Direct Mail Marketing Predictions for 2020

There are many interesting direct mail marketing trends in store for the year ahead. In recent years, there has been an erroneous notion that electronic media will make applications such as direct mail communications completely obsolete. But direct mail and print are still very much vibrant, innovative and exciting industries, and they’re on an upswing again after periods of underuse. Read on for six direct mail predictions you can expect to see in 2020.

1. Direct Mail Will Produce Better Response Rates than Email

Direct mail will decuple in importance for sales and marketing professionals, because it cuts through the clutter and digital noise of emails and social media—by engaging the imagination of clients. More digital mail means less physical mail in your home’s mailbox. So direct mail print pieces get more attention than they did before, which is why DM response rates are now on the rise. Also, while it is increasingly difficult to market to people using email due to spam laws and clutter, you will always be able to send someone a letter or postcard.

2. Including Direct Mail in Digital Omnichannel Campaigns

More companies will start doing fully integrated campaigns that include direct mail instead of just using it as a tactic. Direct mail campaigns will integrate with other efforts, like email marketing and social media campaigns, to provide a streamlined experience. We’ll see more synchronization of direct mail campaigns with Facebook ads so they appear before, during and after the direct mail package has arrived, for multiple touches of the same theme.

3. Personalization Will Be Priority

There will be a strong shift toward smaller runs of more targeted direct mail campaigns that connect the physical mail to an online, digital marketing experience. This means personalizing every component of a mailpiece, including letters, inserts and call-to-action reply devices. Companies will focus more on ensuring their prospects feel like their problems are understood and that they’re being spoken to directly instead of feeling like a generalized audience.

4. Cutting-Edge Is Cutting Costs

Marketing pros will keep a closer eye on changes that may come to the USPS, a critical link in the direct mail chain. Everything from postage costs to potential legislation could impact the way mail is handled. In 2020, the USPS will once again offer a 2% postage discount for direct mail that uses cutting-edge response technologies and printing techniques, such as tactile, sensory and interactive engagement, Personalized Color Transpromo and Informed Delivery. Direct mail that incorporates these eye-catching technologies will improve response rates.

5. Digital Printing Is Not Slowing Down

Inkjet printing will increase in value, as it is being used more and more in direct mail marketing. Many commercial print shops have focused on lower run work, but this is now changing, as high-volume, high-quality sheet-fed presses come onto the market and web press users broaden their applications. This is allowing inkjet to target a whole range of direct mailpieces. So frequency of mono overprinting will drop while full color will surge.

6. Adding Value to Your Target Audience

Marketers will move beyond traditional channels like social, mobile and email, and will focus on delivering value, content and engagement by listening for real consumer interests and preferences. Marketers will provide more high-quality educational content that helps nurture audience engagement and educate them on the value of services.

The right direct mail marketing campaign continues to be an efficient and effective way to help an agency and its clients rise to the top. Personalization, data management, and cutting-edge technologies like production inkjet printing is helping to shape the evolution of direct mail campaigns.

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Published on March 3, 2020