5 Direct Mail Marketing Trends for 2021

While not many people will be disappointed to see 2020 in the rearview mirror, the year’s events have helped shape several direct mail trends that should be taken into account in 2021. It would be easy to look at 2020 as a total outlier that should be discounted in future marketing strategies. Although 2020 was unusual to say the least, it did bring about changes that will affect marketing in 2021 and beyond.

Of course, the basic fundamentals of effective marketing remain the same – reach the right people, with the right message, in the right format, at the right time.

Let’s take a look at recent trends that could impact how you approach direct mail marketing, along with a few statistics that reinforce the power and effectiveness of direct mail.

1) The USPS Is the Most Essential Organization Tied to COVID-19 Response

According to the Harris Poll Essential 100, the USPS was deemed the most essential organization during the COVID-19 pandemic, ahead of Clorox, Google, UPS, Walmart, and Amazon. Organizations were judged based on resolve, trustworthiness, responsiveness, and permanence (for example, how much you would miss the USPS if it closed for good).

During the pandemic, people are prioritizing health, safety, trust, and a sense of community and togetherness. The USPS is considered part of the solution and, in many cases, a lifeline, that connects people with the things they need most. Direct mail affords brands the opportunity to associate with the exceptional reputation of the USPS. 

2) People Will Continue Spending Most Time at Home, at Least During Q1 and Q2

Fortunately, distribution of COVID-19 vaccines is underway. Unfortunately, it will take months to get a vaccine to every person who needs one. Public health leaders report we probably won’t “return to normal” until Q3.

This is good news for B2C brands in a wide range of industries and categories, including but not limited to:

  • Entertainment and streaming services
  • Financial services, banking, lending, investments
  • Insurance
  • Food and grocery delivery
  • Health and wellness products and services
  • Home services, such as remodeling, home warranties, and security (physical and cyber)
  • Virtual events (product demos, trade shows, conferences, webinars, etc.)

3) Direct Mail Drives Better Multi-Channel Results

According to a 2020 survey from PFL, when direct mail is part of a multi-channel marketing campaign, respondents were more likely to report a good (69 percent) or very good (8 percent) response rate than those that did not include direct mail (62 percent and 3 percent, respectively). Respondents also reported an 18 percent higher likelihood of achieving good or very good ROI with direct mail.

The simple takeaway here is that marketing delivers better results when direct mail is part of the mix.

4) Dimensional Mail Captures the Brand

The PFL report also found that dimensional mail does a better job at representing the brand than other direct mail formats, according to 88 percent of respondents. Dimensional mail refers to boxes, tubes, spheres, popups, and other multi-dimensional formats.

The beauty of dimensional mail is that it encourages the recipient to not only respond, but to engage with the mailing itself, making the experience more memorable. Brands can use dimensional mail to convey and reinforce who they are in a fresh, very specific, and often unexpected way. Be innovative!

6) Direct Mail Lasts Longer, Physically and Mentally

According to a RetailWire report, direct mail’s average lifespan is 17 days, compared to a few seconds for the average email. People are more likely to hold onto direct mail, review it later, and share and discuss it with other members of the household.

A longer life means higher recall and more opportunities for your audience to respond, especially with people spending more time at home.

Contact us to discuss how you can capitalize on the latest direct mail marketing trends and unleash the power of Digital Dog Direct.