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Innovative technologies are enhancing traditional U.S. mail in ways that will have an enormous impact on direct mail marketing entrepreneurs in 2021.

Some exciting new tools include:

Informed Delivery
This is a new offering by the United States Postal Service (USPS) that allows anyone who received mail to see what they are getting before the mail gets delivered to their mailboxes. That is, they can use their computers to “digitally preview” the mail they will receive before it arrives.

Here’s how it works: The USPC scans every piece of mail that passes through its system. Users then sign up to receive Informed Delivery. They can then view mail that is on the way from using any device, from smartphone to tablet. They can view mail while away on a business trip or vacation.

Why is this helpful for direct mail marketers? Because they can shape the packaging or presentation of their marketing communications pieces to increase the curiosity/interest of mailbox holders about the item they are about to receive.

IP Targeting
Direct marketers can instantly turn their mailing lists into digital address lists, creating an integrated or hybrid marketing campaign. It makes it easy to combine snail mail with digital forms of communications, from texting to emails. Reaching buyers across multiple channels is a powerful way to increase sales.

Location Targeting
Also called geo-targeting, this allows marketers to send mail to all-new postal box holders by finding prospects who are “pre-qualified” to be interested in a product or service.

Tactile Engagement
Another way to get people more involved with a direct mail piece is to appeal to their senses, such as smell and touch. For example, specialty inks are available to make a piece of mail more pleasant to the touch and handle. That increases response. The same goes for the type or quality of paper used to create a direct mail piece.

Inkjet Web Technology
Direct mail marketers will continue to innovate with their inlet printers in 2021. Inkjet printers and toners create the in-house capability to offers, shape, vary, and fine-tune messaging. For example, a seller may divide their captured customer list based on the degree of customer-to-business familiarity. Then inkjet modes can be tailored to craft messages for “newbie,” “advanced,” or “intermediate” level customers.