What Is Direct Mail Marketing?

Direct mail marketing is a tactical marketing strategy that involves physically sending something to a customer or prospect’s mailbox through the United States Postal Service or using some other type of delivery service. Common examples of direct mail marketing examples are postcards, catalogs, flyers, newsletters, or promotional mailers.

Email marketing can be thought of as a digital equivalent of direct mail. While email is a more common marketing tactic, direct mail marketing is still a very effective method for reaching targeted leads. In fact, when done right, direct email can significantly improve your sales.

What Is Direct Mail Marketing?

In the broadest sense, direct mail marketing is any physical correspondence you send to customers or prospects in the hopes of getting them to patronize your business.

All direct mail pieces have three common elements. They identify the organization that sent the mailer. They include a call to action, and also tell the recipient who to contact you. The rest is up to you. Get as creative—or as basic—as you like.


Does Direct Mail Marketing Still Work?

Direct mail definitely works. It can support your other marketing efforts, and sometimes, a piece of mail is the best type of persuasive nudge to use to reach revenue goals.

Direct mail is effective for many reasons, but let’s take a look at three reasons why direct mail marketing works.

(1) You Can Get Creative

Content is king! You’ve heard that one before. Well, it’s true, and direct mail marketing can be a strong pillar in your overall content marketing overall. Direct mail lets you tell a story, or direct leads to online information, or encourage people to follow you on social media. When you combine your online marketing efforts with direct mail, the impact it can have on your bottom line can be drastic.

(2) Never Underestimate Something Physical

Unlike everything digital, direct mail marketing involves physical items that your prospects get to touch. You can’t hold an email, social media post, or an online graphic. However, you can hold something sent to you through the mail. The physical aspect of mail helps to increase the odds of getting attention and also getting your information remembered.

Because direct mail is a real thing, and it usually reaches your audience, it can be a very effective marketing tactic.

(3) Your Leads Hold What You Send

Unlike email marketing, where only a small percentage of email recipients will open an email, the majority of recipients who receive a mailing actually look at it. If you make your mailing valuable, memorable, or useful, they may decide to hang onto your mailer, look at the information multiple times, and finally decide to act.

Even when you send digital remarketing ads to interested leads, it can be a bigger challenge to get your offer in front of people. With direct mail, it is the channel where you are highly likely to reach your lead and have them look at your message.

Ahead Of The Competition

With more companies focusing on digital marketing and cutting back on direct mail, this is the perfect time to get ahead of your competition. There’s no question about it. Digital marketing is the new battlefront, which is why we recommend digital marketing ourselves. However, due to this growing gap, for many companies, this also means it is the perfect time to launch a new direct mail marketing campaign.

Since potential customers are receiving less direct mail, that means fewer distractions arriving in the mailbox and less competition for you to reach your target prospects through this channel.

Direct Mail Marketing Guidelines

Before we close this blog out, here are a few more essential factors to remember as it pertains to direct mail.

(1) Make Sure Your Audience Is Defined

Before you ever use direct mail or hire a direct mail marketing company, you must know who your perfect clients/customers are. Your target prospects have a specific persona that others do not. If you aren’t clear on your audience, you may struggle to get results.

(Ask us for a free quick consult if you want pointers on figuring this out.)

(2) Make Sure You Always Have A CTA

CTA stands for “Call To Action,” which represents what you want your prospect to do. A CTA could be a lot of different things, such as:

  • Visit a specific URL
  • Visit a social media profile
  • Use a promotional code
  • Bring in something to the store for a discount


(3) Testing is Best

Thanks to decades of experience, we’ve learned what to do and what not to do as it pertains to direct mail marketing. The smart, direct mail marketer starts with best practices and combines that with testing.

Testing gives you data. Data helps you set benchmarks. It all comes down to learning what works, what doesn’t, and then use what you learn to improve and optimize your direct mail marketing campaigns.

You can test:

  • Graphics and images
  • Fonts and colors
  • Messaging and copywriting
  • Headlines
  • CTAs


(4) Always Follow Up

If you’ve been wondering why your marketing campaigns have failed, one common reason is “no follow up.”

We met with a potential client that had just sent out their first direct mail marketing campaign. When we asked what they did for a follow-up, their faces were blank.

Before mailing, figure out what you are going to do as a follow-up, especially when you are marketing something that requires high involvement for a purchase to take place.

(5) Always Proofread Your Mailers

Not just for content – but to see if the copy makes sense and comes across as compelling. And if everyone loves everything you propose, and has no suggestions to offer, maybe you need a different group of readers.

(6) Don’t Ignore Your Online Assets

Yes, the point is to reach your prospects with physical mail. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t want to drive them to our online assets: website, social media, forums, groups, etc.

Remember, you are far more likely to make a sale when a mailing recipient experiences your brand at other touchpoints.

Direct Mail Marketing Works

Yes, we know its obvious. We are passionate about direct mail marketing. Why? Because we know how powerful it can be for your company.

We’ve spent more than a decade working with companies just like yours, helping them reach their target customers via direct mail.

With so many companies shifting funds to digital marketing, there’s a huge opportunity right now to gain market share from your competitors.

Direct mail marketing works!

Want to learn more about direct mail marketing and how it can help you grow your company? Be sure to reach out. It only takes a few minutes to see if it’ll would work for you. You can reach us by clicking here (our web form) or by calling us directly at (770) 846-3510.

You can learn more about direct mail marketing services here.

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