top tips for effective direct mail

Oli Burrows

Customer Services

top tips for effective direct mail

Some of the biggest online brands, like Google, ASOS, and Airbnb, use direct mail to drive sales. Why is this and what should you do to harness the power of effective paper-based direct marketing?

It’s understandable that many organisations focus on digital marketing to reach and engage with new and existing customers. It’s quick, relatively inexpensive, and often mistakenly considered ‘better for the planet’. However, paper-based direct mail remains an effective way to stand out from the competition and drive more traffic and sales for your business.

Doormat covered in direct mail

Perhaps surprisingly, direct mail is used by some of the world’s biggest digital brands – Google, ASOS, and Airbnb, for example. In fact, it is so valuable as a marketing campaign tool, the amount we spend on direct mail is expected to increase globally in the years ahead.

According to Shopify, direct mail is making a comeback. By the end of 2020, direct mail spending accounted for the largest portion of US local advertising budgets at $38.5 billion. Elsewhere, forecasters predict Western Europe, which boasts the largest direct mail market share, will reach $66.28 billion by 2025.

So, how can you effectively harness direct mail to grow your own business? Start with these top tips:

1.    know your audience

Understanding your target audience is the crucial first step in any successful direct marketing campaign. Take the time to consider who they are, their interests, needs, and pain points, as well as what will drive them to make a purchase. With the answers to these questions, you can customize your messaging and offers to increase the chances of converting them into loyal customers.

2.    make it personal

Personalisation is one of the great advantages of direct mail as it allows you to deliver tailored messages to your audience. Use customer data to create personalised offers and gives the impression that you are speaking directly to every individual. Your direct mailers should address recipients by name and can provide customised product recommendations or offer exclusive discounts or promotions based on their purchase history or browsing behaviour.

3.    grab attention

Your direct mailer will need to stand out on a doormat covered with other post and leaflets, so make it eye-catching. Create impact with colour and use creative designs and captivating graphics to entice recipients to open and engage with your mail. Explore options such as textured paper, bold typography, striking imagery, and distinctive print finishes to create a memorable direct mail piece that people will want to keep and revisit. Don’t forget, the way you send your direct mailer can also leave an impression on recipients. Using a biodegradable wrapper instead of a paper envelope may reinforce your brand’s environmental stance.

4.    give a clear call to action

Whatever you’re sending, it’s important that your direct mailer carries a compelling call to action (CTA). This could be a prompt to call you or visit your website, make a purchase, or sign up to a mailing list. Including a deadline or creating a sense of urgency can boost response rates – if your offer is good, people won’t want to miss out! Make sure your CTA can be used to track the effectiveness of your direct mail campaign and supports your ultimate campaign goals.

5.    track and measure results

The success of any direct marketing campaign comes down to the results. Did you achieve what you’d set out to? It’s essential to measure the effectiveness of your direct mailer against defined campaign goals, so make sure your call to action (CTA) allows you to track response accordingly. This can be achieved by using unique/custom URLs, monitoring key online events or registrations, or using specific discount codes to track purchases resulting from the campaign.

Analyse this data and test different approaches to optimize future direct mail campaigns and enhance your overall marketing strategy.


If you want help with direct marketing, advice on how to make your next direct mailer more impactful, or need a quote for direct mail printing, give us a call on 01865 242098 or contact us using the button below.

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