Direct Mail in a Post-Pandemic World: What’s Changed and What Hasn’t

January 2, 2024by Larisa Bedgood0

The marketing landscape has been through a significant transformation in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses across the globe have adapted to new consumer behaviors and preferences. One marketing channel that has seen a resurgence in effectiveness is direct mail.

Direct Mail Pre and Post-Pandemic

According to a study by Vericast, when it comes to direct mail, 49% of the affluent segment (those with household income of $100K+) were more excited about receiving mail than they were pre-pandemic. The same survey revealed that 44% percent of millennials were spending more time reading direct mail marketing or promotions than they were before.

Additional stats from the research include:

  • 70% of respondents said they regularly read or look at ads that come in the mail (Vericast Awareness-to-Action Study, June 2022)
  • 61% said it makes them aware of neighborhood stores, restaurants and services — 67% of millennials and baby boomers agree (Vericast Awareness-to-Action Study, March 2022)
  • 47% said direct mail motivates them to try a new store or product — 55% of millennial parents agree (Vericast Awareness-to-Action Study, March 2022)

Personalization is Paramount


  • What’s Changed: Personalization has always been important, but in a post-pandemic world, it’s non-negotiable. Consumers expect tailored messages that address their specific needs and concerns.
  • What Hasn’t: The enduring power of personalization in direct mail cannot be overstated. The more you know about your audience, the more effectively you can craft personalized content that resonates with them.

Digital Integration is Key

  • What’s Changed: Direct mail is no longer a standalone marketing channel. It’s now seamlessly integrated with digital efforts, such as personalized URLs, QR codes, and augmented reality. This integration is important to increase engagement.
  • What Hasn’t: While the integration has evolved, the core principle remains the same: delivering a consistent brand message across both digital and physical touchpoints.

Data-Driven Decision Making


  • What’s Changed: Advanced data analytics and AI-driven insights now play a more prominent role in creating data-driven direct mail campaigns. This allows for precise targeting and real-time adjustments.
  • What Hasn’t: The reliance on data remains constant. Understanding your audience, tracking campaign performance, and making data-informed decisions are as crucial as ever.

Sustainability Matters

  • What’s Changed: Eco-conscious consumers are prioritizing sustainability. Businesses are shifting towards eco-friendly materials and production methods for their direct mail campaigns.
  • What Hasn’t: The commitment to being environmentally responsible continues to be a priority for businesses, and this trend is likely to grow stronger.

Multi-Channel Engagement

  • What’s Changed: Post-pandemic, the customer journey is more multi-channel than ever. Direct mail can serve as a catalyst for further engagement across various touchpoints, such as social media and websites.
  • What Hasn’t: The idea of engaging customers through multiple channels remains a steadfast strategy to enhance brand exposure and customer interactions.

Safety and Trust

  • What’s Changed: Safety concerns have led to changes in direct mail packaging and delivery methods. Customers expect brands to prioritize their safety and well-being.
  • What Hasn’t: Trust remains a cornerstone of direct mail. Building trust through transparent and consistent communication continues to be of utmost importance.

Embracing New Marketing Horizons

While digital ad spending is on the rise, the marketing industry is recognizing the unique advantages that traditional channels like direct mail offer in connecting with customers. 

Consider these noteworthy statistics:

  • The latest (2023) ANA Response Report reveals that direct mail letters provide an impressive average ROI of 43%.
  • According to Lob’s 2023 State of Direct Mail report, a significant 74% of marketers agree that direct mail delivers the highest ROI among all channels.
  • Winterberry Group’s forecasts for 2023 anticipate a shift in advertising dollars, with direct mail spending increasing from 1.6% to 3.3%, while spending on various digital channels is expected to decrease.

Direct mail is far from outdated. In fact, it has evolved and adapted to the challenges of a post-pandemic world. By staying attuned to the latest trends, you can harness the power of direct mail in your marketing strategy. As the marketing landscape continues to change, it’s clear that direct mail remains a potent tool in your arsenal.

For more information and ideas to help you fuel your customer acquisition programs, contact Welcome Wagon! Founded in 1928 to welcome new movers to their community, Welcome Wagon is committed to connecting with new homeowners through their mailboxes and online. 

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