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Direct Mail in 2021

Mailboxes 2020 is finally over and we’re well into 2021.  To say 2020 was a year of challenges would be an understatement.  As rough as the year was, however, there were some valuable lessons to be learned. One of the revelations for a lot of businesses in 2020 was how difficult it was to reach new and existing customers during lockdowns and when budgets were tightened.  Marketers learned that social media offered great ways to keep their brand in front of customers but was not so great at converting those eyeballs into dollars. Digital marketing via email, Facebook ads, Google advertising, etc., can be effective but can also be unpredictable and costly.  Plus, as businesses were forced to pare back their marketing teams, it became more difficult to manage and monitor all those digital channels. Surprisingly, one of the biggest lessons of 2020 was how impactful and cost-effective direct mail could be.  While digital marketing may have become the “go to” medium for building brand awareness, printed direct mail still had a vital role to play. Consumers are inundated with marketing emails – too many to read each day.  And email filters are better at spotting and flagging marketing messages as spam.  Direct mail, however, gets directly into the homes and hands of consumers. Print is tangible – it engages with consumers in both tactile and visual ways.  And print still provides the most robust form of customer engagement.  ROI for direct mail remains higher than other forms of marketing.  Even with recent postal rate increases, direct mail is still a bargain. When planning a direct mail marketing campaign, there are three important elements to consider.


Your list is the most crucial piece of any marketing campaign.  Whether you need to saturate an area near your business or target a specific subset of consumers, the right list is imperative.


Once you have your direct mail piece in someone’s hands, you must prompt them to respond.  Your Call-To-Action is the offer you’re extending.  Whether that’s a coupon, a discount, an early-bird special, or some other incentive, your offer needs to be clear and compelling.


Never underestimate the creative elements of your direct mail.  Does the verbiage you’re using match the visual images on your mailer and does it speak to your target audience?  Do the graphics grab attention and compel someone to read the piece?  Your design can include specialty treatments like foil, metallic inks, soft touch lamination, or other embellishments that make your piece stand out.


Combining direct mail with digital marketing can create more memorable experiences for consumers.  The interactivity between print and digital marketing allows you to customize marketing efforts.  Print can drive traffic to your digital channels, adding more touchpoints to the customer journey.  More touchpoints in varying formats can boost brand awareness and improve engagement. When done well, direct mail will reinforce your brand’s message and create a lasting impact. Learn more about combining direct mail with digital marketing. As we move through the uncertainty of 2021, every business needs to plan for the unexpected.  While we all hope business will be back to “normal” by mid-year, the future remains unpredictable.  Including direct mail in your marketing plans can help you reach customers throughout the year in ways that engage and drive business.

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