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2022 Direct Mail Trends & Opportunities


Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "2022 Direct Mail Trends & Opportunities," takes a look at direct mail marketing trends and the industries that will benefit most from the tactic during an out-of-control pandemic.  As the new year kicks off, we continue to grapple with issues like affordable healthcare, multiple variants, political clashes, immigration, and inflation, and the impact these issues have on every household in America. Life, as we knew it, pre-pandemic, may never be the same. One could make the argument that 2021 has been one of the most difficult to navigate in our nation's history, and 2022 may not be any different.  That said, brands and marketers continue to use direct mail to augment email marketing and social media advertising.  With unemployment numbers continuing to surge, the new administration may have no other choice but to inject capital to keep the economy afloat and support emerging opportunities.  Given that the nation may face another shelter-in-place directive in the coming weeks or months, we know that people will spend more time on the web, thus crowding and slowing online performance.  To that end, marketers and brands should understand that direct mail marketing can improve response rates for digital and other marketing initiatives. The following content will highlight the industries that are poised to benefit most from direct mail marketing initiatives.

Quote of the Day: "Wanting something is not enough. You must hunger for it. Your motivation must be absolutely compelling in order to overcome the obstacles that will invariably come your way." — Les Brown

In our quest to overcome the obstacles we face as a nation, it is imperative to look at logical approaches to find or create opportunities that may or may not be apparent.  Coupled with the motivation to succeed and the determination to meet and overcome any challenge, we can grow and reimagine the brand's value proposition.

Industries Poised to Benefit
When examining various industry opportunities, we need to consider any service, solution, or product along the value chain that positively impacts consumer sentiments and offerings. That would be any place experiencing increased spending in direct mail, coupled with omnichannel efforts. Some of the opportunities include:

  • Delivery and Shopping Services
  • Groceries
  • Financial Services
  • Insurance
  • Automotive
  • Home Healthcare/Telehealth
  • Retail
  • Home Improvement

Incentives From the Postal System

The USPS continues to build on the successes of past promotions, and 2022 will be no different. As a result, the USPS has put together the 2022 Promotions Calendar for marketers, printers, and mailers. With these promotions, USPS expects to increase overall mail value and help businesses improve their return on investment for these services. Each promotion period ranges between 3 to 6 months. 

Tactile, Sensory, & Interactive Mailpiece Engagement Promotion
The 2022 USPS Tactile, Sensory, & Interactive Mailpiece Engagement Promotion combines mail's physical aspects with print technological advances, thus providing marketers an opportunity to enhance customer interaction and engagement with direct mail to increase response rates. This promotion offers mailers the ability to deliver a multi-sensory experience that can include special visual effects, sound, scent, texture/tactile treatments, or even taste in mail pieces, along with reasonable postage discounts. This promotion will run from February 1, 2022, through July 31, 2022. Registration ends July 31, 2022. The discount is up to 4%. Eligible mail includes:

  • First-class Mail® letters, cards, and flats
  • USPS Marketing Mail letters and flats
  • Nonprofit USPS Marketing Mail letters and flats

It's a good idea to check with a commercial printing organization such as Dove Direct with an on-site USPS postal clerk who can manage the particulars for you, as this process will save time and resources.

Personalized Color Transpromo Promotion

The 2022 Personalized Color Transpromo Promotion encourages mail brands to underscore marketing messages using color, dynamic variable print, and personalization. When bills, statements, and promotions contain colorful messaging, this visually enhances the value of First-Class Mail. As a result, this process will foster an improved connection, engagement, and response from consumers. This promotion runs from July 1, 2022, through December 31, 2022. Registration starts on May 15, 2022, and ends on December 31, 2022.

  • The discount is 3%, with eligible mail being First-Class Mail Presort and Automation Letters.

Transactional and Transpromo documents that require dynamic variable print applications should be processed by a full-service commercial printer, such as Dove Direct, to ensure an efficient process that saves you time and resources.

Other USPS 2022 Promotions
There are several other promotions offered by the USPS, in 2022 including:

  • 2022 Earned Value Promotion
  • 2022 Informed Value Promotion
  • 2022 Mobile Shopping Promotion
  • 2022 Emerging & Advanced Technology Promotion
  • 2022 Promotions & Incentives

Direct Mail Lives On

Marketers should understand that direct mail marketing continues to be one of the most effective marketing mediums available, particularly when it comes to trustworthiness.  Consider consumer behavior when it comes to reading and responding to breaking news.  When news is breaking on digital outlets, folks will either (1) reference other digital news sites to ascertain the veracity of that news, or (2) Trust that the story is reliable, coming from a traditional news source that also has a digital arm, and therefore trustworthy.

  Have you noticed that your physical mailbox has become more active because you receive more direct mail pieces than usual?  That's part of the direct mail trend.  Advertisers and certain industries are learning that it is challenging to get people to respond in the digital universe during a pandemic.  They find that engagement and sales require more ad placements than ordinary circumstances.  The reachability factor has more marketers incorporating direct mail into the marketing mix.

Direct mail technology has kept pace with digital technological advancements.  The technology behind variable digital printing (VDP), along with a host of data points, now factor into unique customer profiles.  In addition to sort lists, there is a plethora of information to slice and dice.  For example, demographic, behavioral, attitudinal, lifestyle, life-stage, and psychographic data contribute to the message.  Data can pinpoint variables that make direct mail pieces incredibly personable, certainly beyond first and last name introductions. VDP allows for changes to call-to-action, graphics, text, offers, colors, language, and more within a single print job.

Personalization is No Longer An Afterthought

The art of personalization is here to stay and is continuing to evolve with technological advancements in 2022.  Personalized messaging is more necessary now than ever before for several reasons. In addition to digital overcrowding, work-from-home distractions, and economic uncertainty, there is the reachability factor. Even if postage costs continue to rise, those costs will be minimal, relatively speaking, as brands and marketers explore more ways to reach and engage audiences.

VDP (Variable Data Printing) is technology supporting personalization's one-to-one engagement.  The magic of print technology offers brands the capability to include charts, images, text, graphics, offers, and more. Marketers can also encapsulate the offer in whatever data the brand has available.  Research has shown that brands that amass more up-to-date data deliver higher engagement and response rates for their direct mail recipients. Another point from the study indicates that cross-promotion with current events helps to provide relevancy for consumers.

When direct mail marketing leads within the marketing mix strategy, this process allows the brand to better focus on the segments performing at the highest levels. In turn, this helps campaigns to be increasingly more personal, relevant, and even customized.  Personalization provides unique content an increased chance to be more relevant to every customer on the target data list.

Opportunities Require Adapting 

We now are undergoing improved coordination for a wide-reaching federal response and vaccine distribution program.  As a result, the economy is growing, albeit there may be bumps in the road ahead, depending on how Omicron or any other variant performs.  All of the known impacts and changes resulting from the pandemic, such as work from home, virtual conferences, zoom communications, and the explosion of e-commerce, will continue on par for the near future. Therefore, we must continue to look for new opportunities which no doubt will require varying degrees of adaptation.  For example, the real estate market is enjoying historically low-interest rates, fueling a rise in home buying and consequently marketing for the real estate industry. Expect to see more advertisers representing moving and packing companies, home renovators, and home financing.

The Net-Net

We contend that brands and marketers should take more time and scrutiny to examine every aspect that can institute a cost-effective direct mail campaign.  The primary focus should revolve around integrating direct mail in the marketing mix, particularly when employing any digital marketing campaign initiative.  Should you need an organization to partner with for direct mail campaign planning to deliver VDP, printing, barcode, mailing, or instituting a USPS promotion, contact Dove Direct; we would be pleased to work with you. Thanks for stopping by and taking a moment to read "2022 Direct Mail Opportunities and Trends."

Let's have a conversation about integrated business solutions and how they can help grow your business, change behavior, and improve the customer experience.  Let us show you how to improve your document processes to optimize your workflow, reduce costs, and maximize your organization's printing, letter shop, and mailing capabilities. Dove Direct does have an official USPS certified bureau located within our offices that will save you time and money. We can even create a demo file for you. 

For more information, call Carla Eubanks at 404-629-0122 or email Carla at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

Dove Direct, your Atlanta based print and mail solutions provider, offers organizations end-to-end data, printing, and mailing solutions:

  • Data Management
  • Variable Digital/Data Printing
  • LetterShop and Fulfillment
  • Digital Mail Scanning
  • Fully Automated MLOCR Presort Bureau
  • Marketing and Production Management Support
  • In-House USPS Postal Clerk
  • Secure Data Life Cycle Management
  • IT Solutions

If you don't want to wait, you can reach Dove Direct today by calling 404-629-0122 or using the Contact Form for Dove Direct.

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