Direct Mailing with Spectacular Effect Cards: How to Inspire your Customers!

Direct mailing, a rather classic marketing discipline, is currently experiencing a veritable revival. Although – or perhaps because – there is more and more online advertising, well-designed analogue direct marketing can be the ideal way to attract new customers or retain existing customers for the long term.

However, designing a successful direct mail campaign is a complex process and presents some challenges. To help you overcome these difficulties, we have created this simple guide for you. Here you will learn about the benefits of direct mail for your brand, the key elements of a successful campaign and the mistakes to avoid.

Plus: Instead of just talking about the possibilities, in this article we show you exclusive best practice examples of direct mailings that we have successfully implemented with and for our clients in the past.

Sophisticated pop-up mailing: invitation card with stage motif

Why print wins: 5 advantages of direct mailing

In the meantime, many companies have reduced their analogue advertising measures to a minimum and use their marketing budget exclusively for digital advertising. Yet a well-planned direct mailing campaign can be the perfect complement to online ads, because advertising by traditional mail has various advantages over email marketing, banner ads or social media campaigns.

There is little competition in the mailbox

Although there is no exact study on the number of daily advertising contacts, it is assumed that every person is exposed to at least 500 advertising messages on average every day – especially online and while we watch TV. So your customers have to click through a barrage of banner ads, pop-ups and annoying promotional emails every day. At some point, a veritable “advertising mash” is created, which most people try to block out with ad blockers and spam filters. In fact, promotional emails are now only opened by about 20% of recipients, the rest mercilessly end up in the trash or spam folder.

So while online you have to compete with hundreds or even thousands of competitors for the best positions in Google Ads, Facebook Ads and co., offline you can easily attract the interest of your target group. Since many companies underestimate the power of analogue direct marketing, there are usually only very few advertising offers from competitors in your customers’ mailboxes. Your advantage: undivided attention.

Moreover, many people usually open their mail very consciously and like to engage actively and in a concentrated way with the letters and postcards that are sent to them. Some customers may sit down at the dining table with their mail in peace and quiet with a cup of tea or coffee and look through all the letters carefully. If you are one of the few companies that stand out here in the pile of letters with an appealing direct mailing, you can persuade your customer to (re)buy.

Your reputation increases and the customer feels valued

Another plus point of direct mail is that customers feel more valued by haptic print advertising and messages they receive from a company.

Exclusive, high-quality mailing invitation to an online sale for VIP customers.

A study conducted by Royal Mail in 2017 confirms this. The research shows that around 70% of customers feel more valued by direct mailings and they also get a better impression of the advertising company.

In fact, printed messages are perceived as more trustworthy than their digital counterpart. This fact is due to the fact that people’s sense of touch is directly linked to their sense of truth.

You can demonstrate your product or service quality.

The tactile nature of analogue mail not only makes your advertising messages appear more serious and credible, but can also increase the perception of the quality of your products and services.

The surface, structure and texture of the paper on which you have your messages printed are immediately associated by the recipient with the qualitative characteristics of your offering.

A high-quality, refined direct mailing shows your customer that you also value the highest quality.

Printed messages stay in the mind better and longer

To convey a message as impressively as possible, as many of the recipient’s senses as possible should be addressed. Online, the sensory appeal is limited purely to visual and auditory stimuli, as neither the sense of touch, nor the sense of smell or taste can be addressed.

Your customers will (probably) not bite into your mailings either, but you can stimulate the recipient’s sense of smell and especially touch. And that pays off! If your customer touches the mailing with his hands while looking at it, his brain stores this memory in his brain for longer. This “real” experience that the recipient has with the mailing therefore makes it more likely and longer to become part of their memory.

There are virtually no limits to the freedom of design

One of the best things about designing direct mailings is that there are virtually no limits to your imagination. If you have an experienced and professional print partner like Seismografics at your side, you can turn almost any idea into reality.

Special pop-up effect card where an aeroplane unfolds when opened. 

Eye-catching designs and formats, special, high-quality materials or a unique, unusual experience when opening the mailing are guaranteed to catch the customer’s interest.

Best Practice: Direct Mailing Ideas & Inspirations

As just described, there are endless design possibilities in the world of direct marketing. One of the most popular forms of direct mailing is the effect mailing.

As the name suggests, effect mailing is about sending customers mail with an effect. This includes, for example, effect cards or special cardboard boxes with inserts.

The most popular cards with our customers include:

  • The slat card – The perfect medium to display a complete change of motif. By pulling a tab, a new motif appears on the card.
  • The propeller card – The effect card with that certain twist. This card has a circular element (e.g. with your logo) which rotates when the card is pulled out or inserted into the envelope.
  • The Magic Card – If it can be a little magic: This card transforms a line drawing into a 4-colour image as soon as the card is pulled out.
  • The Pop-Up Book – 3D surprise: Up to four 3-dimensional spaces unfold from a flat book.
  • The Jumping Cube – A great 3D mailer with a guaranteed surprise effect. The cube is first placed flat in an envelope and then unfolds jerkily when unwrapped. Also possible as a pyramid or globe.

Of course, there are various other forms of effect mailings. We would be happy to show you more examples on request. In addition, you can come to us with any idea or suggestion and we will do our utmost to implement it.

Lamelle map: By pulling the tab, a new image appears on the right-hand side

That’s how it’s bound to work: Tips for direct mailing

A particularly fancy effect card design alone is no guarantee that your direct marketing campaign will be successful. However, if you follow a few basic tips, nothing will stand in the way of the success of your mailing campaign.

As with any form of advertising, the same applies to direct mail: well written is half sold. Only if you use convincing texts in your mailings will the customer be persuaded to buy. In addition, a clear call-toaction should always be placed so that the customer also knows what you want from him. Tracking your campaign success works best if you print a QR code or offer individual discount vouchers. If the customer scans the code or redeems their voucher, it can be tracked exactly that they converted through your direct mail campaign.

In addition, the design of the mailings should match your positioning. For example, if you sell minimalist furniture in plain colours and your overall corporate design is also kept unobtrusive, you should not use extremely bright colours and flashy designs in your mailings.

Regardless of a company’s positioning, however, one thing can be recommended: Awaken the play instinct in your customers! Everyone is fascinated by technology and small everyday gimmicks that bring a bit of fun and variety into everyday life.

Effect mailing in the form of a jumping cube that unfolds in a flash when opened.

Unfortunately, there are also a few “popular” mistakes that can often be observed in direct marketing campaigns.

  • Too high a frequency – Don’t send your direct mailings to your customers too often, otherwise the “wow” effect will wear off quickly and your letters will go straight into the waste paper. Direct mailings are especially worthwhile for exclusive offers and occasions (e.g. when it is the customer’s birthday).
  • Poorly maintained customer management system – A well-maintained customer database (CRM) is the basis for every successful mailing campaign. If your CRM is incomplete, faulty or outdated, you should first spruce it up before launching a campaign. Otherwise, the letters will not arrive or embarrassing personalisation errors will occur.
  • Unreliable print service provider – A mailing campaign is only as good as the print service provider you work with. If you work with an unreliable print service provider, the quality of the entire campaign will suffer.

Conception and implementation of the direct mailing campaign: A strong partner is essential

Having a good partner at your side is absolutely essential to handle the entire direct marketing project smoothly and effectively.

Thanks to decades of experience, Seismografics can guarantee you the best advice and perfect campaign execution. We have designed and executed hundreds of direct mail campaigns with our clients in the past and know exactly what is important. Based on this concentrated practical knowledge, we can develop an effective strategy with you that will delight your customers.

Our interdisciplinary team of marketing, design, logistics and print experts offers you a unique all-inone solution and accompanies you step by step in the execution of your campaign – from brainstorming and conception to logistical planning and the ready-to-send effect mailing that finally lands in your customer’s letterbox.

Our project approach is as personally tailored to you as the mailings are to your target group. We are aware that every brand has its own identity and every company has individual needs, and it is our top priority to fulfil these needs – we are only satisfied with the project when you are too.

Conclusion – Direct mailings as a powerful element of a successful cross-media strategy

Print advertising is far from being a relic of the past. Online advertising is gaining in importance, but direct mailings as part of a well-designed cross-media campaign can be a powerful complement and an additional valuable touchpoint with the brand.

Remember: every unused communication channel also always means losing part of your target group. Your customers will thank you if you allow them to interact with you both digitally and analogue.

A good direct mailing inevitably attracts your customer’s attention and stays in their memory for a long time. While there are some challenges when planning a direct mail campaign, with Seismografics you have a strong and experienced print service provider on your side who will work with you to plan and implement the best possible effect mailing strategy.

Contact us now for a free, no-obligation consultation!

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