9 Direct Mail Marketing Strategies That Just Work

9 Direct Mail Marketing Strategies That Just Work

Woman reading mail

9 Direct Mail Marketing Strategies That Just Work

Direct response marketing is the strategy of hitting readers hard with promotions designed to close a sale in one smooth process. It’s focused entirely on getting people to take out their wallet and make a purchase. Marketers, sales professionals and business owners all love it because these campaigns drive fast results and impressive ROI. And of all the types of direct response marketing, the tried-and-true grandfather is direct mail.

What is direct mail marketing?
Direct mailers are printed promos that you get in the mailbox. These are the cards, coupon books, catalogues, and flyers. A hallmark of mail advertising is that more people will read and interact with your promotional material. Since it leans on prequalified leads, marketers can truly maximize their reach and narrow in on their demographic. Direct mail is a great way to cut through the clutter and reach a quality audience. There’s a certain joy in getting physical mail that digital media just can’t replicate.

Let’s look deeper at how marketers use this age-tested method.

“Direct mail is a snowflake; it has no staying power.
But when it lands, it hits hard and fast.”
Paul Wallerich,
Senior Vice President, Marketing Sempris


Our top 9 direct mail strategies
  1. A/B test everything. When we say everything, we really mean everything. Focus on modifying word spacing, sentence structure, word choice, bolded and highlighted text, image placement and even CTA placement. Businesses can see a 30% increase in people acting by only tweaking the first three words! It might be tedious, but the increase in marketing revenue is worth your time
  2. Put a CTA on the front of your mailer. The first and last thing the reader sees before tossing their mail is the address. They’ll check the front to make sure it’s addressed to them, skim the content—starting with the top left—and ditch it if they can’t see immediate value
  3. Use action words. Your goal is to get the reader to act. Fear of missing out (FOMO) is a real thing—leverage it. Countdowns, limited-time deals, or a final notice can give you that sense of urgency
  4. Keep the offer tight. Give the reader an exact offer. Instead of “Save up to $X” go with “Redeem your $X offer today.” Instead of “Enjoy thousands,” tell them straight up “Get $X right now.” The trick is to be as unambiguous as possible
  5. Know your list, segment an individual buyer and write for them. 80% of people expect personalized content. Each buyer has a different motive, and success is in making your copy, design and offer align with their needs
  6. Look at your competitors’ direct mailers. Break down their direct marketing materials. Understand their offer, language, and even methodology. Who knows, you might find an untapped market
  7. Keep it straight to the point. Since direct mail is purely about driving sales, make sure the first thing they see is your pitch. Nobody has time for introductions, stories, or missions. Quickly make your pitch and leave
  8. Buy prequalified leads. You can’t waste money on out-of-date addresses, poorly segmented audiences, and non-responsive customers
  9. Implement a hybrid marketing strategy. Lead customers onto your website with digital deals and exclusive offers. Then use other channels to increase engagement and brand recognition


Types of direct mail marketing


FAQs about direct mail marketing

Q: Is direct mail marketing effective?
A: Yes, it’s proven to be extremely effective. 39% of customers will try a new product after being directly advertised to. Since campaigns are designed for and delivered to specific audiences, mailers are considered a far more personalized experience. People tend to read printed ads, trust the content, and spend more on a brand. It’s a perfect storm for businesses trying to increase marketing revenue.

Q: When is direct mail marketing used?
A: For fast money and impressive ROI. Mailers are primarily used to upsell and cross sell existing customers. A lot of marketers use them to test-drive new products with new and old customers. Or just use them to reach and drive sales with new customers—buying leads can be a quick way to break into a new market.

Q: How do I measure direct mail marketing campaigns?
A: Since it’s action driven, the performance metrics are easy to track and analyze. We find sales lift extremely important, which tells us how much the marketing efforts are influencing sales. Response rate, cost per response, cost per acquisition, CLV, CRR and ROI are also important KPIs. Check out this article for an in-depth breakdown of each KPI.

Q: Who uses direct mail marketing?
A: Everyone from real estate agents, insurance companies, nonprofits, and local businesses. Other companies reaping the benefits are subscription businesses, grocery stores and gyms. But the highly targeted nature of direct mail advertisements makes it a viable option for most businesses—time to get creative!

Q: Direct response marketing vs branding:
A: Think of it as long-term vs short-term. Direct marketing uses sales promotions and personalized messaging to trigger a fast purchase, while branding uses design, language and meaning to give companies an identity and recognition. Ideally, both will be interconnected with each other with a hybrid marketing strategy.

Use direct marketing with your brand building efforts to maximize hybrid marketing results
When combined with other marketing methods, direct mail is an extremely powerful addition to any marketing campaign. The printed medium is more trusted than digital channels, cutting down the time needed to close a sale. Since it lives short and hits fast, you need to spend the time to optimize your content, target the right buyers, and continually tweak, test, and improve your mailers.


Hybrid marketing is the future of branded experiences.
And prequalified leads determine success with direct mail campaigns.

Ask us how companies like Wayfair, Harry's and Terminix use Sempris leads to boost sales and maximize marketing ROI.
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