Direct Mail Journal

Direct Mail and Marketing Tips

Top tips on how to conduct an effective direct mail marketing campaign

effective marketing campaign

Yes, direct mail has been around for a while, and it is also regarded as one of the oldest forms of modern advertising. However, its relevance in present-day marketing and advertising cannot be overemphasized — thanks to its dynamic and flexible nature.

If you are uncertain about direct mail marketing, or you have not yet wrapped your mind around how it works, don’t worry, because we’ve got you covered. To set the stage and give you an idea of how much impact direct mail marketing can make on the earnings of businesses; 2021 direct mail marketing statistics show that at least 82% of purchases are influenced by relevant direct mail. This explains why direct-to-customer brands regard direct mail as the offline marketing channel that provides the most profitable cost per acquisition (CAC).

More statistics on direct mail marketing

Statistics from the Data & Marketing Association show that at least 50% of direct mail recipients find direct mail postcards useful. Building on that, Fundera reports show that 70% of customers opt for direct mail because it’s more personal compared to its online counterparts.

Here are a few more tips on how to conduct a direct mail advertising campaign.

Step 1: Determine your target audience

Yes, it always starts with knowing your audience. It would almost never make sense to send stacks of letters or postcards, or any other form of direct mail, without taking the time to identify your target market. Thankfully, direct mail advertising makes it incredibly easy to target a specific target market or audience. All you have to do is identify the demographics (e.g., age, income, gender, location…) that are best suited for the benefits offered by the product or service you are selling.

As you can imagine, if you invest enough time to identify your ideal client and create a custom tailored targeted direct mail marketing campaign, the chances are that you will record much better results, and you will be smiling all the way to the bank.

Step 2: what is the source of your direct mail list

Having identified your target audience, you can shift your focus to identifying your mail list. There are two ways to go about this — you can either use a “house list” or you can purchase an external list. You can opt for the former if you have a good list that has produced reliable results over time. This could be a good approach if you are asking customers for an annual donation from year-to-year. This could also work well if you have a list of “warm” leads from older campaigns.

If you are new in business, or you are trying to test a new target market, then you can buy/rent a mailing list from a third party supplier, like a list vendor or consultant. These lists come in many flavors. Consult this Zairmail library article for more details on finding the perfect list for your campaign.

Step 3: Generate an effective copy

As the famous saying goes, content is king, and at the center of every successful marketing campaign is effective copy. Be creative in your writing style to help gain and hold the attention of your audience. The primary goal is to grab the recipient’s attention, immediately, and avoid being shoved aside. Do not beat around the bush or get too clever. Be direct. Get to the point. People are busy and they have a short attention span, if you don’t get their attention fast, the opportunity may be lost forever. Clearly highlight the key benefits your product or service offers, and then urge the customer to respond to the offer (ask for the sale). In some cases, we can compel an immediate response if we include a deadline or another impending event in our copy.

Step 4: Get your design right

You know, as they say in the culinary industry, people eat with their eyes first. We need to be able to break through the clutter. The mail piece has to “pop”. We can do that by using different colors, fonts, and forms. We can offer up an image that is outrageous or unconventional. We can be cute and cuddly in our approach. We can use humor if we are careful – humor can be a double edged sword. Whatever approach we take, it needs to get/hold attention, and it needs to fit with the overall theme of the campaign, the product/service we are offering, and our brand.

Step 5: packaging and sending process

Once we have all the elements identified, we have to assure that we can execute and get it right. Once we print & mail, it is very difficult to “take it back”.  Print production should take place in a scalable commercial facility that can rapidly and reliably produce a quality product. The service should be able to produce both short-runs (small jobs) and large jobs just as easily. The service should be able to provide pre-sort services to maximize postage discounts – the bulk of the cost in direct mail is postage.

This used to be a time-consuming, expensive, and error-prone process, that required weeks to complete. Thanks to automated online tools such as Zairmail (, direct mail campaigns can now be launched in minutes, right from your own PC, and be in the mail the next day. Zairmail even provides tools to track delivery and take some of the guesswork out of mail delivery.

Quality, cost, price, reliability, and customer service are all critical for this type of manufacturing process. Zairmail invented the concept of hybrid (digital to physical) over 20 years ago (1999). The company has continued to invest in automation, and to further refine the process, since that time.

Take the guesswork out of your direct mail campaigns. Zairmail is the fastest, easiest, and most cost-effective way to send direct mail.

Got a campaign or question? WZairmail ( is the fastest and easiest way to send (real) postal mail. Give us a call anytime at 888.898.0066, we would be happy to help with your direct mail needs.



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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