Digital marketing tactics had their heyday, dominating the methods for customer outreach. But today, what’s old is new again. Significant advances in today’s direct mail options have elevated its status with customers, making it the preferred method for hearing from brands.

Here are five advances in direct mail that have increased its popularity with consumers.

Personalization: Direct mail campaigns used to be referred to as “spray and pray” because they were not very strategic and the customer information was heavily siloed, relying on how the database was structured. Today’s mail programs have changed to meet the needs of consumers. Dynamic mail programs and sophisticated technology now allow for personalization of the recipients’ names, previous purchase details or special offers. Changes like this have come about because 78% of consumers prefer to shop with brands that personalize their content. Personalization also allows for brands to analyze campaign results more meaningfully.

Timeliness: Direct mail campaigns used to be manual at every stage, often requiring multiple approval and creative steps prior to distribution. Today’s technology and automation allows for direct mail timelines to be drastically reduced and errors minimized. Together, these decreases in the time needed to create and send a direct mail piece to the intended audience allows marketers to pivot more effectively and deliver their mailers in a timelier manner.

Connected: Today’s direct mail recipients are truly getting the best of both worlds—a lasting and memorable piece in their physical mailbox and digital features that allow for new levels of engagement. Direct mail can be integrated with online efforts like QR codes, personalized URLs, unique customer codes and more that allow the audience to easily access personalized information while also allowing marketers to track the customer’s journey and provide measurable, more accurate reporting.

Investment Piece: Direct mail was sometimes considered “junk mail” because of the volume and generalized quality of the pieces consumers would find in their mailbox. But today’s direct mailers are unique with their personalization and digitally integrated features. Direct mail now feels more like an investment made by the sender in the consumer—relevant content, directed at a specific person’s needs and interests, and with timely offers. Target recipients are made to feel special and, in turn, will bestow their trust and confidence in the brand sending them the piece.

Efficiency: When you put together all these advancements, it’s clear that direct mail is an efficient way to engage with audiences. Though more expensive than digital options, customers are far more likely to spend time with direct mail and the brands that send it—30x more, according to Sendoso. They found that avoiding digital clutter boosts customer interest and ROI by 20%. Audiences respond to high-quality, customized pieces rather than impersonal, generic messaging that sits in their digital or physical mailboxes.

Long Live Direct Mail
Despite its longevity in the marketing mix, direct mail remains a valuable channel for today. Innovation in integrating with digital tactics has given it new life and, in fact, has elevated its status with audiences. If your brand gravitated away from direct mail during the digital boom—or you’ve been leery of the financial investment—now is the ideal time to reconsider. Direct mail is back and stronger than ever!

Even if you’ve been in the game for years, you can get more out of your direct mail by choosing a printer who’s a true partner in your success. Include us in the planning stages so we can help you save money on printing and mailing while providing guidance on everything related to your creative. Contact us to learn more.

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