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The Post-Pandemic Direct Mail Renaissance

Many businesses and marketing teams found themselves navigating a year unlike any other during 2020 and into 2021. Many companies shifted their efforts and marketing budgets to a 100% digital focus. However, consumers are digitally overloaded and are looking for non-digital connections. As our offices reopen and we look to a post-pandemic future, the biggest opportunity that needs to be part of your marketing strategy is direct mail.

Consumer Digital Fatigue is Real

The average daily time spent with digital media has increased to close to 7.5 hours per day. The increase in emails, webinars, virtual events has exploded. Yet, 80% of target audiences are fatigued by digital and virtual engagement efforts, according to a report by Sendoso. The fact is that consumers are digitally overwhelmed. Here’s where the power of direct mail can shine and get in front of consumers in a personal, tactile way. The best marketing strategies combine physical and digital worlds into a cohesive omnichannel experience. The mailbox is ripe for targeting audiences, personalization opportunities and creating differentiation. Customers are craving a more personal connection and effective engagement programs can employ tactics that are personalized and 1:1.

Double Down on Data

To evolve for the future, marketers can’t think of digital engagements and direct mail as separate journeys. Direct mail and digital need to be a fully integrated part of the omnichannel plan and work in partnership together. Direct mail can be optimized for personalized offers and drive traffic to online landing pages and forms.

As privacy laws and regulations increase, a brand’s first-party data will take center stage as online and offline campaigns become highly targeted based on customer activities. Variable data print can be leveraged for dynamic content to create unique, personalized direct mail. Segmented lists can be used for smaller, quick print runs. Inkjet printing technology shines in this scenario where speed to market and variable data printing is critical for that personal direct mail omnichannel experience.

The Resurgence of the QR Code in Direct Mail

I think we can all say the QR Code has roared back to popularity, partly due to the power of a touch-free tech option for restaurants and Apple’s iOS11 update that allows QR codes to be scanned directly through the camera app. Consumers are now more aware of how to use and interact with QR codes that can be used in conjunction with direct mail. QR codes are a simple, effective tool to connect the online and offline world and track engagement and conversion.  A QR code can be used in a variety of ways. You can seamlessly guide your customer to your website, customized landing page or personalized offer. They are easy to set up and customize through QR code generators. To read more about the resurgence of the QR code, check out “Print is Still a Player in Integrated Marketing.”

Direct Mail Needs to Stand Out

Paper selection, sizes and print techniques can be used to additional effect to stand out in the mailbox and grab your customer’s attention. Your design strategy can use color in a variety of ways to add impact to your printed piece. Your selections can also be budget conscious and don’t necessarily have to be techniques that break the bank. The Women’s Foundation – We Work for Change 25Th Anniversary brochure is a great example of simple, effective techniques such as creative typography, rich black and fluorescent inks that combine into a striking print piece.

Key Takeaway: A Seamless Omnichannel Experience is Must in 2021 and Beyond

Whether your customer interacts with you digitally, physically or in the mailbox, their experience should be seamless across all touchpoints in their journey with your brand. Marketing activities can longer be siloed between digital and traditional. As we all emerge from the pandemic, businesses must anticipate how consumer behaviors have changed and how business practices should evolve.

For more resources on post-pandemic life and the print and paper industry, visit our blog or listen to the Paper Matters Podcast.

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