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4 Direct Mail Trends to Keep an Eye On

Direct mail has played a vital role in marketing efforts for decades. As the internet and other digital innovations have taken steps forward, direct mail has maintained a steady place in the marketing landscape. Especially as more people have continued to work from home post-pandemic, 20-25% of the workforce worked from home through 2021, with 22% of the workforce predicted to work remotely by 2025, mail continues to be a viable option for reaching the right consumers (Apollo Technical). 

While direct mail has been a reliable channel for reaching consumers year in and year out, predicting the exact direction of mail in the future can seem difficult. One thing is certain, 72% of consumers feel positive about receiving direct mail, which shows it is not going away anytime soon (Pi world). 

What keeps mail as a viable marketing channel is its adaption to the digital world around it while also maintaining the core values of tangibility and a tactile experience that make it effective. Something digital channels can’t match. Digital integration, personalization, retargeting, sensory designs, and surprisingly, millennials have allowed direct mail to flourish in 2022. You can expect no different in the coming years.

Digital Meets Direct Mail

Direct mail has always been a traditional form of marketing, but with technological advancements, digital integration of mail pieces has been made easy. With QR codes, you can link your mail piece to a specific landing page, website, social media profile, or video that will play upon being scanned. You can also use Informed Delivery through the USPS for additional impressions of your mail through email. Since 2017, 44 million people in the U.S. have signed up for the program (USPS).

Integrating digital content in your mail increases engagement and response rates as consumers have more options to engage with your mailer. Digital integration also leads you on a multichannel marketing path which consumers prefer, as 70% of consumers say they’d rather interact with brands via multichannel marketing (SailThru). Companies that use multichannel marketing have an 89% retention rate of customers (Aberdeen Group). 

Personalization Replaces Mass Mailing

Another trend in direct mail is the increased personalization of mail pieces. Marketers know how important personalization is, and direct mail has become one of the most personal marketing channels as 70% of people believe direct mail is more personal than email (Compu-Mail). This trend is made possible by digital technologies such as variable data printing, allowing you to access consumer demographics and purchase behavior to create tailored messages on each mailer. 

Personalization today goes beyond including a name. It involves specific offers and messaging tailored to individuals, color and layout combinations tied to consumer interest, and personalized landing pages that deepen the connection they feel with your brand. Knowing your customers is the only way to pull this off. So be sure to keep your customer relationship management and analytics systems up to date. 

Retargeting Takes a Front Seat

The more impressions, the higher the chance your brand gets remembered. With the technological advancements we have seen recently, there will be increased use of retargeting in conjunction with direct mail. Even if a consumer visits your website but doesn’t make a purchase, you can send them a direct mail piece with an enticing offer. Milestone dates such as anniversaries and birthdays also represent retargeting opportunities that could trigger a mailing offer. Or you can retarget with digital ads done by obtaining IP addresses and cookies that allow marketers to deploy timely ads that work to reinforce your messaging to consumers online. 

Sensory/Creative Mail Becomes a Priority

In 2021 alone, over 70 million pieces of direct mail were sent around the U.S (Statista). Mass quantities of mail have forced businesses to find new ways to win a consumer’s mailbox. Integrating sensory features such as smell for a coffee mailer or texture for a flooring mailer adds a new dimension to your direct mail that increases engagement. With modern printing technologies, embedding sensory features into your mailers has become the norm for those seeking to stand out in the mailbox. Leveraging advancements in printing technology to include sensory characteristics in your mailers enhances how each consumer will interact with your mail driving up response rates.  

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