Direct mail fits in your 2019 marketing plan.It’s 2019 and your marketing team is gearing up for another year of cleverly crafted campaigns and workshopping some fresh new ways to position your business. Smart marketers know that direct mail is a crucial ingredient to a well-rounded strategy, and therefore incorporate it into their annual plans and budgets for the year ahead.

In fact, when it comes to the top marketing trend predictions for 2019, direct mail plays a big role.

Considering predictions had nearly 30% of consumers using ad blockers by the end of last year, businesses will need to make sure their advertising evolves beyond digital channels. After all, there is no ad blocker for direct mail. 

We took a look at marketing expert’s trend predictions for 2019 and found that there are many ways in which direct mail can help enhance your marketing strategy for the year. Here are our main takeaways:

Content marketing is still king.

It should come as no surprise that content marketing is still counted among the top trends for marketing professionals. Content marketing has risen in popularity over the last few years, namely since so many companies have observed the sizable impact it can have on conversion. According to a study from Forbes, “93% of B2B companies say content marketing generates more leads than traditional marketing strategies.” That’s huge! Providing potential customers with high-quality content (in the form of brochures, pamphlets, white pages, etc.) not only leads to deeper engagement with your message, it also helps educate consumers about your business’s value or differentiating feature, both of which are great for generating leads.

In a world of digital, send something physical.

For the first time in a long time, marketing trend analysts are calling out print as one of the major marketing channels to keep an eye on in 2019. The reason is one that we at DDD have been aware of for a long time: In the age of digital research and online experiences, there is something novel—and in turn, memorable—about receiving something in the mail, especially if it’s from a brand you love. Now more than ever, direct mail pieces stand the chance to make an impact on customers, especially because it can feel unexpected.

Authenticity will continue to set businesses apart.

One thing that will help businesses be successful in 2019 is doubling down on authenticity. Because advertising has permeated nearly every aspect of our lives online, consumers have gotten pretty savvy at sniffing out phonies and identifying brands that are faking authenticity as a sales tactic. Brands that commit to honest and direct communication with customers will be rewarded with brand loyalty.

In direct mail, use personalization to establish a more personal tone and connection with your recipient. Go a step further by using mail to communicate your brand values, your community involvement, your charitable efforts: all relatable topics that show your human side. Or, be transparent by sharing information with your customers that may not have been readily available before (e.g. product ingredients or company information). Direct mail is the perfect vehicle for these messages as it is an age-old and physical method of communication which emanates authenticity.

Lean into digital trends as part of your direct mail strategy.

Just because you’re sending a message to your customers via direct mail doesn’t mean you need to completely ignore digital marketing channels—quite the contrary! We think direct mail and online advertising can complement each other beautifully. Using one channel to cross-promote the other is a great tactic that many of the businesses we work with have been implementing and will continue to do so throughout 2019.

A great example of leaning into digital trends via direct mail is making a reference to smart speakers, especially when Alexa is becoming something of a household name (see what we did there?).

For example, list Alexa commands on your direct mail piece and instruct the recipient to say: “Alexa, add a reminder to call [your business] tomorrow” or “Alexa, add [your product] to shopping cart.” Even though direct mail is one of the oldest marketing channels around, that doesn’t mean your ideas needs to feel dated.