How to Use NFC Technology to Enhance Direct Mail


These days it’s not enough for companies to use just one method to engage with their target market. Everyone is pressed for time, and the digital age makes the need for instant gratification even greater. That, in turn, makes the concept of integrated marketing even more attractive.

Happily, technology is mostly keeping pace, and using NFC in direct mail gives marketers the best of both worlds: paper materials recipients can browse at leisure along with digital access to the online world, where they can get more information or access exclusive offers. Marie Claire, for instance, used NFC technology to give free gym passes to consumers.

Other ways in which businesses have used NFC include:

  • Content marketing
  • Loyalty and membership schemes
  • Secure logins
  • Cashless payments
  • Tickets, discounts or coupons

What is NFC?

At its simplest, Near Field Communication enables wireless interaction between printed, paper, and other materials and smart phones. Early generations of NFC demanded the embedding of an electronic chip. Steps forward in technology have seen the creation of NFC enabled paper and plastics, however, making the technology even more widely available and appealing. Typically, users need only bring their smart phones within four inches or less of the NFC chip, or touch their devices to it.

Since most of us have smartphones with us nearly all the time, recipients are bound to have one handy while reading direct mail. Interaction can be almost instantaneous, leading the recipient straight to social media pages, websites, landing pages or any special offer the direct mail refers to.

Why Use NFC Enabled Direct Mail?

NFC offers many benefits to businesses, not least of which is being seen as cutting-edge. It offers instant connection and seamless integration with the business’s online presence, removing the need for consumers to remember a URL or access a computer. These days it really is possible to click on a piece of paper, an important development for direct marketers when you take today’s short attention spans into consideration.

In real terms, marketers can see faster returns on their investment, gauging audience reactions in real-time and making data collection easier and more efficient.

Enhancing Direct-Mail with NFC

Here are some of the ways NFC brings direct-mail to life:

  • Improved response rates
  • More engaging calls to action
  • More effective up- or cross-selling as clicked content can lead to other brand messages
  • Faster trialling or split testing
  • High degree of personalisation

NFC puts a new dimension into direct mail design, appealing to millennials who expect to access any business, anywhere and at any time. But whether you’re marketing to this demographic or not, including NFC opens more doors and offers more variety to consumers. The more ways you invite recipients to engage with your offer, the higher the response rate will be.

Direct Mail Best Practices