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5 Direct Mail Marketing Ideas

Written by Jason Groom
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Originally published
August 6 2014,
updated
November 9 2019

We’re always looking for innovative ideas and best practice and, when we find it, we like to share it. Here are 5 of the best that we’ve come across recently and, casting all modesty aside, we’re proud to say that one of them (the final one) is ours!

monarch

 

Monarch Airlines

The difference maker:
Augmented reality and image recognition platform

Without the marketing budgets of the established airlines in the ski market, this augmented reality (AR) campaign helped Monarch punch above its weight by creating engagement and stand-out with opinion-setting adventure skiers. Connecting offline and online worlds delivered Monarch’s best-performing Direct Mail activity to date.

monarch_image2DM is very important in the travel-buying process, creating destination inspiration, but to engage this audience there had to be an immersive experience too.  This led to the double challenge of making the DM pack work (communicating the wealth of information the audience craved) but also delivering a content-rich digital experience. AR transported recipients to the resorts, whetting their appetite for the coming winter and inspiring them to book with Monarch. They were greeted by a video from Chemmy Alcott, Britain’s number one Olympic skier, and invited them to explore the ‘Monarch mountain’ and discover surprises. Users could click through to prices on the Monarch website to facilitate booking. A series of videos were developed with Chemmy, which were hidden across the mountain. The DM pack used a Maltese cross format to ‘build’ a mountain range so that recipients were taken on a journey of discovery as the pack unfolded.

The Results:
The experience delivered over £2.2 million in sales. It broke new ground by creating a wholly new approach to DM for Monarch and introducing the use of AR to the airline category. Monarch’s website saw 21.7% of DM recipients visit. There are still daily interactions with the AR element, with nearly 8,000 interactions from almost 1,750 unique users to date.This augmented reality DM pack generated £2.2 million revenue, an ROI of 18:1.

Source: http://dmaawards.org.uk/

 

homebase

 

Homebase

The difference maker:
Behaviour and trigger marketing

Analysing shopping behaviours showed that speaking to top customers, at the right time, with the right message gave them almost unlimited headroom for spend.

This inspired the plan to spot specific behaviours that indicated a future need, then act quickly to prompt further spend, growing what was dubbed 'Share of  Project'. For instance, a customer buying a kitchen would need tiles, flooring, lighting and paint. After 18 months, there are now 10 triggers that track specific behaviours and leverage opportunities with timely, inspirational and relevant DM.

Over 750 hours analysing different product, purchase and non-purchase behaviours with the greatest opportunities found 10 trigger identifiers. Each communication was personalised around a product the customer had purchased. Dynamic templates made that purchase the feature image, highlighted local store details and included offers competitive in that area. Previously, it had taken eight weeks to go from datapoint collection to comms delivery. So responding quickly enough to be relevant proved to be one of the greatest challenges. Yet, without additional budget, new systems or additional resources, the data management and print processes got DM activity delivered within six days. New systems and channels enabled even quicker responses, in turn allowing trial of different behaviours, such as a discount on paintbrushes following the purchase of tester paint. This was driven by vast amounts of customer data interactions across websites and on- and offline transactions, plus social communities and partners such as Nectar.

The Results:
The programme moved average response rates from 9% to 46%, delivered 2% of total sales (£30.4 million per year) and shifted ROI from 120% to 346%.The programme  now delivers over 2% of total sales and an average ROI of 346% - 2.8 times that of the previous marketing strategy.

Source: http://dmaawards.org.uk/

IKEA

The difference maker:
Relevancy and personalisation

ikeaA clever use of data identified customers with gardens and created a series of personalised weather forecasts, using digital printing to deliver a triggered,  personalised weather forecast for their actual garden.

The campaign identified members with gardens. Using digital printing, weather-responsive, personalised mailers were sent out featuring actual forecasts for each member's garden. On days when the sun came out, so did the DM. Among the usual dreary bills and mailshots, the mailer was literally an unexpected ray of sunshine on members' doorsteps. This piece of good news was enough to brighten up their day and, more importantly, get them thinking about getting outside in the garden. So the mailer drove to an online garden planner, designed to raise awareness of IKEA's outdoor range, with a money-off voucher to make sure they acted soon.

The Results:

The DM delivered a staggering 4.6% increase in visits to IKEA to make more of the garden. Overall, it contributed to a massive increase in IKEA FAMILY members visiting the store, increasing outdoor product transactions by 55% and sales by a blazing hot 34%

Source: http://dmaawards.org.uk/

 

Co-op

The difference maker:
Timely

The challenge faced by the Co-op was to keep regular marketing communications fresh and engaging. The Co-op did it by creating interest in the Chinese New Year. They sent out a door drop campaign targeting homes within a three-mile radius of their 3,000 stores, celebrating the holiday with a range of offers and discounts for noodles, sauces and other examples of authentic Chinese food. Customers were encouraged to use the mailer while they shopped and buy products that would help them celebrate – and enjoy – the Chinese New Year.

The Results:
In January, the Co-op mailer was voted the nation’s favourite door-to-door campaign. It also scooped a People’s Pick award from a Nielsen panel of 10,000 members of the public. We think it’s a great example of how you can make a message aimed at millions of people relevant and exciting.

http://www.royalmail.com/

 

v4p_direct_mailer

Vets4Pets

The difference maker:
Relevancy and personalisation

Reminding customers of their pets’ vaccinations and other periodic treatments had previously been undertaken by individual practices, but with varying degrees of success. The move to a centralised database meant a business-wide programme was required that utilised species, practice and vaccination date data.

Starting with a “blank canvas”, and broken into 2 phases, a weekly mailing programme was launched with species, reminder letter type, and practice detail variants. The second phase, which rolled out in 2013, included sub-branding, breed-specific imagery for dogs and colour-specific imagery for cats and utilised more than 40 letter templates and 100+ practice details meaning that the number of letter permutations now runs in to 1000s.

The Results:
The DM now delivers a staggering 52% response rate on most segments and reduced the unit cost by 10%.

 

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