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4 Reasons to Try Direct Mail and 4 Ways to Get Started

By Jenna Bruce on Mon, Jul 15, 2019 @ 10:00 AM |


Consumers are become entirely overwhelmed with digital information and sales pitches coming at them in their email inbox, on their social media feeds, and just about everyplace else online. That’s why more of our clients have tried and found success with direct mail campaigns. Direct mail can stand out from the digital marketing noise and drive immediate action from consumers.

4 Reasons to Try Direct Marketing

Thinking about incorporating direct mail into your marketing mix but aren’t 100% certain this tactic is for you? Here are 4 reasons you should give direct mail a try.

  1. It Offers a Personal Touch

In order for any campaign to be effective and provide a solid return on investment, it needs to connect with an audience, engage them, and move them to action. So much marketing is cold and impersonal, but direct mail offers a personal touch.

First, unlike digital marketing, you can actually hold a letter in your hands, and most human beings enjoy a tactile experience. Mail is also opened in someone’s home, not on their smartphone out in the world as with an email. A person may be sitting at their kitchen table when they read about your offer, and it doesn’t get more personal than that.

  1. Consumers Like to Engage with Physical MailDelivery guy holding package while woman is signing documents

Past studies by Epsilon have found that consumers overwhelmingly prefer direct mail over email marketing.  77% sort through physical mail as soon as they get it. And encouraging data from the U.S. Postal Service shows that 98% of people check their “snail mail” daily.

Compare this to how many people respond to emails in their inbox. It used to be thrilling to hear “You got mail” -well, if you’re old enough – but nowadays, most people’s inbox is crammed with spam and junk mail. They may take a quick scan to see if there is any email from people they actually know, then delete the rest without opening any messages.

  1. Inherent Trust

Thanks to a growing concern about cybercrime and phishing scams, more and more people are becoming very leery of digital communications. You need only read one article about a consumer’s identity being stolen by someone in Somalia to never want to click on another link again.

Direct mail simply isn’t faced with these same challenges. In fact, the more “attachments” you include and the thicker the envelope, the more interest you elicit from consumers who want to know what’s inside your mailing.

  1. Enhanced Delivery

Direct mail pieces can be as simple or elaborate as you wish. The same can’t be said for display ads or email or text messaging. Direct mail marketers can use brightly-colored and interesting-shaped envelopes, font that mimics real handwriting, and real stamps (instead of those mass advertising indicia stamps). These are just some of the ways mail can be uniquely packaged and delivered to entice consumers to open your message.

4 Ways to Get Started

Now that you know the benefits of direct mail marketing, let’s take a look at some ways to fast-track your success:

  1. Define a Single Campaign Goal

Direct mail is no different than any other marketing strategy in that you will need to first define a SINGLE goal your campaign will reach.

Some goals are:

  • Sales generation – Do you want to obtain orders, schedule appointments or reservations, or induce some other action that directly creates revenue?
  • Lead generation - In B2B messaging, a typical lead generation mailing might ask for the reader to make an appointment; in B2C mailings, the goal may be to get someone into a brick-and-mortar store or visit an online store.
  • Customer retention – Do you want to focus on customer retention by sending newsletters, updates and loyalty program status, or maybe announcements of exclusive, customer-only buying opportunities or special services.
  1. Personalize it

Variable data printing allows you to insert the recipients name right in the address and greeting. Not only this, you can also use data to match text and imagery to the recipient’s purchasing history and/or demographic information.

  1. Rinse and Repeat

The key to a successful direct mail campaign is repetition. Of course, you don’t want to mail your list so often that you annoy them. Ideally, you’ll want to send a mailing out once a month, that’s generally a good rule of thumb to follow. Stay the course even if you don’t get many (or any) responses after your first or second mailing. It will take a bit of time for your cold traffic to warm up to you.

  1. Measure Your Success

Consider using a unique 800 number or store coupon so you can accurately track your campaign’s success.


If you want to stand out to consumers in this day and age and get a high return on your investment, you’ve got to do something that is different than what your competitors are doing. Because most marketers are completely focusing their marketing efforts online, that leaves the mailbox wide open for a special few.

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