Direct Mail: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Direct mail is a powerful tool in marketers back pockets. Many marketers have forgotten the gift of direct mail and what it can do to their ROI. Are you one of them?

Stardust and magic in woman hands on dark backgroundDirect mail is a powerful tool in marketers back pockets. Many marketers have forgotten the gift of direct mail and what it can do to their ROI. Are you one of them? With so many channel options and a focus on a more digital strategy, it’s no surprise that direct mail is left in the pocket. You look at the cost of postage alone and it can be a real turn off. However, if you are not using direct mail, you are missing out.

Why you ask? Direct mail is expensive but check out these stats from an InfoTrends study on what it can do for you:

  • 66 percent of direct mail is opened
  • 82 percent of direct mail is read for one minute or more
  • 78 percent think direct mail is effective
  • Response rates, on average, are 5 percent for customer list and 2 percent for prospects
  • The mean number of direct mail pieces received in a week are 3.5 letters in envelopes, 2.4 flyers/pamphlets, 1.9 brochures and 1.3 postcards
  • 56 percent of consumers who responded to direct mail went online or visited the physical store
  • 62 percent of consumers who responded to direct mail in the past three months made a purchase

What do these mean to you? It means your message stands out in the mailbox, gets read and gets acted upon. That is why direct mail is a gift that keeps on giving. Yes it is expensive, but it is also very effective. Are you convinced that you now need to add direct mail to your marketing mix? Great! Now you are ready to learn how to effectively do that.

3 Keys to Effective Direct Mail

1. People: Selecting the right people to send your mail to is very important. The best way to make sure you have a good ROI is targeting the people most likely to be interested in your offer. The more targeted you are the better response you are going to get.

2. Design: You need to grab attention immediately. Your use of color, images and a headline will keep you out of the trash can. Focus on benefits, not features.

3. Offer: Your offer needs to be concise, specific and appealing. Test different versions to see what works best for you.

Creating an ongoing direct mail campaign is the best way to generate increasingly better results. It can take eight to 10 touches before a prospect is ready to consider your offer. The reason direct mail is a gift that keeps on giving is because people respond when they are ready. You mailer may sit on the counter for two weeks to a month before it gets acted upon, but it will be there when they are ready.

In order to grow your ROI with direct mail, you need to track everything. The more data you have the better you can target the right people with the right offers. Many times direct mail pieces drive people to online purchase. Are you able to follow them and know they came from your direct mail offer? One way to do that is through offer codes. Every offer version has its own code as well as each channel. This gives you valuable information on the buying cycle of your customers.

If you take the time and effort to do direct mail right, you will reap the rewards. As mailboxes are less full than email and other digital ads we are bombarded with, direct mail stands out and is the gift you need to grow your marketing results. It’s time to create a great campaign!

Author: Summer Gould

A blog about Direct Mail Marketing, tips, tricks and what not to do.Summer Gould is President of Eye/Comm Inc. Summer has spent her 27 year career helping clients achieve better marketing results. She has served as a panel speaker for the Association of Marketing Service Providers conferences. She is active in several industry organizations and she is a board member for Printing Industries Association San Diego, as well as a board member for Mailing Systems Management Association of San Diego. You can find her at Eye/Comm Inc’s website:, email:, on LinkedIn, or on Twitter @sumgould.

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