Direct Mail Financial Services

admin 11/22/2021
  1. Direct Mail Services
  2. Direct Mail Financial Services For Small Business

The onset of digital marketing (now a $100 billion industry) doesn’t necessarily spell the end of direct mail marketing. Among others, those in the financial service industry (banks, credit unions, and investment companies), direct mail marketing continues to provide an exceptional opportunity to connect with current clients, bring in new ones, and spread brand awareness – it just takes a bit of ingenuity to make sure your direct mail campaign is as effective as possible.

Direct mail marketing has always been a mainstay of the finance industry. Delivering the right message to the right consumer’s mailbox is one of the most well-established ways to maintain a wide demographic reach while offering personalized, credible messages that comply with industry standards.

Direct mail remains incredibly influential for consumers of all groups, but standing out from the crowd is the ultimate challenge. These are six best direct mail trends gaining steam in the financial sector:

Ranked Best Direct Marketing Agency in 2019, Gunderson Direct is an experienced and trusted agency for B2B and B2C direct mail campaigns in San Francisco.


1. Use Direct Mail as a Complement to Digital Advertising

Sep 06, 2012 Direct Mail: Alive And Well In Financial Services 1. Credit cards are making a comeback. After a few lean years, some combination of three things — the economy. The channel is performing. By all indications, credit cards demonstrate the highest rate of online product. Other channels are. Nov 27, 2019 Why direct mail delivers for financial services marketing 1. Digital and mail costs are levelling. Some marketers believe that the cost of running a direct mail campaign is too. Mail conveys trust and authority. The tactile nature of mail has long enabled brands to convey trust.

Digital ads and direct mail don’t need to exist as separate campaigns. Banks, loan offices, credit unions, and even local financial service providers are extending the effectiveness of both their direct mail efforts and their digital efforts by combining the two into a cohesive advertising experience.

Together, print and digital ad campaigns can strengthen your message and drive additional traffic to your website. A good example of how to do this is to send out direct mail instructing consumers on how to access digital assets like whitepapers, e-books, QR codes, and social media accounts. The ultimate goal, of course, is to drive more eyes to your digital campaign without ending up in a consumer’s spam folder.

2. Personalize Messages with SwagIQ

Everybody likes to receive a gift, especially one that’s a surprise. Financial institutions trying to connect with high-level clients are greatly increasing their direct mail success by including a little something special along with their printed materials, like a branded USB flash drive or a box of assorted artisan chocolates.

Gifts like these serve two important functions when combined with direct mail: they make the recipient happy, and they make the brand and the message more memorable. Light a spark under a stalled deal by delivering something special right to your client’s desk and they’re unlikely to forget it.

3. Embrace Minimalism

Cheap direct mail serviceMail

Part of the reason that digital advertising is popular is because it gets your message across quickly and succinctly. By translating this to the physical world, financial institutions are utilizing snail mail and direct mail campaigns to convey their message at a tangible glance.

Maximizing white space and minimizing text are two big ways to achieve this. This serves not only to mimic some of the efficiencies of digital campaigns but also to modernize the look of your printed materials. Sometimes, something as simple as a postcard with a short and clearly stated purpose and a URL is all you need to make that connection with consumers.

4. Automate of Direct Mail Campaigns

One problem that has long plagued direct mail is the length of time it takes. From inception to delivery, conceptualizing, developing, proofing, approving, and printing materials can take weeks – if not months – which doesn’t always gel with a tight marketing strategy.

But today’s savvy financial businesses are using automation to speed up the process and get their campaigns out faster. Marketing software provides templates for high-quality printed materials that individual branches or divisions can personalize for specific demographics or clients within set guidelines. Proofs and approvals can be done quickly, with no need for back-and-forth email chains. Such a significant reduction in campaign creation means institutions can focus more on what really counts when it comes to marketing: seeing how well a campaign performs.

5. Use Innovative Direct Mail Formats

Traditional letters convey the authority that financial businesses require in their print campaigns, but they aren’t the only way to achieve that. Many institutions are turning to more innovative, formats for their direct mail, including dimensional mail and packages, prize opportunities (like scratch-offs stuck in self-mailers), and tactile mailers (think a foam credit card to introduce new rates). The key to making creative forms of direct mail that are just as useful as standard letters is making sure to use high-quality printing – and to always personalize your messages.

6. Utilize Direct Mail to Close the Deal

Direct mail offers a much more targeted way of following up on previous conversations than basic email does. Financial institutions are using creative print tactics to reinforce their efforts for both consumers and clients. For instance, sending a personalized note, presentation, and branded gift to lost prospects could reinvigorate a conversation that’s long since halted. Pair the mailer with an automated digital communication – say, an appointment request – to drive the message home and finally get the result you’re looking for.

Businesses across the financial sector are benefiting from new innovations in direct mail that make it easier to connect, communicate, and inspire. Make sure to combine print mailers with digital advertising for the most effective and well-rounded marketing campaigns and create ads that both boost your authority and instigate action.

2020 was a tumultuous year on many fronts. The COVID-19 pandemic led to people spending more time at home, and digital usage—including online purchases—increased exponentially. In order to break through the online traffic, many brands turned back to direct mail. At the same time, advances in printing and technology presented many new opportunities for brands to innovate the standard mail format.

This past October, Mintel published “Innovative Direct Mail in 2020,” a report that took a look at some fresh approaches to direct mail. Here’s our take on some standouts of this report, along with how these innovative direct mail elements could be applied to the financial services market.

Direct Mail Financial ServicesFinancial services pdf

Direct Mail Services

QR codes
While not exactly anything new, the QR code enjoyed a big resurgence in 2020. With consumers’ increased dependence on digital channels, QR codes serve as a perfect bridge between the break-through-the-clutter power of direct mail and the functionality of a mobile app or a website.

Synchrony, for example, used a QR code to give prospects instant access to the current rates of their CD or High Yield Savings accounts. This not only helped avoid the cumbersome “current APR plus X.XX%” math language in their letter, but also creates a sense of real-time urgency to the offer.

Media Logic insight
The Synchrony package is a perfect example of how to take advantage of QR technology to maximize the impact of a direct mail package. We’ve also seen packages from American Express use the QR code for quick and seamless applications. The Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card incorporated a QR code into a spend and get offer, and Citizens Bank used a QR code as an easy way to make an appointment.

Another back-to-the-future tactic is the scratch-and-sniff feature. American Express recently used this technology for a Delta SkyMiles Gold Card promotion. Teased on the outer envelope, the mailing invited prospects to take in a “Island Fresh scent” to engage and inspire wanderlust.

Media Logic insight
While the scratch-and-sniff tactic is perfect for travel rewards card, it can also be applied to other financial services marketing efforts. For instance, a recent American Express Platinum Card package included the feature to their outer envelope for a sneak sniff at the American Express Signature Scent that cardholders could enjoy with access to Centurion lounges. Other potential scratch-and-sniff usages could be the smell of popcorn for a card that earns rewards on streaming services or the smell of food for a dining rewards card.

Seed paper
Hyundai took advantage of printing and paper technology to turn a standard anniversary card into a unique form of engagement. The invitation-style mailing included a heart-shaped seed paper that could be put in soil to produce a flowering plant for the recipient. This tactic was so well received that recipients began to organically share it on social media (pardon the pun), so it not only increased brand loyalty but also helped spread brand awareness at the same time.

Media Logic insight
This tactic is a great way to add life (literally) to a wide range of standard financial services communications, from anniversary letters to welcome packages. It also lends itself to various long-term financial products, such as children’s savings accounts and CD offers. It could even become part of an early-month-on-book strategy, connecting the seed paper with the ability to “watch card purchases blossom into valuable rewards.”

Direct Mail Financial Services For Small Business

These were just a few of the innovative direct mail tactics showcased in the Mintel report. And we’re sure there are many other innovative tactics we missed. We’ll continue to keep our eye out for more trends and innovations as 2021 presents a new normal, and financial services marketing continues to adjust.

Have you seen any new and innovative uses of direct mail? We’d love to hear about it. Describe it in the comments below or contact us directly by clicking on the email icon on this page.

Source for all images: Innovative Direct Mail in 2020. Comperemedia. October 2020.

Tags: American Express, COVID-19, direct mail, direct mail marketing, financial services marketing, QR code