The push towards cross- and omni-channel marketing increases every year. In particular, there are several major trends emerging in 2016 for direct mail and other channels.

The push towards cross- and omni-channel marketing increases every year. In particular, there are several major trends emerging in 2016 for direct mail and other channels.

Direct mail

Along with growth in importance of data the use and importance of testing will grow. Content, images, colours, offers and other campaign variables can impact the response rate on any given marketing effort. By including one of the various test forms such as A/B testing into a direct mail strategy, marketers will have a better sense of what their audience responds to best. 

Costs for mailing and shipping will continue to rise, with increases in the cost of international shipping and mailing remaining substantial greater than domestic increases. However, ways to track the effectiveness of direct mail campaigns better will become standard. By using mail tracking features such as the Intelligent Mail Barcode with tracking encoded on direct mail pieces, marketers will be able to track each piece though the mail stream and know exactly when it has been handed to the carrier for delivery. For businesses, this means they’ll have the insights to see exactly when a piece has been delivered and therefore will have the opportunity to staff their locations or sales support accordingly.

Knowing when a mail piece has been delivered can also trigger an email to reinforce the message to those customers. This can increase the likelihood that they will act on the call to action as, according to research by Royal Mail, mail combined with email elevated coupon redemption by 35% compared to just email.

 Digital media

When it comes to digital media, usage predictions in 2016 were presented by eMarketer and Oracle in a December 2015 snapshot report. Inside, media usage patterns are presented as well as infographics illustrating social media, video viewing, tablet and smartphone usage figures. Tablet e-Commerce buyers group will grow to 111.8m (increase of 12.5% YoY) and almost 50% of tablet users will be iPad users in 2016. According to the Cross-Channel Marketing Report 2015 by Econsultancy, the five channels that offer the greatest opportunities for marketers in 2016 were social media, website, email, SEO and web retargeting (direct mail was no. 13 out of 19).