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05 February 2021

Direct Mail May Dictate Your Success...Are You On Trend?

As you review the marketing plans you developed for 2021 (can you believe we can finally say that?!), you might be wondering what changes you should make. Every year, new trends lead us to make changes in our businesses to keep up with the times. This year, direct mail practices are going to be more important than ever to your marketing plan! 

Direct mail could be the perfect way to connect with customers and grow your business this year. 

In today’s blog post, we’ll not only explore why direct mail is so important and relevant, but also highlight the 2021 direct mail trends you should add to your strategy this year. 


What Is Direct Mail, Anyway? 

With direct mail, businesses send physical mail pieces, like letters, brochures, packages, postcards, and gifts, directly to prospects and customers. 

During a time where we’re all working from home more than ever before, direct mail is a super effective way to reach customers where they are at. 

Especially since so many of us spend hours everyday on our computers and phones, email and social media sometimes get lost in the sweep of digital fatigue we all experience sometimes. 

Direct mail is a physical, tangible correspondence, which stands out to customers and helps you build brand awareness, loyalty, and even boost your sales. 


Best Practices—Why Use Direct Mail in Your Marketing Strategy? 

When you decide to launch this marketing strategy, it’s important to understand some smart direct mail practices. Here are some of the best practices and reasons to test out a direct mail strategy this year! 

Keep your direct mail campaigns personal and memorable. Treat your customer like your bff (just leave the rambling for your actual bff). Direct mail is impactful on consumers because it creates an actual experience. Unlike clicking on an email or pressing ‘like’ on a social media post, direct mail requires you to take a second, physically open something, and see what’s in store. 

Small gestures create a huge impact on people. But direct mail is also super effective because it’s a strategy not many businesses are using now. Most businesses focus solely on digital marketing and social media ads. You’ll stand out from the crowd and make an impact on your customers when your business lands in their physical mailbox! 

On that note, keep it fresh! Make things exciting! Try to add color and engaging pieces to physical mail. Go beyond simple promotions printed on regular paper and try to entice consumers with a more experience-based mail promotion. 


2021 Direct Mail Trends You Should Try 

Since direct mail is both easy to track and much less saturated than digital marketing, it’s worth adding to your marketing plan. Here’s some direct mail trends for 2021 you should incorporate into your strategy. 

Focus on Personalization

This trend has become more and more important every year, and 2021 will see it reach a peak. Personalization keeps things interesting and relevant. Your consumers are used to mass standardized emails and pieces of physical mail.


So, the more personalized, targeted, and specific you make your direct mail campaigns, the more customers will feel connected to your business. 


To make the most of this trend, you should try to create printed materials that are specific to the recipient. Segment your list by customer interests and demographics, and instead of sending one piece of mail to your whole list, create different prints and packages to reflect those subgroups. 

Craft Creative Direct Mail Experiences

It’s so easy for emails to get lost in overcrowded inboxes—as a consumer, how many promotional emails do you delete every day before even opening them? For that reason, direct mail is automatically like a breath of fresh air in terms of marketing for customers. 


One of the most important direct mail trends for 2021 is being creative with your direct mail experiences. That’s right—experiences! The more creative you become, the more your customers will be interested in your company. They’ll get excited about mail from you. 


Try adding special scratch-off cards or confetti to postcards and promotional letters. Add a special punch card that someone can bring into your store or location for special rewards. Make customers feel like they opened something fun, not something boring! 


Include Actionable Add-Ins

On that same note, make sure that you focus on creatively weaving in actionable content to your direct mail campaigns. Will what you send out make it easy for customers to take action with your business? 

When you move beyond super promotional, sales-y content, customers start to feel connected with your business on a deeper level. You build relationships and create a sense of brand loyalty and trust. *cue happy tears*


Here are some ideas to implement this trend: 

  • Scratch-off cards
  • QR codes
  • Promotional calendars with different deals or challenges each month
  • Sticker packages
  • Card packages
  • Rewards cards
  • Advent calendars for the holidays
  • Swag or gift boxes
  • Invitations to physical events at your location, like wine and shopping nights

Hopefully, these ideas help you get creative in helping your customers take action after opening direct mail. 


Focus on Consumer Needs, Not Just Brand Promotion

Many companies used to only focus on direct mail for sending out branded items, like pens and notebooks with company logos and phone numbers. Now, a much more effective strategy is personalization, like we talked about above. 

This offline engagement, in the new highly digital world of 2021, will help you build your connections and relationships with customers, but only if you focus on them instead of yourself. 

As a cure for digital overload and too many promotional emails and social posts being thrown at consumers all the time, direct mail offers you a chance to really hone in on what your customers want and need. 

Adding a direct mail marketing campaign to your overall strategy can create incredible results. It’s an easy way to be creative and make a lasting impression on consumers. These 2021 direct marketing trends will help you be on top of what’s relevant and make a huge impact on your customers. 

Exact Data’s ready-made lists make it easy to add direct mail marketing to your marketing plan. Direct mail helps you stand out and reach customers in a whole new way. Grow your business now by expanding your audience through a direct marketing campaign!