1. Postcards focused on discount-pricing are commonplace… which, in this industry, means they’re working. I’ve been receiving “coupon-ish” bi-weekly postcards from Bed, Bath and Beyond for months, like clockwork. BB&B’s version is over-sized, printed in blue ink, and looks the same every time. In general, I’m receiving postcards in every configuration from all the retailer’s in my area. The market may hit overkill on “postcards” in 2011, but so far I don’t see a slow-down. Note: The Wall Street Journal’s report on an important consumer trend – just-in-time consumption – suggests an opportunity for smart retailers who can figure out how to embrace more frequent, targeted promotions.
2. Specialty self-mailer “newspapers,” packed with information and printed on inexpensive stock and exemplified by – but never surpassed by -- Trader Joe’s The Fearless Flyer. TJ’s describes this fun read as a cross between Consumer Reports and Mad Magazine. I’ve never signed up, but I still receive their annual Thanksgiving issue, which uses humor, great copywriting, and information to persuade shopping at their store. The product isn’t personalized at all, but compared to the full-color circulars other food stores use, this one stands apart because it demonstrates how well TJ understands their pan-generation, no-frills, loyal shoppers.
3. Classic fundraising appeals. Apparently, the white-wove, #10 letter format remains a workhorse for a host of nonprofit organizations. From those same mailers, however – particularly targeted to previous donors – come the periodic, extravagant lumpy-mail offer stuffed with premiums. I’ve seen no slack in fundraising direct mail. Quite the contrary, this season my mailbox has attracted more appeals than ever.
4. “Catalogs” in fresh shapes and configurations -- thinner, and more targeted. Read more about catalog trends in TDN’s November 11 post.
5. Commercial direct mail targeted with different offers to different groups. Paul Bobnak wrote a piece for Target Marketing about the evolution of credit card offers via mail. In analyzing a series of credit offers that went out this fall, Bobnak noted the trend to targeted appeals, including women business owners and seniors.
6. Your favorite mailing plus QR Codes. Okay, this is a new twist on an old response vehicle, but QR could add a little drama to an old appeal. Mobile billings are expected to touch $4.1 billion this year, up 24 percent from last, according to Juniper Research, the UK-based telecom and mobile analyst firm, with total turnover expected to hit $12 billion by 2015.
--scrubbed by Marketing Brillo