“Why is marketing for print magazines so outdated?” an industry blog asked after receiving a direct mail offer from a major news magazine that featured all the pizzazz of, well, a 1990s direct mail piece.
Given the creative efforts the magazine industry puts into promoting digital content, the blog, Dead Tree Edition, couldn’t help but point up the irony. However, print publications drive digital content, so magazine subscriptions still need to be sold – even if only to niche audiences. “Being associated with a print magazine has an immensely favorable impact both on a web site’s traffic and its ad rates,” the blog noted.
Still, that doesn’t mean solicitations for print magazines need to be stale, especially when there’s a ton of innovation going on in direct mail these days. Marketers are integrating digital technologies, such as augmented reality or video-in-print, into printed matter, creating a whole new dimension to mail – and boosting the experience for the recipient.
The Postal Service not only recognizes this trend but is encouraging it. Its 2017 Mailing Promotions include three offerings that provide discounts to mailers that incorporate technology or interactive elements into the mailpiece:
- The Mobile Shopping Promotion encourages highlighting the connection between the mailpiece and the digital shopping experience. Discounts are given on pieces that include a social media “buy button” or QR codes, snap tags, watermarks, or other advanced technologies that drive customers to an online purchase.
- The Tactile, Sensory & Interactive Engagement Promotion leverages the physical aspects of mail, as well as the advances in print technology, so marketers and mailers can enhance how customers interact and engage with mail. Eligible mailers receive a discount for incorporating a multi-sensory experience in their mailpiece.
- The Emerging & Advanced Technology/Video in Print Promotion encourages mailers to integrate direct mail with an emerging or advanced technology, such as augmented reality or virtual reality.
So, here we have yet two more examples of digital and physical needing each other: magazines still need print versions of their publications to drive consumers to their digital offerings; and direct mail can help boost the digital shopping experience.
And of course the long-standing relationship between publishers and the Postal Service remains strong.
What direct mail ads have you received that caught your attention? Did they include any kind of multi-sensory or digital feature?