Direct Mail That Worked on Me

I admit that I am very interested in direct mail. So I like to look to my mail box both at work and at home to see what others are mailing. As a seasoned direct mailer, I am critical of what I receive. Every year there seem to be fewer and fewer pieces that really stand out to me

I admit that I am very interested in direct mail. So I like to look to my mail box both at work and at home to see what others are mailing. As a seasoned direct mailer, I am critical of what I receive. Every year there seem to be fewer and fewer pieces that really stand out to me. Since that is the case, I thought it would be a good idea to share a couple of examples of direct mail I received that I really liked. You can do this too, what is in your mail box, what works on you? Keep samples at your office of good direct mail so that you can emulate what they are doing.

The first example is actually pretty old. I received it in the early 2000’s. However, I have kept part of it all these years because it was a great idea.

Mail Piece No. 1:

  • 6 x 9 envelope.
  • In the envelope was a letter and a strange shaped object.

It was made of card stock paper, but I was not sure what it was. I, of course, did not read the letter first—I wanted to know what that thing was. As soon as I lifted it out of the envelope, it popped out of my hand and landed on the desk in the form of a box. It startled me and I jumped! (Probably not a good idea to send to seniors) Each of the four sides of the box had different messaging in bold. On top it read “think outside the box,” another panel read “fulfillment is more than packaging,” the third “easy orders mean easy money” and finally, the last panel said “your increased success is one phone call away.”

I did read the letter, because by then I was curious about what they were selling! It was fulfillment software with inventory and store front controls. I did end up buying the software, and is has worked great.

This pop-up type of mailing can be very versatile. The best part about it is that it is unexpected and breeds curiosity. They can be created in many different shapes, so get creative and pop up your ROI. Now for the second mail piece that caught my eye.

Mail Piece No. 2:

  • 6 x 10 mailer with a three panel roll fold, fugitive glued closed.

The first thing I noticed was that it was not tabbed. (I prefer the look of fugitive glue.) As I flipped it over, I noticed that it was personalized. They included my name in the tagline. When I opened the mailer, I realized it was fully personalized. My name was again on the inside note. The best part was it had coupons for things that I buy. They knew what I was interested in, and only offered me coupons for those items.

Did I use them? Of course I did! The true advantage to personalization is that the mailer appeals directly to the needs or wants of the recipient. This becomes a valuable piece of mail to them.

If there are only two things you take away from reading today I hope that they are:

  1. Direct mail needs to stand out.
  2. Direct mail needs to be relevant to the recipient.

If you create direct mail campaigns that address these two concepts, your ROI will show it. Direct mail can also be a great way to introduce your organization to new prospects who are not familiar with you. Direct mail is not viewed as intrusive and can be held onto for a period of time without the issue of being forgotten. It does still require you to vet your lists to mail to only prospects who are interested in what you are offering. When purchasing a list of prospects, this can be done with demographics, psychographics and so much more.

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.

2 thoughts on “Direct Mail That Worked on Me”

  1. These are great examples of how direct mail can be used in a targeted way to make an impact. Creating an interesting and intriguing piece of direct mail is just the first step to a successful direct mail campaign. The use of data to personalize and target the message is a critical piece as well. Focused personalization in direct marketing pieces will steer the individual recipient toward something you know they need or want. And by concentrating on the consumer, marketers are able to send their message to the appropriate recipient and the recipient is likely more open to receiving it. So, I totally agree with Summer – connect with consumers on a unique level and your message will stand out this holiday shopping season. – Shelley Sweeney, VP/GM Service Bureau/Direct Mail Sectors, Xerox

  2. I don’t mind direct mail when I am interested in the services offered. It is really sad that a lot of my mail now isn’t very useful. I get mail that I either don’t need or are bills. They should find a way to make direct mail and other snail mail more useful so people pay attention to the advertisements.

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