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3 Tips for Adding Direct Mail to Your Modern Marketing Plan

Discover the power of direct mail in modern marketing. Increase engagement, ROI, and brand recall with personalized mailers and automated campaigns. Read more now!

Direct mail is one of the oldest forms of advertising, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t undergone some facelifts over time. Today, we are witnessing an uptick in direct mail marketing due to a number of factors — the pandemic forced people to spend more time at home, the price of digital advertising has increased, and technology has improved and modernized mail.

Since the pandemic, MarketReach reported that consumers are now looking at mail longer. Post-lockdowns, people spent 4% more time looking at mail during the week and 29% more time on the weekends. 

Not only are Americans paying more attention to their mailboxes, but they’re also on legacy social media platforms less. Facebook, for example, experienced constant growth for 17 years until 2021 when their daily user numbers significantly dropped for the first time. At the same time, Facebook dramatically increased the cost of ads — a whopping 89% in 2021 according to Hunch

This left many marketers wondering:

Where can I find more value for my marketing spending?

Meanwhile, direct mail’s latest technological advancements have lowered the price of entry and brought digital-level targeting to physical mail. The result is often a higher return on your investment, and that means more value for every marketing dollar you spend.

Keep reading to learn more about direct mail’s newest tricks, and how it best fits into a modern marketing scheme. 

Include Modern Elements that Make It Easier than Ever to Jump from Offline to Online

Did you know that it takes 21% less cognitive thinking to process a direct mail piece than a digital ad? Already off the bat, direct mail is physiologically easier to process, so by sending a letter or postcard, you are ahead of the advertising game.

Mail is also popular among all generations. Take a quick look at these statistics on each age group:

  • 63% of Gen Z consumers are more excited about direct mail now than they were a year ago (RRD), and 72% said they would be disappointed if they no longer received mail (USPS). 
  • 82% of Millennials view print advertisements as more trustworthy than digital ads, and 62% of Millennials read the mail they receive (USPS).
  • 70% of Gen-Xers are excited to discover what the mail brings every day (USPS).
  • 89% of Boomers expect and look for special offers in the mail (USPS), and Americans 65 and older are more likely to enjoy checking their mail every day (Gallup).

In a sea of emails and overwhelming digital ads online, the physical mailer stands out. It makes a deeper, longer-lasting impression, and brands and messages are easier to recall later.

So how do you get people from offline, holding your mailer, to your website, where the magic can really begin?

First, everyone loves a deal, so include at least one offer on your mailer to encourage recipients to take action. A promo code is very effective at getting your prospects to visit you online, and at the same time, it enables tracking. You’ll get to see exactly how many people used the promo code and then determine how effective the mailer was in comparison to other marketing campaigns. 

Second, QR codes and website URLs make it easy for prospects to find you online. QR codes, just like coupon codes, are great for analytics since you can see how many people scanned them via your mail piece. Even adding a call to action like, “visit us online!” will help point your prospects in the right direction and lead to greater engagement.  

Lastly, people love personalization. As digital printing has expanded, so too has the capability to personalize any facet of your direct mail design to individual recipients. You can print the prospect’s first name in huge red letters or personalize images and offers on your mailer based on their past purchases. As long as the data is there, printing technology can now act on it and personalize each piece to the recipient.

Incorporate Automated Direct Mail into Your Follow-up System to Boost Sales and ROI

Direct mail is most often thought of as a great way to warm up a cold lead. Traditional advertising textbooks put it at the top of the funnel to generate awareness, alongside TV commercials and billboards. 

But that’s traditional direct mail — and it still works well — but today’s direct mail can be precise, and responsive, and gives you the ability to automatically deliver mailers based on user behavior. 

All you have to do is target that behavior, set up your campaign, and measure response.

Imagine that a prospect visits your website and places a couple of items in their cart, but they don’t go through with the purchase. Or, they spend a few minutes on your site but never fill out a form. Or, they fill out a form but don’t buy anything. 

With automated, trigger-based mailings in place, you can send a postcard to all of these website visitors automatically within 24 hours. Adding an offer to that mailer will also persuade them to come back even more. 

You can even send retargeted mail to website visitors based on triggers like time spent on your website and clicks on certain content. 

This technology is completely responsive, meaning you only target people already reaching into your business — which saves you money as opposed to traditional, top-of-the-funnel prospecting direct mail. And the less you spend, the greater your potential ROI. 

For example, one of our clients, Mark Buys Houses, tried our direct mail retargeting product, Website to Mailbox, and he got great results for a small upfront investment. He only spent $647 on his campaign, mailed 111 postcards to people who visited his website, gained one new customer, and made $70,000 in revenue! That’s an ROI of over 10,000%.

Automated direct mail can also be used throughout the customer journey from the first point of contact all the way up to the sale and beyond — especially if you integrate direct mail with your customer relationship management (CRM) system. (If your CRM doesn’t make this option easy, you can always create your own programmatic workflows using Zapier and a trusted direct mail platform.)

Imagine this: after you finish a phone consultation with a potential client, a postcard is mailed to them thanking them for their time — and you didn’t have to lift a finger!

Any type of action within your CRM, like entering a new customer or making a sale, can result in triggered mail.  

It’s up to you how granular you get with a responsive direct mail campaign. Just ensure you’re tracking each element to stay on top of what’s working. 

Create Lifetime Customers by Staying Consistent with Your Marketing

Ask yourself this question: do you tend to stay loyal to brands that communicate with you more or less? It’s often the companies that stay consistent in their marketing and messaging that land more sales and build more loyalty. 

You can accomplish this by keeping track of customer behavior in your CRM and using an automated direct mail campaign to encourage repeat purchases. Pre-programmed CRM-based mailings like these often fall under the umbrella of account-based marketing.

Some examples of account-based triggered mailings include: “thank you” postcards after a customer’s first purchase, a “we miss you” postcard sent to customers who haven’t bought anything in 3 months or more, “happy birthday” postcards that include coupon codes, and even upsell mailers targeting customers who declined to purchase your most premium products or services. As I mentioned before, this all happens on autopilot without your additional effort. 

Many of our clients mail exclusively to their own lists of previous customers to generate big revenue. Our client, Maurice’s Furnishings, a furniture retailer, mailed a “fall sale” postcard to 10,000 of their previous customers, generating 500 responses and over $150,000 in revenue. 

The more you stay in touch with your customers, the more likely they are to remember and interact with your brand — especially if your mailers make it easy for them to visit you online via a QR code or unique link. 

Don’t stop mailing once they’ve handed over their credit card; stay in touch with them and watch your business grow to new heights. Many of our clients have experienced massive ROIs because they kept mailing to their customers consistently year after year. One mailing is good, year-round mailings are better, and mailings for multiple years are best. 

I hope you’re brimming with new ideas to get started on a modern direct mail campaign. Just remember that if you keep reaching your current customers and new prospects in diverse and innovative ways, you’ll experience the results you are looking for.

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Joy Gendusa, Founder & CEO of PostcardMania

Joy Gendusa is the founder/CEO of PostcardMania. With only a phone, a computer, and postcards (no funding!), Joy grew PostcardMania from a small startup into a $97 million industry leader that currently employs 350 people in Clearwater, FL. Request free postcard samples from PostcardMania, or reach Joy directly at

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