Guide to Direct Mail Marketing with 7 Examples

Guide to Direct Mail with 7 examples
Table of Contents

    Marketers like to make big, bold claims about certain marketing channels being dead. Not only is it dramatic, it’s rarely true. With people working and spending their downtime online, many have said direct mail is dead. We’re here to assure you, direct mail marketing is alive and well (the average US household receives 454 pieces of direct mail each year) and has a serious ROI. Let’s dive into how you can use the channel to get in front of your audience, compliment your digital strategy, and give you a few creative examples on how to do it. 

    What is Direct Mail Marketing?

    Snail mail spam? Direct mail is a physical mailer, package, brochure, post card, or letter sent to prospective customers or a certain area. It’s used by both B2C and B2B companies to reach their audiences. 

    Does Direct Mail Marketing Work?

    These stats say yes! 

    • 90% of direct mail is opened.
    • 42% of recipients of direct mail either read or scan the mail they receive from brands.
    • 75% of people can recall the name of a brand after reading a piece of direct mail, while only 44% can do the same after reading an email.
    • 73% of US consumers say they prefer to be contacted by direct mail because they can read the message on their own time. 
    • 63% of direct to consumer brands invest in direct mail. 
    • On average, direct mail stays in a person’s house between 7 and 17 days. Giving them plenty of time to see your brand and read the content multiple times. 

    What is the response rate of direct mail?

    While email is significantly cheaper to send, especially at scale, than direct mail, the response rate is lower. 

    The response rate of direct mail is 9x higher than email. 

    Direct mail had an average response rate of 9% of house list and 4.9% of prospect lists, while email has about a 1% response rate on average. 

    How does direct mail marketing compliment digital marketing?

    As stated above, brand recall is higher with direct mail than with digital marketing. The average consumer comes into contact with 4000 to 10000 marketing messages every single day. Direct mail can increase brand recognition across other marketing channels, making your ads stand out among the sea of offers. Direct mail is a touchpoint with a ripple effect. A Harvard Business Review study found customers who receive both direct mail and email from a company had a 49% lift in sales and a 125% increase in inquiries.  While customers who only received email had small lifts of 28% and 77% respectively.

    How to set up a direct mail campaign.

    As with all marketing efforts, you need to have a goal, you can’t measure the effectiveness of something unless you have a ruler. The ruler is your goal. Having a clear goal in mind will also help you as you work through the rest of the steps. 

    Step 1 – Define Your Audience

    Who are you targeting with your direct mail marketing campaign. Take the time to do this upfront wills ave you time and money in the future, so you’re not sending mail to people who aren’t ready and able to accept your offer. 

    Step 2 – Build a Quality Mailing List

    Build of list of people within your defined audience. You can use first party data to retarget website visitors, buy 2nd party data from a company that targets the same audience as you, or buy a third-party list from a direct mail service. Remember though that the farther the data gets away from the original source (the customer) the more inaccurate it can become.

    Step 3 – Write a Killer CTA

    Your call to action should be clear, so the customer understands what you want them to do, and should align with your campaign goal.

    Step 4 – Choose What to Send

    You want what you’re sending to stand out in a person’s mailbox. Most data says the bigger the direct mail the better, however tiny things or things that pop up or out also get notice. Below are several examples of great campaigns.

    Step 5 – Design Your Mail

    Many direct mail services will do this for you, or you can have your design team create it for you. 

    Step 6 – Use a Sending Platform or Direct Mail Service

    Hire an expert that does it all, you save yourself a ton of money and time by hiring someone who knows what they are doing over trying to piece together everything yourself.

    Step 7 – Track Your Campaigns

    To know how effective your messaging and campaign is, you’ll need to set up tracking. Create unique phone numbers, URLs, QR codes, and coupon codes, so you know how many customers responded. Make the these things clear and obvious, you lose tracking if customers head to google because they can’t figure out how to contact you. 

    Can you automate direct mail?

    Marketers automate as much as they possibly can. Many businesses set up ongoing direct mail campaigns and automate them through integrations. You can set up integrations that send all new customers, a personalized welcome card or an automation that automatically sends website visitors who show intent a piece of direct mail. You can also trigger direct mail to be sent to customers who haven’t made a purchase in a few months or remind them to order a refill. (Tag RAEK on Website visitors)

    Sending platforms directly integrate with most of the top business software programs, or you can use Zapier if the integration you need isn’t offered. 

    7 Direct Mail Marketing Examples 

    1 – Highlight the good your company does for the community. 

    BOMBAS – Direct mail doesn’t have to offer a discount. This piece of direct mail highlights the good the company and their customers do with each purchase. People want to feel good about what they’re buying and are often willing to pay a premium if the purchase helps others

    2-Stand out with unique shapes and sizes

    PAPA JOHNS – Direct mail experts agree that the larger the mailer, the more successful it is – mainly because it stands out. You can also stand out with unique shapes like this papa johns mailer. Bonus points that it makes the recipient mouth water as well.

    3- Discounts and celebrities

    WAYFAIR – This mailer features Kelly Clarkson as the receiver’s own personal hype woman. Empowering fans to make their space theirs and offering a discount to get them started. Using a celebrity can increase the reception of the message. 

    4 – Improve their life

    HELLO FRESH – The messaging on this piece of mail is solid. Get out of your meal rut AND save time and money. If you have a clearly refined audience, offer to solve their pain points and focus on them. 

    5 – Offer to help – The convenience of online shopping mixed with the expert help you receive when shopping in person. This mailer from features your ability to chat live with a wine expert while shopping for wine that will be delivered directly to your door. The pop out coupon is genius for those who don’t want to keep the whole flyer around or want to pass the coupon along to their wine loving friend. 

    6 – Lifecycle marketing

    Road Runner Sports – You can use direct mail throughout the entire lifecycle of a customer. This Road Runner Sports mailer rewards VIP members with a double discount. When setting a goal, think of how you can engage customers at every stage of the customer journey. 

    7- Show off your product

    Home Chef – When considering meal delivery services, people want to know how big the servings are and if theta re going to like the food. Home Chef doesn’t only say our food is delicious, they show you with 14 colorful mouthwatering pictures of their meals. Yum!

    Direct mail doesn’t have to be snail mail spam. As we’ve shown, it can be highly targeted, engaging, and welcome additions to people’s mail boxes. 

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    The RAEK Team

    RAEK was built by a group of digital marketers on a mission to help small businesses grow and easily utilize their first-party customer data.