December 21, 2020

27 Predictions for Direct Mail Trends in 2021

By Sara DeForest

We’ve updated this article to reflect predictions for direct mail trends in 2021.

While 2020 has certainly brought about incredible challenges, it also unlocked new opportunities to engage with customers, prospects, and employees. As the year’s events unfolded, companies went all-in on digital, and resilient teams learned how to shift to remote workproduce engaging virtual events, and meaningfully connect with prospects wherever they are

But as the digital world became saturated and Zoom fatigue kicked in, people began to crave offline experiences. As a result, strategies like direct mail that deliver a personal touch became more powerful than ever. That’s why at Sendoso, we launched more than 10 new features to help our customers stay connected to theirs — including Address ConfirmationSendoso Choice, and hundreds of eGift options

In 2021, revenue-generating teams will continue to combine online and offline strategies to create human connections. So what does that mean for direct mail trends? 

We asked our community of marketers, salespeople, and executives to share their top predictions for trends in direct mail and offline engagement in 2021. Here’s what they had to say: 

27 Predictions for Direct Mail Trends in 2021

Direct Mail Trends 2021 Prediction #1:

“More customization. Rather than mass printing thousands of the same content, create print content specific to the recipient.”

– Brian Murray, Managing Director, Craft Ventures

Direct Mail Trends 2021 Prediction #2:

“Direct mail will become even more internationally-relevant and accepted in more regions, especially in Europe.”

– Pat Oldenburg, VP of Demand Marketing & Operations, ServiceMax

Direct Mail Trends 2021 Prediction #3:

“Direct mail will see a positive spike due to webinar overload as marketers continue to look for ways to entice higher engagement.”

– Heather Sullivan, Sr. Director of Global Demand Generation, Topia

Direct Mail Trends 2021 Prediction #4:

“Offline engagement becomes even more important as the tectonic shift to remote work continues (despite COVID vaccines!) and reaching screen-fatigued prospects who are already bombarded online with too many webinars etc. via higher-touch, unorthodox methods offline such as via Sendoso become even more effective.”

– Paul Sebastien, CMO, Offensive Security Inc.

Direct Mail Trends 2021 Prediction #5:

“Zoom integrated into Drift/chat/events. Getting instant video engagement with a sales team or support or a CSM.”

– Jessica Fernandez, Demand Generation Manager, Rapid7

Direct Mail Trends 2021 Prediction #6:

“Growth. Constant and consistent growth.”

– Sid Mistry, Vice President of Marketing, Appen

Direct Mail Trends 2021 Prediction #7:

“It gets more competitive. I’m seeing new competitors as [direct mail] becomes a more and more critical channel.”

– Andy Mowat, Vice President of Growth Marketing & GTM Operations, Culture Amp

Direct Mail Trends 2021 Prediction #8:

“Standard SDR outreach (phone, email, LinkedIn) and digital marketing investments alone can’t drive exponential growth unless your company is in the right place at the right time. Offline/direct mail will continue to increase as creativity and standing out becomes even more important in the sea of ‘robospam’ and 10/80/10 outbound emails and LinkedIn touches. 

– Ray Carroll, VP of Sales, Skilljar 

Direct Mail Trends 2021 Prediction #9:

“Physical, participatory, and ‘not-too-business-y’ campaigns will become critical to build the most memorable experiences and lasting connections. Things like delivering swag boxes, incorporating workouts, or facilitating small group activities will help draw people in and overcome screen fatigue.”

– Kate Athmer, Sr. Director of Growth Marketing and Sales Development, Bombora

Direct Mail Trends 2021 Prediction #10:

“[Direct mail] will become as important for internal communication as external, meaning employers will want to bridge the gap between in-office and at-home.”

– Adam Carr, VP of Global Sales, Miro

Direct Mail Trends 2021 Prediction #11:

“More integration and automation into traditional demand gen activities like email, webinars, etc. More digital gifting as people have shifted to remote work permanently.”

– Sara Schonfeld, ABM Team Lead, Cornerstone OnDemand

Direct Mail Trends 2021 Prediction #12:

“The use of direct mail will more than double in 2021. It will be the antidote to the digital overload of 2020.”

– Carol Meyers, Venture Partner, Glasswing Ventures

Direct Mail Trends 2021 Prediction #13:

“I think that the needs for SMB-focused sending solutions is going to be huge in 2021. Sending programs can be cost-prohibitive for smaller orgs, but it doesn’t mean that they don’t want to connect with their users via direct mail.”

– Adelle Rodriguez, Sr. Marketing Manager of Customer Marketing, TrustRadius

Direct Mail Trends 2021 Prediction #14:

“Less branded pens, more value for the prospect. Personalization will remain most important when engaging with direct mail. It’s important that the offline engagement is bringing value to your prospects and customers and not centered around your company brand.”

– Katelyn Martin, Director of Marketing Operations, Jellyvision

Direct Mail Trends 2021 Prediction #15:

“I predict that direct mail becomes what email became about 10 years ago — an integral part of engagement programs and 1:1 marketing.”

– Michelle Burrows, CMO, Procare Software

Direct Mail Trends 2021 Prediction #16:

“Personalization will become even more important. No longer can you target your whole list with the same tactics. In a time where trust is more important than ever, personalizing your outreach approach will help build that trust by showing prospects that you are willing to go above and beyond to get their attention. That sets a great precedent on the first step of the larger customer experience.”

– Nicholas Price, Global Senior Manager of Content, Aircall

Direct Mail Trends 2021 Prediction #17:

“I think [direct mail] will increase as events are slow to come back and we look for ways to connect on a more personal level with prospects and customers.”

– Laura Hall, VP of Marketing, Revegy

Direct Mail Trends 2021 Prediction #18:

“Direct mail and offline engagement will increase by 60% from 2020. 80% of SMB organizations will see direct mail and offline engagement as a must-have.”

– Alex Murcia, Sr. Field Marketing Manager, ForgeRock

Direct Mail Trends 2021 Prediction #19:

“I don’t think we’ll be seeing offline events in the form we saw them pre-COVID until maybe 2H 2021 at the earliest… Creative direct mail now is so unique and rare it stands out from the online noise.”

– Adam Tesan, CRO, Chargebee

Direct Mail Trends 2021 Prediction #20:

“Direct mail used wisely will be a smash hit, especially as part of a multi-touch campaign with a well-thought-out message that matters. This will drive buyers and sellers to have more offline engagement using the phone or video conferencing.”

– Alice Heiman, Founder & Chief Sales Officer, Alice Heiman, LLC

Direct Mail Trends 2021 Prediction #21:

“I see the volume of direct mail and offline engagement continuing to increase with more creativity applied to tactile engagement and augmented reality.”

– Megan Flanagan, Sr. Director of Field and Channel Marketing, Arctic Wolf

Direct Mail Trends 2021 Prediction #22:

“Significant market growth and increased competition as marketers continue struggling to replace the lead flow that once came from live events.”

– Dan Dal Degan, Operating Executive, Marlin Equity Partners

Direct Mail Trends 2021 Prediction #23:

“Video direct mail is going to grow.”

– Mollie Leon, Marketing Manager, Zego

Direct Mail Trends 2021 Prediction #24:

“As the pandemic rages on and in-person events will be indefinitely postponed, I predict that sales reps and marketers will ramp up direct mail campaigns to grab their buyer’s attention. We’re going to see an increase in physical gifting and maybe even marketers and sellers will be encouraging prospects to post their unboxing experience on social!”

– Stephanie Sawah, Account Based Marketing Specialist, Achievers

Direct Mail Trends 2021 Prediction #25:

“With COVID-19 still raging and many knowledge workers continuing to work from home, direct mail will have a banner year in 2021 and will be the most powerful tool for getting on the radar of prospects who have become digitally overwhelmed with an onslaught of sales email and Linkedin messages.”

– Brad Zomick, VP Marketing, Forage

Direct Mail Trends 2021 Prediction #26:

“Connecting online and offline engagement.”

– Alana Ballon, Global GTM & Strategy Leader for Duo Sales, Duo Security

Direct Mail Trends 2021 Prediction #27:

“The market will continue to increase. One challenge is where to send direct mail and navigating who is going back to the office and who is not.”

– AJ Bruno, Founder & CEO, QuotaPath 

Thanks for checking out these predictions for direct mail trends in 2021! Want to learn how you can start sending to shape the direct mail trends of 2021? Schedule time with one of our sending experts by clicking the image below.

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