Direct Mail Marketing [A Simple Guide]

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Marketing, at its core, is the activity of presenting, advertising, and selling a company’s products or services in the best possible way.

Which sounds great – even simple, right? Until you realize there are hundreds of options to market your business and they range from the free to the ultra-expensive. Then factor in your return on investment (ROI) and it can keep even the savviest marketer or business owner up at night.

One form of marketing that continues to be successful and provides a high ROI is direct mail marketing. In fact, research shows that direct mail surpasses digital marketing for return on investment.

Direct mail marketing is any physical correspondence you send with the intent to get the recipient to take action (i.e. vote, buy, attend, etc). Typically this will be in the form of postcards or flyers.

There are three important elements that all direct mailers need; something to identify you and your business or organization, a clear call to action (CTA), and a way for customers to contact you. After that, you can get as creative – or not – as you like.

Why does it still work?

Digital marketing via email, online ads, and social media presence seems to be on the rise, but as stated before, it is not #1 when it comes to ROI.

Click here to see four reasons why direct mail is better!
  1. Digital privacy is on the rise and big changes are happening that will impact how brands can reach their target audience.
  2. With all of the different digital advertisement opportunities, it can be overwhelming. More often than not, a business will hire someone to do this or outsource the work to an agency. This creates added cost and management issues.
  3. For non-techy users (and let’s be real, this is most of us), going digital is a nightmare.
  4. Designing and mailing a postcard is incredibly easy and effective.

In addition, direct mail provides a better recipient experience because it is interactive, memorable, customizable, and far-reaching.


When a customer is able to physically handle something, it has a higher likelihood of being looked at, even if only to decide if it gets filed in the trash or placed on the refrigerator. You can make it even more interactive by adding a discount if they bring the postcard in, or you can include a QR code to make the interaction more memorable.


The average person gets 100-120 emails per day. And that doesn’t include spam! How many emails do you actually read, much less remember? When a customer receives a physical piece of mail, it can evoke nostalgia of times they have received mail from a family member or friend. You can add an even more personal touch by adding a handwritten note or signature on the flyer or postcard. Sometimes the smallest gestures elicit the most memorable moments.


While there are some key basics to know when utilizing direct mail marketing to make sure it hits the mark for your target audience, the sky is the limit for how you can customize your mailer. You can even pair digital content marketing with direct mail for a seamless customer experience.

  • Send out a card and a $20 bill and encourage recipients to spend the money on a charitable donation and share hashtags they should use when they post about their donation online.
  • Maximize the impact of those who are enrolled in USPS Informed Delivery and get them watching their mailbox for your flyer and the special promotion QR code that allows them to use a discount on their next purchase.
  • Send a postcard with an offer that when the recipient visits your website and enters the code listed, they get a personalized offer the next time they shop.


Direct mail can reach a wider demographic than electronic marketing, especially if your target audience is less likely to use social media or email. You can also reach a more specific audience by using SnailBlast’s list creator which allows you to build a custom list using demographics like age, children present, pets, politics, religion, and more.

Dos & don’ts of direct mail

Although direct mail shows a significant return on investment, let’s talk about a few do’s and don’ts:

Define your why.Forget to proofread!
Run tests before a large campaign.Forget to follow-up.
Have a strong, clear CTA.Forget to drive traffic to your online presence.
Be creative!Be afraid to try something new.

Define your why & know your CTA

It’s important when you start any new direct mail project (or as we call them, campaigns) to know the answers to these three questions:

  • Why are you sending it?
  • Who is your audience?
  • How will you get people to read it?

Whether you are promoting a new product, announcing a new business, informing the community of an event, or wishing happy birthday to your employees and clients; knowing WHY you are sending your mailer out will chart the course for the entire campaign.

And remember to be clear with your call to action. People respond to commands by default – if they trust you. Extending a call to action gives people the clear next steps in what they should do. Mailers are a great opportunity to direct people to your website and social media presence. The one-two punch of something tactile and digital makes your brand stand out!

Test your audience & proofread your mailer

No matter the size of your campaign, PROOFREAD YOUR WORK! And then proofread it again. Your message loses its power and you lose your credibility if there are typos and/or incorrect information. And if you are planning to invest in a large campaign, it can be a good idea to run a few smaller test mailings to gauge engagement and response with your chosen audience.

Every business owner or event coordinator knows the power of personal connection and what better way to get feedback on your campaign than the ability to track and know when each postcard is delivered. When you choose SnailBlast for your direct mailing needs, you can do that and so much more.

Be creative, not afraid

It can be scary to try something new. And if you have never utilized direct mail marketing for your business, it can also be overwhelming.

SnailBlast was created with you in mind.

We believe that at its core, a mailing service should exist to help you achieve your goals by providing an all-in-one direct mail solution from design to delivery. We offer hundreds of design templates, professionals you can ask questions of if you get stuck, and prices that beat everyone in town (or online). So get creative, be brave and try us out today – and remember, you don’t pay unless you mail.

Try SnailBlast today!

Build a campaign. Design or upload a postcard. Only pay if you mail it.

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