4 steps to create a memorable direct mail marketing campaign

Advertisements shout out at you from every direction. They’re in your email inbox, on your social media feed and even on your favorite news site.
It might seem like online ads are the only way to get your audience’s attention these days, but consider leveraging direct mail marketing tactics from your toolbox to trigger a lead. 

Why use direct mail marketing?

A study by the United States Postal Service indicated that customers subconsciously perceived more value and desirability when products were advertised in physical format. Customers were also able to recall an ad more quickly and with more confidence when it was a physical ad. 
Seventy-six percent of customers trust direct mail ads when it comes to purchase decisions.
Plus, direct mail marketing has an ROI of 29%, cementing its position as an effective tactic.

How to do it right

1. Choose your mailing list

You can pay for mailing lists that have already been compiled or you can create your own with client accounts, gated content and proprietary data from services such as EDA or RigDig. Either way, your mailing list can be as general or as targeted as you require.

2. Create an engaging design

Direct mail doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, if you want to stand out from junk mail and birthday cards, it shouldn’t be.
Good design rules will stay the same despite the medium. CAT’s postcard promotion features a compelling offer and uses many excellent design elements such as concise text, white space and strong images to create a powerful ad.
CAT direct mail marketing example
Since it is a tangible ad, you have an opportunity to make it stand out even more with high-quality, thick paper and embossed elements or other textures so it feels substantial in your customer’s hands. Interactive designs, such as IBM’s origami mail, also capture the reader’s attention.
IBM origami direct mail marketing ad
You don’t have to stop at packaging. For instance, you could send a full box of branded items or a small gift in an envelope.
This clever invitation mockup by SaaSMQL captures attention with a free bag of popcorn, specifically meant to be enjoyed during their upcoming webinar. 
direct mail marketing example from SaaSMQL

3. Personalize, print and distribute

When printing, use variable data printing, which uses software to customize design elements from one printed piece to the next, to personalize the piece with a name, images or offers specific to each recipient.
And while it’s certainly possible for you to print, label and mail every single marketing piece, it’s much more efficient to use the services of a third-party distributor. 

4. Measure your results

Take note of how many calls-to-action are answered following your direct mail campaign. Send offers specifically through print mail or ask buyers how they learned of the event or sale when they convert. When registering new client accounts, write down if they came to your business because of a direct mail campaign so you can assess the lifetime value of customers you reach out to with print.


Direct mail marketing can contribute more than you think. With more trust, higher recall and more perceived value, direct mail should still be an asset in your marketing campaign.
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