4 Simple Ways to Create Winning Direct Mail Campaigns | Pel Hughes

Although it may be lost on the general population, marketers recognize that direct mail is still one of the largest drivers of business in the game. For the non-believers, consider this:

  • Direct mail is the second-most used medium (57%), tied with social media.
  • Direct mail pulls a higher response rate than any digital direct marketing medium.
  • Direct mail has the third highest median ROI, behind email and social media marketing (only 1 percentage point behind social media). 

Now that we have your attention, it’s important to not only know the importance of direct mail marketing campaigns, but understand what it takes to create an effective operation. This article provides four simple ways for your business or organization to take advantage of direct mail, and create a campaign that pleases your audience and increases your bottom line. 


  • Integrate Digital with Direct 


A lot of marketers (or businesspeople for that matter) view direct mail campaigns as a competition against digital formats. It’s hard-copy versus digital. It’s a tangible piece of mail versus an email. It’s “we’re a 21st century company that solely focuses on digital aspects of marketing.

This is a mistake. 

Instead, organizations should be considering how they can integrate digital tools such as data and technology into their direct mail campaigns. For example, match your direct mail data file to an IP address file, then target specific consumers on your list. Similarly, you can match your direct file to social media outlets, such as Facebook or Instagram.

Think of direct mail and digital marketing as more of a partnership. Each must give and take, but when they function properly together, they’re unstoppable.


  • Get Creative 


After we just ranted about the importance of utilizing tech into your campaign, it’s also crucial that direct mail campaigns don’t lose the pillar of effective marketing: creativity. 

As we noted in the outset, most of the population views direct mail as an out-of-date system that will eventually fall by the wayside. And although statistics show this just isn’t the case, it is true that many people will disregard tangible mail without giving it a second thought. The best way to combat this is to not allow them to do so. 

A creative marketing campaign will help your business or organization stand out from the rest, and bring your audience in to read what you have to say. 

Creative cut-outs or secret messages are classics that never die. For example, one company used a wine glass printout on their mail with a cut-out that filled the wine glass as you pulled the top piece up, revealing a message in the glass. Another is from a Belgium company. There, they wanted to reach their audience and underscore the importance of water. So they created a piece of mail that could only be read once the reader ran the mail underwater, revealing a secret message. 

Or, if you’re too “techy” for these ideas, you can even work with 3D images or Augmented Reality to set your campaign apart. Check out or HP Reveal or Layar and see just how cool AR can be when used in direct mail.


  • Look to and Utilize Data 


In line with our discussion in number one, data is one of the most important tools in a marketers’ arsenal. And direct mail is one of the most effective methods for gathering data on current and prospective customers that can be used to tailor your campaign, or determine where your business should be headed in the future. 

Marketers can measure data such as response rates from direct mail through sources ranging from standard call-tracking, to trackable URLs, to coupon or QR codes. The data that is produced from these mechanisms can then be categorized, and overtime you will have a substantial consumer database upon which to make more informed decisions. 

However, it’s recommended that before these data-collecting tools are implemented, marketing teams should create Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), such as response rates, conversion rates, average order size, ROI or cost per acquisition. These KPIs will show how well a campaign is reaching goals that you set.  


  • Personalize & Follow Up


In a busy world focused on speeding through the junk mail, box in your mailbox at home and the one on your phone, any winning mail campaign will add a touch of personalization to their message. As I’m sure we’ve all noticed, every piece of mail begins with, “Hi, Amanda” or “We’d love to hear from you, Chris.” 

This isn’t what we mean by personalization. 

Truly personal messages that seek to not only market a product to a consumer, but also take the time to personalize a message will help build a relationship with your audience. In the long run, this will substantially help sustain long-term revenue. Here are a few statistics we’ll leave you with in case you’re questioning this last way to create a winning direct mail campaign:

  • In 2019, 72% of consumers engaged only with marketing messages that provided a customized message that matched their specific interest. 
  • Personalization engines that are used to recognize customer intent can increase digital business profits up to 15%.
  • 92% of online shoppers will complete a purchase if there are personalized recommendations or promotions on a business’s website.
  • A recent study by Gartner shows that 87% of consumers claim that personally relevant content will positively influence their outlook on that particular brand. 
  • Nearly 50% of consumers have purchased a product they did not intend on purchasing merely because they could personally engage with the content.