It’s no longer accurate to say that readers are moving toward a digital preference to receive their content. Readers aren’t moving that way, they’re already there. So, then, why is this article titled “5 Reasons Why Direct Mail is an Effective Business Tool”? Short answer: Statistics, science and physical connection. Long answer: see below.



  1. Science – Neuroscience to be Exact
    A recent study from Temple University consumer neuroscience researchers found significant differences in the way our brains process digital services and direct mail. Among their findings, while digital ads are processed faster, consumers engage with paper ads for a longer period of time, and the physical ads often cause more activity in parts of the brain associated with value and desire. Moreover, the study showed that physical ads cause greater activation of the ventral striatum – the brain structure whose activity is most predictive of future purchasing.

  2. Physical Mail Stands Out
    Although logic may dictate that as we move into a digital world more people want to separate from physical mail, studies show that actually isn’t the case—especially with millennials. Largely this is because millennials are inundated with digital media. Physical mail stands out in the otherwise electronic world. This generation is also geared toward visual content, and direct mail caters to the physical senses. Plus, who doesn’t like getting mail

  3. Tangibility + Activity = Increased Purchases
    Here’s a couple interesting statistics: 98% of consumers bring their mail in the day it’s delivered, and according to a recent survey by the USPS, 84% have purchased an item after seeing it in a direct mail catalog. A large reason for this is because direct mail is active – it’s concrete and tangible. Unlike digital ads, which are often scrolled over, direct mail demands action by the recipient.

  4. Connect Your Digital & Physical Worlds
    Consumers react well to physical mail. They enjoy engaging with the story of the product and appreciate the convenience of being able to flip through pages until something catches their eye. However, ordering a product may prove slightly more challenging as you have to call a number and, yes, actually speak to someone. Direct mail can bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds by showing customers how they can make purchases online. Moreover, 70% of Americans say mail is more personal than the internet.
  5. Reach and Re-engage
    In a recent survey of millennials asking them which form of marketing is more effective at getting them to take action, 30% said direct mail; only 24% said email. With a 70% opening rate, direct mail continues to dominate among the marketing tools employed by companies. By sending out direct mail, companies can reach a mass amount of people, and once inside, consumers feel a sense of personal connection with the products that cannot be duplicated online. Companies can also reach new customers by sending out direct mail, and re-engaging with existing customers by creating a follow-up mailing after an initial purchase.


In our current society dominated by digital content, direct mail is still an effective business tool. By utilizing the strengths of direct mail, companies can ensure consumers are exposed to their product through a medium they enjoy, but also point them to their online presence. With direct mail expected to grow 5.4% for B2B Direct Sales, its effectiveness won’t be shrinking any time soon. Contact Pel Hughes today to discuss what direct mail can do for you!

You probably find self-mailers in your mailbox almost every day, but you may not realize what a powerful and cost-effective marketing tool they can be.

A self-mailer is promotional material that’s mailed without an envelope. It can be anything from a simple postcard to an elaborate brochure or catalog. You might think of self-mailers as “junk mail,” but with their simple design and eye-catching presence, self-mailers can command attention and ensure that your message is read and shared.

Most self-mailers are created from a single piece of durable paper or cardstock, which is folded into panels and secured with adhesive tabs or glue spots to keep it tightly closed during transit. Common folding configurations for a self-mailer include the bi-fold, tri-fold, and four-panel fold.


Types of Self-Mailers

Most of what’s sent as direct mail falls into one of two categories. The first is the classic sales letter. It’s addressed directly to the recipient, and it may include additional information like brochures, catalogs or response cards. As you’d expect, the letters are placed into envelopes for mailing.

The other type of direct mail is the self-mailer. A self-mailer can be any of the following:

  • A postcard
  • A sheet of paper or cardstock that is folded and sealed at the edge
  • A booklet
  • A catalog

Self-mailers can be folded in a variety of ways, and they can be sealed with glue or wafer seals. They can be printed on paper or cardstock, and cardstock self-mailers can include a tear-off response card.

Benefits of Self- Mailers

Creative, eye catching designs – since a self-mailer doesn’t use an envelope, you can pick a splashy design and really go for it. Self-mailers are good for displaying photos and graphics. And you don’t have to worry about carrying your design theme through to multiple sheets of paper and envelopes. This is why self-mailers are so popular for promotional purposes, such as announcing sales and events, or marketing products and services with a brief yet compelling offer.

Saves money – Self-mailers can be less expensive to print because there’s just one sheet of paper – not multiple items and envelopes.

Help people remember events, sales and coupons – If you’ve ever stuck a coupon, a notice of a sale, or an event invitation on the refrigerator or left it out as a reminder, then you understand how the bold graphics of a self-mailer can help people remember a message long after it’s been sent.

A good way to send special offers, event and product notifications to your loyal customers –  By targeting people who have done business with you before, you increase your response rate because you are sending your self-mailer only to people who are likely to be interested in what you have to offer.

If a Self-Mailer sounds like something you would like to incorporate into your marketing plan, get in touch with Pel Hughes!

It’s the homestretch to the voting booth and if you’re on a political campaign or running for office, then you’ve got to start leveraging every channel to get your message out there. You should certainly focus efforts on building a robust, smart, targeted digital campaign, but even today there’s room for getting attention with a political flyer.

Political postcards are a great addition to your campaign. They are affordable, can leverage the US Postal Office special Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) service to reach people in a local area and they can easily connect the dots between physical and digital marketing.


Tips for Making the Best Political Postcard Campaign


Use a Graphic that Stands Out

If you can afford a graphic designer with your campaign funds, don’t hesitate to hire one. They are worth the money, helping you design a catchy image, logo, or general design that will get your message out there.

On a political mailer, use a striking, memorable image. That doesn’t mean gaudy or cheap. Political designs are moving toward more modern looks – all the major candidates in the last decade have been using simple, flat designs. Your political mailer should heavily feature your branding and logo.


When to Use a Photograph of the Candidate

It isn’t always a great idea to use the candidate’s actual photograph. If you aren’t getting on television, or already featuring your actual image in billboards and commercials then you don’t gain a lot by putting your face on a political mailer – you aren’t reinforcing any ideas. Spend that space on your message.

On the other hand, if you’ve a look that is unique and resonates with your voters – why not play it up? Managing your personal image is something best left to campaign managers but know that it’s OK to not include your face – voters care about message more.


Make Your Message Stand Out

Reduce your message to the primary components that make you the best choice. Depending on your area, that may mean you launch an attack on your opponent or you stick to your own ideas. Whatever you choose to do, make sure your message is short, actionable, and easy to read on the postcard. Tell them why you want their vote. Make the messaging about them, not you.

Avoid putting text over complex images. Don’t use colors that hide the copy – make it bold and easy to read. Make it short – postcards can almost guarantee they’ll be read but the message has to be concise


Voting Information

Great political mailers always include info about when voting starts. This is valuable information for the voter, and if you can be useful in a postcard you’re likely to keep their attention.


Plan for the Label and Stamp

Don’t forget to plan for the label and stamp! Your message won’t work if it’s under an address label. Use a great blank postcard template for Word to design your card properly.


Give Them A Call to Action

Usually the call to action is to get out and vote – but that may be months away! Give your reader a chance to participate in your campaign today. Give them a call to action that drives them to your website, to your phone lines, or somewhere else where they can take real action to help you. Postcards are great because they can deliver a call to action boldly and without any interference. Use it! Why not drive them to your website to add them to your digital marketing and outreach efforts?


Don’t Forget Your Disclaimer

Political postcards need disclaimers. Check with your local ordinances, campaign legal counsel or others to figure out exactly what you need to say, but don’t forget to account for disclaimers in your design.


At Pel Hughes, we’ve been helping local elections for years. When you’re ready, contact us and our print professionals can help you design, deliver and win.


A solid development plan used to rise and set around direct mail, and while there are many new fundraising channels available today, direct mail can and should still be an important part of your plan


Why is direct mail important for non-profits?

  • Direct mail marketing helps you find potential donors. Targeted mailing lists can help your nonprofit to find new donors that fit your organization’s ideal demographics. Mailing lists can target by location, gender, income, etc.
  • Direct mail marketing keeps you in contact with your current donors. When you send out direct mail, you are reminding them of your organization and keeping it in the forefront of their mind. This also helps you to keep up-to-date database information on your donors, so you are aware if they have a change of address.
  • You can let your donors know what your organization’s current needs are. Is there something specific your organization needs to purchase? Is there something that needs immediate financial attention? Let your donors know your needs in a visually and emotionally appealing way.


Tips on creating direct mail marketing pieces for fundraising:

  • Suggest donation amounts on your mail piece (i.e. $100 _______ $50 ________ $25 _______ Other: _________). You can list benefits of each to make it more effective. (i.e. $100 will allow an underprivileged child to attend summer camp. $50 will provide an underprivileged child a tutor for a month.)
  • Thank your donor for their last gift and tell them why their next gift will help your organization.
  • Create multiple options for giving. Can they give online? Over the phone? Include this information on your mailing.
  • Include the reminder that their donation is tax deductible.
  • Drive an emotional connection by personal stories of how their donations benefit real people.
  • Make sure to include the option of updating their mailing address, adding an email address, etc.
  • Be sure your mailing is appealing to the eye, and don’t forget to always include your organization’s logo and information.

Do you need help creating an effective direct mail fundraising piece? At Pel Hughes, our team of expert graphic designers can help!

Direct mail is pretty cool.

Haven’t heard anyone bust that one out in a while?

Well, we just did.

Direct mail, while not as popular as it once was, is still a powerful tool to get a message into the hands of your audience. In fact, the Direct Marketing Association found direct mail response rates can actually be 10 to 30 times higher than that of digital.  


So how can you capitalize on that statistic?

Do direct marketing better.

Keep reading to discover our top 4 techniques to increase your ROI on direct mail.



  • Make a good list


You’ve heard it countless times, but we’ll go ahead and say it again: no matter how good your message is, it’s worthless if it doesn’t find its way to the right people.

That’s why mailing lists matter. Paying attention to demographics like age, income, gender, etc all contribute to building a list full of people likely to respond to your call to action, so never skimp on this.

Also, keep in mind that lists need to constantly be updated and monitored.

Don’t have a mail list? Ask us how to purchase a list that will work for you, and help you build your customer base.



  • Make your call to action obvious


Ah, another fun piece of marketing jargon – the ever important “call to action,” or CTA as they say in the biz. This is what you want your reader to do. For direct mail, the call to action is incredibly important. If you’re sending a piece of mail into someone’s home, you better be giving them some specific instructions, or you’re just wasting your money.

To make the CTA obvious, it’s also important to make the language on your direct mail clear, descriptive, and straight to the point. If you want someone to visit your website, don’t just list the URL – tell them to visit your website. Same goes for phone numbers. Tell people exactly what their next step should be.



  • Align the direct mail piece with your brand


Grabbing your customers’ attention should never mean sacrificing brand consistency.

It is massively important to infuse your direct mail piece with your unique value proposition and the essence of your brand. That means choosing the right type of mailing medium and sticking with the tone, energy, and general style used in any of your other marketing communications.

For example, if you’re selling a product or service that comes with a high price tag, you might consider higher quality paper and packaging to communicate this distinction. American Express mailers (and most credit card mailings) serve as fantastic examples of high quality direct mail. They send their “invitations” to new card membership in sleek, heavy weight paper envelopes. No “SIGN UP TODAY” or “LOW RATES HERE” messages adorn the envelopes, and it’s not hard to figure out why…

Tacky is not their angle – subtlety is. Exclusivity.

Nuts that paper can communicate all that, right? Think about it the next time you put together a DM campaign.



  • Don’t insult your audience’s intelligence


Think of direct mail as a back and forth between your brand and someone else. Don’t knock them over the head with cringeworthy claims like “HOTTEST NIGHT CLUB IN TOWN” or a double whammy bold and italic message with exclamation points!!!

It just looks like you’re desperate, and desperate is not cute on anyone.

No one is impressed by the bold claims and the aggressive text, so stick with a message that derives its power from relevance and value rather than sheer force.

Easy enough, right?

The key to a successful direct mail campaign might not be as elusive as you think. With the right mix of research, sophistication, and creativity, you’ll be well on your way to bringing in some major ROI.

Let’s talk about Direct Mail.

You might have some notions about the age old promotional method, but today we’re going to do some truth telling and clear up any of those misgivings. By the end of this blog post, we hope  you see Direct Mail’s crazy potential to help your business grow.

Here we go…

First of all, there are a ton of myths around Direct Mail. People love to say that Direct Mail is too hard, too expensive, totally dead as a method of reaching out to consumers, and that Digital Marketing is the only way to go.

But we just don’t agree, and we’ll tell you why.


Myth 1: Direct Mail is too hard

Actually, Direct Mail is easy. Especially when someone else is doing the heavy lifting (i.e. us!)

Here’s how we make it easy:

We’ll set up the program.

You supply the artwork, or we’ll set it up using your creative assets and data. Then we’ll create a marketing automation, CRM (customer relationship management) report, or outbound object that contains the personalization data for your segment. The team here at Pel Hughes will then set up an automated process to move the data to Pel Hughes’ network.


We run the data, generate an address list, and mail your pieces!


Myth 2: Direct Mail is too expensive

To that we say: focus on the ROI on your marketing investment. Don’t just look at costs.  

The bottom line is that the ROI on Direct Mail outperforms every medium except emailing to an engaged list.

According to Target Marketing’s 2013 Annual Media Usage Forecast, Direct Mail yields higher ROI than email and all other individual media in B2C channels. Specifically, Direct Mail results in a 31% return on investment in B2C channels while email only results in 17% return on investment.


Myth 3: Direct Mail is Dead

While it’s true that Direct Mail has declined in the last decade, marketers are keeping it in the mix with their other forms of targeted marketing.


Because it takes a lot of touchpoints to make a sale, and people are overloaded with information every day. Research shows that print is the best way to get your message across.

Why? Print provides..

  • QUALITY experience.
  • Works in MULTI-CHANNEL marketing campaigns and programs
  • Highly TARGETED.
  • 65% of consumers have made a PURCHASE as a result of Direct Mail.
  • Integrated Campaigns with Direct Mail
  • Studies consistently show that Direct Mail is effective, particularly when combined with other channels.


Myth 4: Digital Marketing is the only way to go

The common perception is that digital marketing outperforms traditional marketing. However, digital marketing effectiveness is based on providing a highly relevant message at the right time.

After all, the main challenge with marketing these days is the sheer amount of clutter in an average person’s life, and digital variable data printing enables personalization that provides a targeted, highly relevant message.


Final Thoughts and Interesting Stats:  

  • 78% of people consider Direct Mail valuable or interesting, mail related to retail and 40% of valued mailings combined information and advertising
  • 60% of people say that mail kept product/service top of mind
  • 60% of people say that Direct Mail reminded them about a brand or company
  • Only 28% of people consider receiving Direct Mail ads of promotion extremely negative, compared with the 76% for telemarketing calls, 63% for pop up online advertisement and 48% for auto-playing online video advertisements.
  • Advertising mail is kept for 17 days on average
  • 54% of people engaged with social media as a direct result of receiving Direct Mail
  • The average mail response increase to 25% if it is combined with email


Still think direct mail is a waste of time? Contact us and we’ll talk about how to integrate Direct Mail into your next campaign.





Staying in touch with existing clients and reaching out to new clients is a vitally important task for any business owner. A business owner needs to bring in new clients and continue to provide value for the current customers. In the last few years alone, many new ways have been developed to accomplish this goal. Business owners today need to be aware of such methods as well how to use standard methods at the same time. A business owner who is able to successfully integrate social media with direct mail methods is one who will continue to flourish.

Get Personal

One of the best ways to integrate any social media and direct mail effort is via personalization. Customers tend to respond well to messages that are personalized to them. Building social media means building relationships with others. Any company should be aware of their client’s special circumstances including where they live and their specific preferences. Clients like mailings targeted to the interests they have shown to the world via social media.

Provide Benefits

An effective direct mail campaign is one that provides clients with special benefits just for them. Think about the kind of benefit you can offer your clients. Maybe access to a fashion show just for them or a certain amount off products they buy. Clients respond well to such benefits.

Publicize Your Direct Mail Efforts

Use your Facebook, LinkedIn account and other social media accounts to announce your direct mail campaign. Let your clients know what they can expect when they reach out to you and get mailings from your business. A direct mailing campaign should take advantage of all social media possibilities that exist right now. A well thought out media campaign should use all tools at the same time.

When it comes to print ads, there are thousands of different ideas and concepts that can be employed and used. How do you make your print interactive? Though it may seem like interactive print is something that is unattainable, it is far easier than you might imagine. Here are three ways that you can make your print interactive and really get your readers and viewers involved.


1    QR Codes- Everyone has smart phones these days, something that proves as a distinct advantage to the individual or the company that is using print ads. A QR code is a block code that can be read by QR readers on smart phones. These codes can lead your viewers to websites, other content, videos, other advertisements, and so much more. These codes are easy to make, easy to use, and incredibly fun.  Put them on a postcard, for example, leading scanners right to your corporate website!


2    Purpose Driven Ads- Another great way to amp up the interactivity of your ad is to create an ad that can be used for something else; an ad that has a purpose. This could be something as simple as an ad that has perforated edges and can be popped up to create a 3d ad, to something as complicated as an ad that can be made into something else. This will allow companies to make their print ad and convey the information they need while creating an ad that is fully interactive and completely memorable.

3    Wired Ads- There is a whole new genre of this, that is fully interactive because it has been wired. This means that the ad actually does something. It could be anything from playing music, to reading a message or changing the color of a picture. Whatever it is, these ads will be highly interactive. While they can be great, they do sometimes cause problems and tend to be more expensive.


By following these tips, your company will become a creative and memorable business. Remember: Interactive ads are a thing of today, not a thing of the future.

Mailing campaigns are an important marketing and advertising strategy, but it can become too costly when response rates are low.  To improve response rates for your mailing campaign, follow these easy tips.

Find Your Target Audience

Because mailers are not the cheapest form of marketing, it is crucial to find your target audience. When mailers are sent to the right people at the right time, they are highly effective at creating leads or sales. Sending out fewer mailers to highly targeted audience will often have better response results than sending out higher volumes of mailers to a poorly targeted audience.

Consider Using Postcards

Mail that has to be opened is often thrown away before the recipient has a chance to see what great offer awaits them. The advantage of using a postcard is that all the information you want to convey is readily available.

Make a Response Easy

People prefer to respond to mail offers in different ways so make every option available. Include a form for a mail response, a phone number, a web address for online responses and an invitation to any social media sites you use.

Use Easy-to-Understand Language

Because a mailer is a paper version of a sales person, the tone should be conversational. Avoid using technical terms or industry jargon in order to make the recipient feel comfortable with your offer.

Highlight the Benefits of Your Product

Emphasize what is most important to the potential customer. Make it very clear what solutions your product or offer have for the customer. People generally are not interested in anything that does not directly benefit them.

Track Your Efforts

To continually improve your response rates, make sure you are thoroughly tracking each mailing campaign. Use the data to find trends and learn what works and what doesn’t.

No other advertising platform has stood the test of times better than direct mail marketing. Below are some tips to get your campaign started.

1. Start out with a standard template.

Templates create the foundation for all your mail campaigns and are as easy to use as personalized business letterheads, envelopes and stationary. This template should include all the basic information including your contact and location plus an interesting design/logo to catch the prospective client’s attention. Make the template easy to edit and update by creating certain areas where you can easily make the necessary changes. For instance, you can have your basic info and design, then have four ‘text boxes’ formatted to easily remove or add text and pictures as you need them. This way you can use your template again and again.

2. Use EDDM

Every Door Direct Mail allows you to work smart instead of hard. This is a mail service where small businesses get direct mail discounts without the hassle of getting permits or using application forms. EDDM goes straight to the post office and is distributed to local clients from there. This marketing tool is a powerful service that deals with a broad area without focusing on demographics. EDDM is an effective medium used to distribute newsletters, flyers and postcard by retail stores, grocery stores and lawn care companies because it’s great advertising at a lower cost.

3. Keep Up With Existing Customers.

Pare down your mailing list to target existing clients. These are the best customers to work with as they are familiar with your product and are interested enough to patronize your business. Sending postcards and newsletters keep your business alive while acting as a reminder to your present clientele. Many small companies lose business not because of poor service, but because their customers forget about them. Think radio advertising; a constant audio reminder of what customers want – direct mail has the same power.