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The Ultimate Guide to Direct Mail Marketing

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10 Sep. 2020


What is direct mail marketing? it is a channel through which marketers send printed promotional materials to customers via postal mail. The goal is to build a long-term business relationship and establish a strong customer base. Apart from direct mail, other forms of direct marketing include email phone (telemarketing), text (short message service-SMS), among others.

How Does Direct Mail Marketing Works?

Direct mail marketing may sound like a simple strategy that any marketer can use. However, generating successful direct mail campaigns requires comprehensive planning that will take you some time to accomplish. In this article, we are going to give you the ultimate guide to direct mail marketing. it is a step-by-step process and it will enable you to understand how direct mail marketing works.

Before we go further, there are three main components that you have to consider first;

Targeted List

Your list is a major determinant of a successful marketing campaign. For this reason, ensure you generate a list that targets people who would be interested in your productor service. A direct response list will work best for you in this case. Avoid compiling lists or buying lists from various sources as this could negatively affect your mail deliverability. So, when you are building a targeted list, ask yourself whether your services are relevant to them. The more targeted list you generate, the more likely your marketing campaign will succeed. It all starts with generating a great targeted list.

Promotional Offer

After setting up your target list, now put the focus on the promotional offer. It doesn't mean you focus on your product or service. No. you need to think of this as a process. Focus more on the steps that will lead to a successful sale of your product or services rather than the sale itself. What will make your customer buy your product? Think about offering gifts, free trials, discounts, just to mention a few.

Compelling Creative

Here, focus on capturing your audience's attention. If you don't, all these will be a waste of time. consider color and copy on the outside of your envelope. Follow with a message from the outside of the envelope once they open it. Make it easy for them to respond.

Common Types of Direct Mail Pieces

1. Letters/Envelopes

Letters provide you with a cost-effective way of reaching out to your target market. Because letters are a personal way of communicating with your customers, a well-written one creates a one-on-one connection with your target audience. And you know what? Letters guarantee that most of your customers will respond to your mail.

2. Self-Mailers

Self-mailers are suitable if you are looking to send letter-sized marketing mail to your customerswithout having to use an envelope. It is cost-effective since you will not buy an envelope and it gives you more room for your copy.

3. Postcard Mailing

This is also one of the most cost-effective ways of sending emails to your customers. It is suitable especially if you are looking to announce an event, or send your target market to your website, or a store.

4. Catalogs

Catalogs are a great way to generate sales and it is regarded as one of the primary marketing tools you can ever think of. Catalogs are known for attracting huge website traffic. They offer your business a bunch of benefits including allowing your recipients to browse through your website and discover new products or new features of an existing product in the market.

The size of the catalogs you will need to use depends on the number of pages you are looking to feature.

Direct Mail Marketing Best Practices

I. Identify Your Target Market

As mentioned earlier, a successful direct mail campaign requires you to identify your target market first. Determinewhy your current customers buy from you. Who among them brings in the most profit? Also, check on your competitors. Who are theytargeting and why? Find out a gap they haven’t filled yet.

Consider the demographics of your target market. Who is likely to buy your product and why? Consider adding location, age, gender, income, education, occupation, and marital status to your list of concerns. Consider how your product or service will affect the lifestyle of your target audience.

II. Identify Your Goals

Your marketing goals will help you decide on the message you will send to your target market. What are your motives? What would you like to accomplish with your marketing campaign? Are you introducing your business to the market? Are you promoting your brand or is it a new product you are introducing to the market?

You can only achieve this by knowing who your audience is.

III. Write and Generate Your Direct Mail

You have your goals, now it is time to write and design your direct mail. Just assume people are busy and users are receiving a lot of mails. Your direct mail piece needs to capture your audience's attention from the outside of the mailbox. So, you need to come up with a creative design.

Why Direct Mail Marketing Is Far from Over

Direct mail is evolving simultaneously with new technology. Direct mail keeps changing with newer technologies. It is one great way of making your business stand out among competitors who don’t recognize the use of physical mail. This gives your target audience a tangible mailpiece that feels more personal than sending emails that may never be opened. This in turn, promotes your brand by improving its awareness among your prospective customers and the existing ones. Creating personalized mails will build a strong customer base as well as lasting business relationships with your target audience.


Many businesses regard digital marketing as the most important aspect to focus on their campaigns and therefore treating direct mail marketing as an obsolete method. But it is a relevant marketing method considering its benefits like sending personalized emails. It is as important as digital marketing if your goal is to build a successful marketing campaign.

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