Direct Mail Is Still Alive and Stronger Than Ever—Here’s How to Run a Successful Campaign

By the small business content developers at

Businesses love finding new ways to connect with customers, but what if one of the oldest ways is still one of the most effective? While marketing gurus have spent many years predicting the demise of direct mail, it’s still here and still widely trusted as a cost effective way to approach customers with an invitation or offer. Digital marketing may get most of the hype, but there are questions as to the effectiveness and accuracy of cost per impression advertising.

Part of direct mail’s longevity is its strong results, but those results don’t come without challenges. One important detail is making sure you have a strong list: a list with appropriate up-to-date information on your target market.

If you have an established business, your internal list, compiled from customers who have bought from your company or responded to ads or other campaigns, is as strong a list as you can have. If you have a fledging business, you may need to rent an outside list. The objective then is assembling the right list using market research to ensure that you have the strongest list possible. Once you have done that, you are ready to begin building an outstanding campaign.


  • Design a Cohesive Campaign

You might be tempted to reuse elements from other communications like your newsletter or social media accounts. While it’s important to strive to invoke the same voice used in your other marketing efforts as well as the same branding elements, your direct mail campaign must have a unique perspective: from the outer envelope to the call to action.


  • Propose a Unique Offer

If your customer can regularly find free shipping on your site, please don’t hang your campaign on this ordinary offer. Instead, use an exclusive offer or enticement to engage with your audience. Your campaign could focus on customers who haven’t purchased in the last year or customers who haven’t availed themselves of the most recent upgrade. Recently after winning big at the Emmys, discounted the purchase of its Prime subscription, which they rarely discount. The campaign took advantage of the media attention to bring in more customers. You may not have the same media presence, but when you make your offer memorable, your customers will remember it and take action on it.


  • Make It Easy to Track

When you make your campaign trackable, you make it easier to deduce your results. You can use unique codes or a special landing site to track the response to your offer. If you’re using a unique offer as advised above, your campaign’s success will be even easier to distinguish from other business because tracking is built into your campaign. Make it easy to quantify your success, so that you can see what works and what doesn’t, which will help when you develop your next marketing push.

By Andrew Patricio

October 21, 2015