How to Push the Envelope with Direct Mail Marketing in 2019

Why traditional marketing methods like direct mail still work in insurance and financial services marketing and how to get prospects to open yours.

If this article caught your attention, then you’re probably wondering if direct marketing approaches still have a place in your marketing strategy or how to spice up your campaigns to increase your response rates.

While direct mail may feel outdated to some, it’s an important piece of your multi-channel strategy. Leveraging research and creative to touch on your target audiences’ hot button issues still drives high response rates and ROI.

How do we know?

Digital Ads Get Blocked

Data and privacy is a relevant topic we discussed in a post about 2019 Social Marketing Trends. Consumers are becoming savvy to how data is being used to target them with digital ads and are taking steps to block them.


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According to eMarketer, one in four U.S. Internet users reported that they block ads. Trends show that ad blocking has been on the rise since 2016 and is expected to continue to increase into 2020. For this reason, including direct mail marketing in your overall strategy could be a game changer for maximizing ROI.


Why Direct Mail Still Works

The results are in! Millennials engage with direct mail.

Believe us, the traditional methods still work. Even if your target audience are the more digitally savvy millennials, response rates are still high.

According to The Financial Brand, studies done by InfoTrends and the USPS show that direct mail response rates are surprisingly high across all age groups, and millennials in particular are more likely to read and engage with direct mail pieces. Further, 63% of millennials who reported responding to direct mail in the last three months also made a purchase.

So now that you know that direct mail can still effectively capture the attention of your audience, how do you make sure they open it so your brand can reap the benefits?

How to Get Prospects to Open Your Direct Mail

Studies have shown that consumers prefer to receive direct mail as opposed to email. So how can you spice up your creative to get them to open your direct mail? Our team of experts provided some excellent tips that have yielded results for our own clients in the insurance and financial services industries.

  • Push the envelope

Ok, not literally. Think outside the box! Our senior art director, Allison Fanaro, says, “If there’s an appetite, explore nontraditional formats or media to create an unexpected and memorable experience.”

For example, if you’re going after a high-value prospect, showing that you made an investment in their mailer would reflect the level of quality your product or service would provide to them.

Standard #10 size letter packages still tend to outperform other formats for most banking and insurance products, however, testing how the messaging unfolds on the inside in fresh, new ways can make this old favorite pop!

  • Use data to segment your audience and craft strategic messaging

Designing a piece that stands out in the mail stack starts with communicating effectively to your target audience. Let them know that you understand their specific, everyday needs and that your brand is their solution.

We’ve found that the most effective direct mail campaigns today are ones that are tried and true with a twist. Use compelling, relatable imagery that accurately reflects your audience and their needs. For example, if you’re targeting a mother of three, use a photo of a family.

  • Add value to their experience

Tell them that you will give them the things they want. Give them the chance to win a new smartphone or other gadgets for completing your call to action and make it easy for them.


FARM has been guiding insurance and financial services marketers’ direct mail efforts at leading firms for over 30 years. Contact us today for more information about how our creative and direct mail management expertise can yield results for your company.
Call 716.989.3200 or Send an email to Jill Fecher

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