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Pumpkin Spice and PDM: Everything You Need to Succeed in Fall

It’s fall, y’all — at least in the eyes of the consumer.

Fall is days away from officially starting, but for the many who look forward to leaf-peeping season, fall started on September 1 (or earlier). Don’t believe us? Just ask Home Depot, which already sold out of its $300 12-foot skeleton (affectionately nicknamed Skelly) Halloween decorations online, or Starbucks, which launched its fall menu, which includes the Pumpkin Spice Latte, on August 24 this year, a week earlier than usual.

Savvy brands follow consumer habits and behaviors to optimize their revenue and profit. That fall feeling is real, and you can harness its potent effects in your Programmatic Direct Mail (PDM) marketing tactics over the next couple of months.

Here are a few creative PDM tips on how brands can jump into that metaphorical pile of leaves and tap into fall as a season of opportunity.

1. Applaud autumn in all its glory

Fall means respite, hygge vibes, and cuddling up by the fireplace — even if you don’t actually have a fireplace at home. After all, fall is a state of mind filled with cozy nooks, warm colors, and toasty comfort foods. And your PDM creatives should play up the season’s best-known features.

Rothy’s fall shoe campaign does a great job of embracing the consumer with the fuzzy hug of fall. Neutral colors, soft materials, winter clothes, and plaids all make the feeling of fall jump off the page, and it’s oh-so inviting. Plus, they’re tapping into the overarching emotional themes of the season: spending time with loved ones and merry-making through gift-giving.

Women with plaid fall bags and sweater

Similarly, the Boll & Branch 2022 fall bedding collection — featuring piles of soft yet heavy pillows and blankets in muted colors — makes you want to climb under the covers on a chilly fall evening and never get out again… in a good way. Everything about this ad is warming shoppers up to explore and purchase B&B’s cozy collection.

Picture of bedding with fall collection details

2. Fall into the emotions connected to the season

People naturally get the urge to change when the seasons change. Fall brings feelings of renewal, reset, and creating new habits in line with the back-to-school season.

In the meal delivery service Blue Apron’s “Fall Reset” ad campaign, the consumer immediately connects the service to the “reset” of their eating and financial habits that likely went off the rails during summer. Combine a fresh color scheme with lots of white space with a promise of low-prep meals and a hefty discount, and many people are already sold.

Image of meals on plates and promotional offer for fall

Remember to be like Blue Apron and Starbucks and make your key audience feel something real. The more they feel it, the more they want to buy it.

3. Keep it chill in autumn

Fall is a season of rest after the frenzy of summer. The last thing consumers want to do at this time of year is add complications to their lives or experience any extra discomfort. That’s where you can swoop in and make things extra easy for them.

Keep your messaging simple and directly aligned with the themes of the season. Provide QR codes or site links that are easy to remember and use. Even better, offer the customer the easiest way possible to purchase your product: a QR code that they can whip out their phone and look up right then and there.

For example, Rhoback athletic gear’s fall campaign features a strong, smiling pro athlete wearing a comfortable hoodie while holding a football on the field — immediate proof that this hoodie is meant to be played in. The tagline emphasizes comfort, connecting the consumer with that fall feeling once again.

Creative of male playing football in fall

Now, you have all the tools to bring that fall energy to your PDM campaign so you can stand out in the hearts and minds of every fall-loving customer. Remember these three tips:

1. Lean hard into the themes and thrills of fall. People love it and want more of it!

2. Do everything you can to connect your product with how fall makes people feel. Strong feelings equal strong purchases.

3. Make things easy for your consumer, and keep your messaging as simple as possible.

Now go ahead and treat yourself to a PSL — we know you want one. And for some more reading material over that latte, check out our post on 3 Major Trends Marketers Must Prepare for in the Back Half of 2023.

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