consumers’ increasing demand for novel and emotionally engaging experiences in 2018. Additional content that is worthwhile, fun and easy to use is key to making this more than a gimmick.