20 Direct Mail Marketing Ideas to Use in 2022 to Boost Your Business

As much as direct mail marketing is overshadowed by digital marketing channels, it’s still an effective and affordable way to reach customers. in fact, some direct mail ideas are arguably more effective at connecting with new audiences and existing customers alike. And in addition to attracting new customers, a good direct mail campaign can also help with customer acquisition and retention. To help you get inspired, we found the 20 best direct mail marketing ideas for your next campaign:

1. send a simple postcard

One of the easiest direct mail marketing ideas is to send a simple postcard with bold colors, a clean design, and a clear call to action. be sure to include contact information. If you have a physical store, provide your address (perhaps a small map to show your location) and phone number, at a minimum. if online, include a short url created specifically for the campaign so you can track the response rate.

Even though your customers’ email inboxes are much messier than their physical inboxes, we all still get a lot of email every day. To make sure your marketing materials stand out from the crowd, try using oversized envelopes. a standard postcard is usually 4″ x 6″ and oversized postcards are usually 6″ x 11″; the size difference might catch someone’s eye.

To easily design your own postcard without graphic design skills, use canva. is a free drag and drop graphic design tool that offers hundreds of postcard templates to easily design your own postcard. use these sample postcards to help you customize your campaign.

visit canvas

2. consider sending unusual sized mail

Just as an oversized postcard might draw attention, an email someone doesn’t usually receive might spark interest. Consider starting a direct mail campaign of brochures, rather than the typical postcard. a brochure gives you more space for more information. you still want to keep it clean and simple so you don’t overwhelm your recipient with information overload. One of the best examples of brochures is for restaurants to send out their menu, along with a coupon for new customers.

3. use short urls or promotional codes in all direct mail

if your goal is to drive traffic to your site, you need to provide a url for people to go to. avoid using a long address, or people might type it wrong and give up, or not even bother. A promo code can help you track the success of your campaign – provide a landing page or popup with a box for the promo code. it’s easy for your new prospect and easy for you.

wix website builder offers a free qr code tool so you can create your own qr code images. simply follow the instructions to add the page you want the qr code to point to and then download the image to use in your printed materials.

4. include objects inside envelopes to arouse curiosity

When a person examines mail, they use some of their senses to determine what to keep and take a closer look at, and what to recycle right away. if you add a small object inside a flat piece of mail, it can make a person stop. Some successful direct mail marketing campaigns have included a penny, a gift card, a fake credit card, a usb drive, and other direct mail inserts, to name a few.

5. give away brand items

There are plenty of direct mail ideas and sample branded articles that could work for your small business. The best advice is to send potential customers and prospects articles that are memorable. anything that makes sense for your business that you can put your logo on will work. a toy store might send out paper airplanes with their logo on the paper, an office supply store might consider sending out a branded red stapler (bonus points for millennials who might recognize the reference to “office space”), or anything else that fits your brand.

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6. send birthdays to existing customers & anniversary savings

Timing is important in any advertising campaign, and direct mail marketing campaigns are no different. birthdays and anniversaries are when people often look for additional savings. To bring your business to mind, send them special savings coupons or promotional codes to celebrate their big day.

Why not just send an email campaign? send birthday savings coupons both by email and direct mail and then compare the results. you can get a better response from an email campaign, but promotional emails often get lost in the noise of the inbox. direct mail generally gets higher response rates.

7. Give new customers something they’ll keep

For local businesses, magnets have always been popular. They are lightweight, so it doesn’t cost much to ship. you can add your contact information in them, and they are useful. consider sending something that just keeps your brand top of mind, like a stress ball (the designer pickle sent stress pickles to new customers, which is unique).

8. sell customers what they get, not what you have

One of the best tips for any marketing campaign is to tap into what customers want and how they will benefit from using your business. Instead of focusing on what your business has, focus on what customers will get from you. An air conditioner repair service can fix your air conditioner, but a good direct mail idea is to send out a postcard campaign that focuses on being available 24/7 (“make your air conditioning works, yes, even at 3 a.m.”).

9. send custom cookies to your best customers

postcards are often synonymous with direct mail, but you have plenty of options to get creative. Some direct mail services offer turnkey solutions, like personalized sugar cookies with your logo. this is a more expensive option, so you may want to save it for a smaller customer retention or repeat customer campaign.

10. mix your direct mail campaign with die-cut brochures

Flyers are a great direct mail idea. they’re lightweight and don’t require envelopes, so they can be more affordable than mailing other marketing materials. you can make sure your brochure stands out even more with die cutting. some printers offer this service to give your brochure a unique look and feel, which could make someone take a closer look at your promotion.

psprint offers custom die-cutting, so you can work with your direct mail service and printer to get exactly the shape you want for your marketing campaign. there’s a flat fee of $45 for the company’s design help, and you’ll need to get a custom quote for your project.

11. send coupons (and coupon codes) attached to postcards

Get the most out of your direct mail campaign with postcards enclosing coupons. a physical coupon works wonders to attract people to your store to buy. Nearly 90% of millennials surveyed said a coupon might convince them to try a new brand (86% of Gen Xers, 78% of Gen Zers, and 76% of Baby Boomers agreed). digital coupons are also strong: they recently became more popular than paper coupons.

12. try an eddm campaign

Finding a new audience for your business can be challenging, but setting up an all door direct mail (eddm) campaign is easy and affordable. You can target a city or zip code with oversized postcards or mailers, allowing you to cast a wide net. there is no need to purchase a mailing list and it costs about half of standard postage. An eddm campaign can help you gain new customers that you might not otherwise reach with your mailing list alone, and because you’re targeting a specific zip code, you can zero in on a location-based audience.

You may see pieces of eddm in your own mailbox after making a major purchase or moving to a new city. If your change of address is public record, you buy a house, or you buy a car, that information may be available to sellers. so if you bought a house, you may see advertisements from home goods retailers, or if you bought a car, you may get postcards from insurance companies.

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13. make your email interactive

Sorting mail at the end of the day is often considered a chore. When you make your marketing materials interactive and fun, you eliminate tedium. Consider your business and how you can create an email that is exciting, yet still relevant to your industry. scratch-off sections to reveal a discount could be tempting. even a folded card that includes a 3d pop-up interior can turn heads.

14. personalize your direct mail campaign

It may seem obvious, but it’s worth noting that one of the best direct mail ideas is to address recipients by name. When you have an email list you use names in your campaigns and you should do the same with a direct mail marketing campaign. Personalization (not retargeting, in this case), even with just a name, can have a huge impact on customers.

Personalization may also include a customer’s purchasing interests. If someone recently bought a luxury car, they might be a good candidate for a high-end jeweler or membership in a local museum. And when you get personal, you get a higher return on investment (ROI), up to 200%.

15. add multiple coupons, one for now, one for later

A great way to find out which discount is most popular with your audience is to offer multiple coupons in one piece of direct mail. it’s like an a/b test for discounts. a $10 discount promo code might work well for new customers, while a 20% discount code might be perfect for a customer who wants to stock up on something. ideally, they’ll use one discount now and the other later.

16. use bold designs that stand out

There are many ways to make your banner ad stand out, from bold headlines to die-cut products. Designing your direct mail is just as important, so if you don’t have an in-house designer, you may want to hire a Fiverr freelancer to create a modern postcard, brochure, or catalog that looks professional and modern. .

Also keep in mind that while it’s tempting to include all the reasons why your business is the best, you want your customers to know that you do everything from A to Z in your field. it’s best to keep the information and layout as clean and simple as possible. Give your direct mail readers a direction to follow for the call to action. you can get more information at their store or on their website.

17. make mail look like personal correspondence

all you have to do is check your own mailbox to find out that most mail from anyone in the us. uu. gets a similar look. you can easily distinguish between an invoice, an advertisement, and a personal letter. One direct mail idea is to make your marketing materials look like a regular mail piece. try sending a greeting card in a colorful envelope and omit “current resident” on the front of your envelope. be sure to use business letterhead to strengthen your brand with each customer.

18. include clear calls to action for a high response rate

Just like any marketing email or landing page, your direct mail should include a clear call to action (CTA). There are several ways to ensure that the reader gets on with what you want them to do. put bold fonts, use bright colors or box in the cta at the top of your postcard or mailing. It’s also important to keep it simple: give your customers a place to learn more about your business or redeem a discount.

19. create a handwritten stamp for postcards

A handwritten note is one of the most personal ways to connect with someone through direct mail. it is also very time consuming if you have a large mailing list. One way to save time is to get a custom stamp with your ad text in a custom handwritten font (perhaps the CEO’s handwriting) for the back of a postcard. yes, you could use a normal handwriting font and print on the postcards, but the ink gives it that extra special touch.

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20. send free catalogs or samples

There are multiple direct mail ideas that could work for your business, including catalogs if you offer physical products (it could even work for digital products, if you offer multiple options). A catalog can have a longer shelf life and is effective: Catalogs can influence 60% to 67% of people to visit a company’s website, according to a USPS study. A free sample introduces prospects to your brand and product, which could lead to more sales.

how to set up a direct mail campaign

As with any marketing campaign, a direct mail marketing campaign begins with a goal. Decide what you want to accomplish with your direct mail idea, from increasing web or foot traffic to increasing subscriptions, sales, or registrations. then you’ll need a mailing list, a printer to get your postcards or other mailers, and any extras like embeds, qr codes, and other ways to track the success of your campaign.

These are the steps to set up a direct mail campaign:

  • create an objective for the campaign
  • establish a segmented mailing list
  • choose the type of direct mail to send
  • make your design using a graphic design tool like canva, or hire a professional
  • find a direct mail service that fits your needs, like vistaprint
  • use tracking to measure success of your campaign, such as with promotional codes, qr codes and landing pages, or use physical coupons

frequently asked questions (faqs)

what are the best direct mail services?

The best direct mail services start with design and end with printing or mailing services. If you have a small mailing list, you may want to spend your marketing budget on the best design and highest quality materials and handle the mail yourself. otherwise, you can find a service that takes care of everything for you; just provide a mailing list (or buy one from the service). find the best direct mail service for you.

how to optimize direct mail marketing?

As with any marketing campaign, start by knowing your audience. segment and target the right group with the right message, discount or offer. Make sure your direct mail stands out from the mail other people receive. and be sure to track the success of your campaign. using a combination of email marketing with direct mail can enhance your efforts.

what percentage of direct mail is opened?

according to the direct mail association (now ana), up to 90% of direct mail is opened. To increase the effectiveness of your direct mail campaign, use creative and bold marketing materials.

end result

The best direct mail ideas are the ones that are relevant to your business and your marketing budget. always start with the goal of what you want to accomplish with your direct mail campaign, so you can stay on track. Using the direct mail ideas above can help you get inspired to come up with more creative ideas to communicate directly with your customers, clients, and new prospects. if you need extra help, hire a graphic designer for as little as $5 on fiverr.

visit fiverr

you may also like…

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  • are you ready to start advertising on google? start with this guide to google ads.

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