Home  ›  Blog  ›  Direct Mail  ›  The Marriage of Mobile and Direct Mail: Part II

In Part I of this blog, we discussed the common misconceptions surrounding direct mail and mobile marketing – and how success lies in finding the right way to integrate your direct mail and digital efforts. Now, it’s time to talk details on how you can get started creating this synergy.

Using technology to beef up direct mail marketing.

In the modern world, technology has an impact in every part of our lives. Why should direct mail be any different? Here are some of the ways mobile-specific technology can open up new opportunities and generate great ROI from your mailing lists.

QR codes

Way back in the olden days of 2008 or so, quick response or QR codes were supposed to be the next big thing in digital marketing. Though they never quite caught on like many thought they would, they’re still around and they’ve found their niche in the integrated sphere.

Savvy direct mail marketers are including these camera-snappable squares on their pieces to redirect recipients to a target site, start a video or game, or even prompt a call. QR codes create a seamless experience between the physical and digital worlds and help create a marketing experience.

Augmented reality

Augmented reality combines a live view of the real world with elements of computer-generated sensory input. This might include video, sound, GPS data, or many other things. This technology can be used to transform mail pieces into interactive experience – just scan it with the camera on your mobile device and watch it come alive.

Near field communication (NFC)

Near field communication uses a small chip embedded onto a postcard, mailpiece or other carrier to cause an action on a mobile device. Tapping your phone to the NFC-embedded item causes the device to take a desired action like auto-dialing a number, triggering a text message or downloading an app. This is a fairly new technology and is currently not supported by Apple devices, but looks promising for the future.

Personalized URLs

Personalized URLs let you customize a web page specifically for one person. Include the URL in a mailpiece and when the target visits the site, they’ll find content specifically customized for them. A powerful tool for one-on-one communication, they offer great tracking information as you’ll know exactly who responded to your mail piece.


An innovative approach to traditional print advertising, video-in-print embeds a thin video screen in printed material. When your recipient opens the mailpiece, it automatically begins playing, creating a unique and memorable multimedia experience.

How to integrate your direct mail and mobile marketing.

It’s now clear that your traditional and online marketing efforts should be working in conjunction with one another. The next question that arises is how? Here are some ideas:

  1. Tease direct mailpieces with email blasts – Prior to running a new promotion, send out a teaser email. Tell your target to keep an eye on their mailbox for something really great. Create a cohesive look and feel for the campaign so recipients immediately understand the piece in their physical mailbox is the payoff from the email.
  2. Personalize the message – At the end of the day, marketing is all about building relationships. Use personalized URLs on mailpieces to speak to specific targets individually or employ geographic divisions to create a highly customized experience.
  3. Integrate your social media – Include your social media profile URLs on every direct mailpiece. Encourage your customers to follow you by offering value. Consider advertising social media specials on direct mail, e.g., “Follow us on Instagram and get a 20% off coupon.” This will encourage targets to seek you out and interact with you online.
  4. Make it easy to live in both worlds – Using QR codes or NFC make it easy for consumers to visit your website. All they have to do is use their phone to interact with the mailpiece and they’ll be taken directly to the landing page, where you’ll have analytics and tracking data attached to them.  
  5. Retarget to extend the life of mailpieces – Once visitors have hit your landing page, some will convert, but many will need more time to incubate. Use display ads timed to coincide with mailpieces to get maximum bang for your buck.
  6. Drive real-world store traffic – A GEA and IPC survey found that 78% of online shoppers look for discount codes before shopping online. One can assume that this same behavior applies to brick-and-mortar shopping as well. Consider in-store-only discount codes included in both direct mailings and digital as a way to drive traffic to your real-world locations. 

Technology and tradition combined.

Business mailing lists are among the most customizable, and therefore effective marketing methods. And, while digital marketing and email have made considerable inroads into customer engagement, there’s really no substitute for the good old post. But for the best results, you should marry your mobile and traditional mail campaigns. Accurate targeting, good visibility and more qualified leads mean better ROI, and the newest technology allows you to do some really cool things.