Influence of COVID-19 on the Direct Marketing Industry

Unfortunately, there is no direct marketing blueprint to reference during a pandemic. DTC marketers are faced with the tough decision to stay on the pre-pandemic path or try new channels and strategies in response to our shifting environment. Our clients and prospects are left asking us, “What’s next?”

Honestly, we don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but we do know we are committed to providing empathetic and transparent guidance to help direct marketers make decisions regarding their marketing strategy during this extraordinary and trying situation.

Throughout the coming days and weeks, we will be developing ongoing blog content in an early attempt to share research and findings, best practices and our perspective on the potential impacts of COVID-19 on the direct mail and digital marketing channels. We understand multiple variables are in play and changing daily, so we plan to provide updated content regularly.

Below are our immediate impressions.

Practice Empathic Messaging

With a nationwide government-imposed quarantine that could last months, there is a near term captive audience of homebound consumers that is unprecedented in our country. Direct mail, digital and connected TV advertising are in the best position to successfully deliver marketing messages and offers to consumers. It will be critical that all messaging reflects the appropriate amount of empathy in our new reality. Think about how your brand can be part of the solution, remembering we are all in this together – craving compassion, security and community during this crisis.

DTC Brand Growth Opportunities

It’s also important to remember your brand is still competing. Brands who choose to pull away may find themselves struggling to catch up when the world and economy emerge from quarantine. The demand for DTC services and delivery is likely to grow in the coming months, and for the right type of DTC products and services, marketers could see a more robust open rate and read rate of their direct mail and digital marketing tactics. Should you choose to shift your offline campaigns online, or integrate the two channels, the hyper-targeted lookalike data utilized in direct mail campaigns can be used to drive your digital marketing efforts and further increase likelihood that your message is viewed.

The Mail Channel is Essential

With regard to the continued reliance upon actual delivery of mail, the U.S. Postal Service is deemed an essential service for purposes of its compliance with state or municipal shelter-in-place orders or other social distancing restrictions. In a recent announcement, the USPS shared there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 is being spread through the mail. Therefore, we do not expect mail delivery to be affected during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Each brand is unique, and each marketing decision should be weighed based on your unique variables. We will expand on our perspectives here and introduce others in the coming days. If you have any questions related to COVID-19 or what your business is experiencing, please don’t hesitate to share them with your SeQuel Response Marketing Strategist, or submit them here as a topic consideration for an upcoming blog post.


Posted 3.23.2020