Direct Mail and Marketing Tips


How to Build a Business With Direct Mail in 2020


There are some modern marketers who have never considered postal direct mail.  This is often because digital marketing is seen as less expensive and more immediate.

Direct mail, email, search engine marketing, print ads, and even water closet media, are all forms of advertising.  They are tools that we can use to interrupt, inform, persuade, and call to action. We need to understand the capabilities and limitations for each of our tools to select the best one for the job.

Digital marketing can be a very effective tool for maintaining a rapport once you have a relationship with a current or potential customer. It can also be extremely effective if a prospective customer is actively searching for the product or service you sell. 

However, if you need to find a new customer, especially if they are not actively searching for your product/service (they may not even know it exists), then direct mail has several distinct advantages.

Direct mail is active communication. The customer does not have to look for it, it is delivered to them.  

The delivery (open) rates are close to 100% – especially for postcards. Compare that with delivery rates for email which can be less than 30%.  A client can’t open or act on a message they don’t even receive.

Direct mail can reach every household and business in America. The US Postal Service is changed with making sure your mail is delivered.  

The average American has 2.5 email addresses. This can include a work address and a personal address.  Consumers quite often have multiple personal email addresses. They may get one from their Internet provider, one from their smartphone provider, and email accounts are still free from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, and many others.  How will you know which address to use?

Demographics are very well defined for direct mail prospects. Reaching the right person, with exactly the right message, is the key to producing results.

If we want to find the mailing address for renters in Union County, Oregon, with an income of more than $24,000/year, with at least two children in the home, that list is available. We might even be able to tell what type of car they own or how they voted in the last election.  Of course, we have all seen, there is lots of data online. There has been no shortage of high profile data breaches over the last several years. However, it is still a challenge to link this data to a specific electronic delivery address.

Sharpening your tools.  Direct mail is not all created equal.  

The mail format you choose should depend on your goals.  A postcard can powerfully deliver an immediate message.  It is like a mini-billboard in the mail. Postcards are designed to stand out, grab attention with an eye-catching visual, and secure a spot on the fridge!  Direct mail is kept for an average of 17 days, so staking out a spot on the most popular appliance in the house is a solid accomplishment.

A snap-pack, also known as a pressure-sealed mailer, is an impossible to resist format when used to reach consumers.  This package requires the recipient to peel off the edges in order to open it, just like they might open a paycheck or PIN number. Snap-packs stand out in the mail because they are not as common, and they are (mentally) linked to a specific type of mail that people may have received in the past.  The sender can put private information for the recipient on the inside and add teaser copy on the outside.

A standard letter, or course, is another good format to consider.  A letter allows the sender to include more detailed information and it all remains private. The envelope used can be a double windows, single window, or closed face (no window). A letter in a double window envelope looks just like a bill, so most recipients will open it, just to make sure. This gives the sender the open they need to tell their story (in detail, if required).

Use a Reliable Partner

Zairmail has been helping organizations just like yours, deliver winning direct mail campaigns, for over two decades. Zairmail has a complete automated platform that allows customers to upload their document, upload their list, and approve a proof in real-time. That is all there is to it, Zairmail takes it from there.  The mail is printed, inserted, addressed, mailed, and tracked.

Zairmail can also help with marketing advice, campaign design, or direct mail lists.  Zairmail provides free postcard templates, access to thousands of specialized mailing lists, and specialized online software to automate your sales team.

The process is faster, easier, less expensive – and stress (virus) free.

Zairmail is your special delivery!



About the Author

Wilson Zehr is a Direct Mail Industry Expert, Direct Marketing Specialist, and CEO of Cendix (, the leading provider of Web-to-print solutions that increase sales both online and offline. He is also the founder of Zairmail (, the company responsible for many "industry firsts" in direct mail.


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