Technology Meets Direct Mail – Video, Sound and Other Techniques

As technology allows the internet to become increasingly individualized, the same holds true for direct mail. This form of advertising is slowly becoming irresistible for companies as well as their targeted customers.

In times of Facebook, Instagram and other Social Media platforms, where individualization of an advert is a matter of a mouse click, one might expect direct mail to lose importance. It might be less open for such individualizations. Especially campaigns with a large audience are difficult to personally address. But as technology allows the internet to become increasingly individualized, the same holds true for direct mail, as there is an immense range of possibilities to develop an outstanding direct mail campaign. This form of advertising is slowly becoming irresistible for companies as well as their targeted customers.

What’s special about printed mailing is its haptic value. Key aspects of printed devices like the surface, printing and design can be used as attention getters. If technology meets direct mail, this attention is increased as the following examples show.

Using Sounds in Direct Mail

Singing birthday cards are nothing new. They have been around for years and amused presenter and presentee alike. However, it took the industry a long time to incorporate this technology for large marketing campaigns. Not only is the combination of printed devices with sound clearly possible and promising, but its usage for advertising purposes is finally gaining popularity.

The trick behind this technology is a sound chip, an integrated circuit that is able to produce sounds. So, when a printed device is opened, a melody or a recorded message is played, which not only gets the customer’s attention but will stick in his or her memory for a longer time than a simple printed leaflet.

Video Plus Print’s Video Brochures

Similar but even more complex is Video Plus Print’s (VPP) technology. VPP is an award winning manufacturer that managed to merge online and offline marketing strategies by developing video brochures. Inside a printed mailing they include a small HD screen that can play short video clips. The main advantages of video brochures can be found on VPP’s website:

“Having a video screen embedded in a printed device, with interactive buttons, play on demand, rechargeable battery, personalization through variable print or video…it almost always reaches the decision makers desk because it is such a unique personalized concept.”

Gamified Packaging for More Customer Attention

Gamification is a strategy used by HR departments to motivate their workforce and has been adapted by marketing experts to draw a potential customer’s attention to their brand and/or product. Common tools that are used in the context of gamified packaging are augmented reality and QR codes that lead to an online game or short video clip or the like.

The interpack – Processing and Packaging, the world’s leading trade fair for processing and packaging also organized by the Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, made a name of itself, when it introduced a high-class mailing. They used the appeal of gamification and incorporated a liquid blister inside their mailing. By turning the blister around, an air bubble revealed a text that was written behind the liquid.

The marketing industry has been combining the best of both worlds: online and offline. Direct mail is no longer impersonal, one-dimensional and simple. Video, sound and many other devices find usage in numerous direct mail campaigns.

Which of the above mentioned techniques to make direct mail campaigns more attention-grabbing is your favourite one? Did you come across other innovative ideas?