2021 Direct Mail Outlook

We previously have discussed how direct mail performed in recent years (hint: very well!). But what is the outlook for 2021?

Still Top of Mind

Direct mail marketing campaigns are still one of the most customizable forms of advertising. It's consistently effective in reaching new customers and retaining current customers. Just think about the last time you received direct mail. Did you take the time to see who it was from? Did you notice any eye-catching graphics or offers?

Now think about email the same way. Chances are you barely spent time checking the sender, much less noticed any graphics or offers within. Statistics have shown us that the average lifespan of an email is 17 seconds, but direct mail’s average lifespan is 17 days.

Trust Is Key

These days, consumers need to feel a connection to brands they trust. Word of mouth is the most trustworthy recommendation for any brand. Beyond that, advertisers are working to share their brand values through all media campaigns to show how trustworthy they are. How does this relate to direct mail?

Companies are developing varying uses for direct mail to show their trustworthiness. Imagine a mail piece that contains testimonials on how effective a company's sensitive baby wipes are. Or a postcard that specifically states that it was printed on recycled or FSC-Certified stock?

Personal Connections

As it turns out, direct mail is the best avenue to convey this message about trust and values. Audiences across all age groups continue to believe that direct mail is more personal. Research has shown that “greater emotional processing is facilitated” by holding the physical materials in your hand, as opposed to viewing graphics online. This is not to say that digital marketing is unhelpful. But adding direct mail to your campaign increases the likelihood of connecting with your audience on an emotional level.

Postage Increasing—Again?

One change that can't be predicted right now is a change in postage. While the price of a First-Class Forever stamp will stay at 55 cents, the U.S. Postal Service wants to increase other rates in 2021. These prices could rise approximately 1.8% for First-Class Mail and 1.5% for other categories. If approved, the price changes would take effect on Jan. 24, 2021.