Thursday, November 10, 2016

In Busier Holiday Mail Season, Get Creative to Stand Out

With the mailbox distractions of the election finally past, retail mailers can now focus on the challenge of grabbing recipient attention in a holiday direct mail season that is projected to be even busier than last year's. The U.S. Postal Service just announced that it expects to deliver roughly 15.5 billion cards, letters, flats and packages for the holiday period, with around 600 million packages delivered just between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, representing a 10.5% annual increase. The more successful mail efforts are likely to be those that stand out in the flood of promotions, so if you haven't already come up with something more creative for this year, take some inspiration from Target Marketing magazine's Summer Gould. Her recent article offered four ideas for spiking your creative's holiday punch. First, use direct mail's unique tactile advantages for more interactivity, she suggests, citing endless folds, scratch-and-sniff or coatings as fun options. While it's standard now to urge combining mobile with mail, Gould urges going beyond the standard QR code inclusion this year to augmented reality, a la Pok√©mon Go. She also pushes the envelope, so to speak, by advising consideration of a video direct mailer. This less-used idea is certainly a way to stand out--as long as you can figure out how to make the video both entertaining and promotionally effective. Finally, she supports holiday-inspired die cuts, a proven boon to postcard response but also a way to create more interactive, complex dimensional mailers. "We have even seen mail take on a whole new shape with each unfolded panel as you open it. This is fun for recipients and draws them into the mailer," she notes. To read her article, go to

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