5 Direct-Mail Success Strategies For 2021

Direct mail is expected to generate $31.2 billion in revenue in 2021, according to Ad Age, which puts it at the top of the local-media marketing mix. Given that, it’s time to implement these five marketing strategies to help make your direct-mail marketing more successful:

  • Clean your mailing list
  • Segment your mailing list
  • Keep it personal
  • Use QR codes
  • Maximize the sensory aspect

Here’s what you need to know and do to maximize the effectiveness of these proven approaches:

Clean your mailing list

There’s been a lot of upheaval in the last 12 months, and address changes have been just a part of that upheaval. That means a mailing list that was solid one short year ago may be a mess today.

You may not know how to clean your mailing list, and that’s okay. We do. JHL Digital Direct has been cleaning and maintaining mailing lists for decades. We know the steps to take to clean your list, and the things to do to keep it clean.

It’s a brand-new year with many changes, either in the offing or already here. It’s vital to start your marketing efforts with a clean mailing list.

Segment your mailing list

Here’s a subject we’ll come back to time and again: 2021 is the year to get more personal than ever with your customers.

By “personal,” we don’t mean that embarrassing, TMI kind of personal. We mean that 2021 is the year to really shape your appeals to the important individual characteristics of the people you’re marketing to.

At least for now we have access to a treasure trove of demographic data that can be appended to your mailing list and used to microtarget your appeals.

Of course, that approach doesn’t really work unless you can also microtarget your printing and mailing efforts, so that each microtargeted segment has its own highly personalized message.

JHL has continually invested in technology over the years that gives it the ability to deliver highly targeted messaging to defined segments of your mailing list.

And that leads us to another topic: Microtargeting and variable printing also mean it’s easier than ever to test multiple messages with small audiences.

If you’re trying to find the exact messaging and packaging that resonates with key audiences, direct mail gives you that flexibility. It’s like having the multiple-messaging capabilities of digital without a lot of the uncertainty surrounding delivery, open rates, click-through rates, and more.

If it seems like the best of both worlds, that’s because it is.

Keep it personal

We told you we’d come back to this.

Personalization has been a crucial aspect of marketing for at least the last decade. Well, it’s even more important in 2021.

People are staying home more, and they’re not interacting with other people nearly as much. There’s less “groupthink” going on because there are fewer groups. That means messaging has to be more individualized than ever, and has to focus on where each customer is in their personal journey.

No medium or no algorithm will ever get to that point where they’re delivering messages or content that are precisely what that end user wants at that particular time. However, direct mail gives you the ability to deliver something tangible into people’s hands that’s been individualized to a remarkable degree.

JHL Digital Direct has extensive experience in creating personalized, individualized direct-mail pieces that have that necessary “wow” factor.

It’s what you need to do in 2021 to get your message out.

Don’t neglect QR codes

If you’re like a lot of people, you probably thought the QR code would be extinct by now.

It’s not – in fact, just the opposite is true: The humble QR code is experiencing something of a rebirth. And there’s a very good reason why.

Consider an average direct-mail piece. What’s the call to action? In many cases, it’s no longer filling out and mailing a form but visiting a website.

A QR code is an express lane to the web, the crucial bridge between print and electronic media.
On top of that, a QR code can lead a customer to a personalized URL or a unique landing page, where they can be delivered a highly customized marketing message.

Maybe QR codes aren’t the flashiest technology. (Full disclosure: They’re not.) However, QR codes may be just the thing your marketing project needs to deliver maximum impact.

At JHL Digital Direct, we know the best ways of incorporating QR codes into your direct-mail campaign. If you’re looking for that bridge between print and digital, we know the way.

Maximize the sensory aspect

If you’re working from home, like a lot of people, you know what’s important. A warm cup of coffee. The smell of bread baking. Soft, comfy clothes.

Especially these days, we’re looking for things and experiences that soothe our senses. Direct mail can deliver sensory delight in a way few other marketing tools can.

Obviously direct mail can deliver eye candy. However, it can also put in people’s hands things that are soothing to the touch, or things that smell nice. It can even – though it’s rarely done anymore – be used to send samples of foodstuffs or music.

Point is, direct mail simply has more ways to delight the senses than other media, at a time when sensory delight is more important than ever.

If you’re looking to delight the senses of your customers, call us. We love creative challenges, and we have the equipment to cut practically any challenge down to size.

Hopefully this has given you ideas on how to incorporate these success strategies into your 2021 marketing. If you have ideas that you’re looking to bring to life, call us. 2021 is the year for direct mail – and we’re the direct-mail specialists.

1/18/21 by Jim Felhofer

Copyright by JHL Digital Direct. All rights reserved.

Copyright by JHL Digital Direct. All rights reserved.