Send It. Literally.

THREE direct mail insights to know, and FIVE direct mail campaign ideas that deliver in 2023.

Sometimes it feels like the mailbox only exists to store credit card offers, massive ULine catalogs, and the dreaded, SUPER LEGIT warnings about our car’s extended warranty. But let’s admit it: an empty mailbox is a little disappointing.

Believe it or not, it’s been proven that potential clients really do open their mailboxes, and an engaging piece of direct mail marketing remains a valuable investment for your brand. We’ve compiled three key industry insights and five impressive direct mail campaign ideas and examples for inspiration.

Insight 1: Yes, Virginia, Direct Mail DOES Perform

If we believed every anecdote we heard from our hairstylist, we may find ourselves agreeing that no one wants to work anymore, and no one looks at “junk” mail. But listen up, we’ve got the real scoop, and that scoop is that direct mail brings the highest ROI of all media.

Further, an industry study by SeQuel Response found that during the past 12 months, 65% of respondents reported that direct mail performance has improved, with another 32% reporting consistent results. Marketing professionals know this well and keep the post office busy delivering increasing amounts of direct mail marketing each year. 

person opening a mailbox

Insight 2: Print + Digital = Power Couple

Direct mail and digital may feel like rivals competing for your budget, but they truly make beautiful marketing together. Go ahead, show these numbers to Accounting: 84% of marketers surveyed reported a dramatic increase to digital channel performance when integrated with direct mail. Further, USPS sees coordinating campaigns from direct mail to digital channels from 80% of marketers. Print and digital go together like dip da-dip da-dip doo-wop da… um… peanut butter and jelly? 

Insight 3: Improvise, Adapt, Overcome

Beautiful marketing and PB&J aside, it’s best to stay informed and flexible during “these unprecedented times”. Studies show that two of the biggest concerns for direct mail this year are the pandemic’s impact on the paper industry and tightening restrictions on data collection. 
While these are real concerns, working with an experienced marketing firm with experience in both digital and print marketing (hint, that’s YellowDog) will help guide you through our current supply chain challenges and whatever fresh… adventure… comes our way next.

Direct mail is ready to earn its keep as part of your marketing mix. But are you ready with a good idea? Here are some real campaign examples and ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

Direct Mail Campaign Idea #1: Announce a Colorful Event

Bold colors, exciting graphics, and eye-catching headlines are a must if you want your mailer to stand out in a sea of white envelopes. (But don’t discount envelopes, a well-designed envelope sure makes a difference.)

direct mail campaign idea: announce an event

An Example that Really Delivered: Swallow Hill Music

This postcard from Swallow Hill Music is so colorful and lively it feels like music to our eyes. The custom design complements their message so perfectly, it only takes a quick glance to captivate attention and demand a closer look.

Direct Mail Campaign Idea #2: Get Personal

How close to a personal postcard can you get? Pretty close! Utilize your knowledge of your recipient database to speak to them directly, and identify them the same way they would identify themselves. Use merge tags to add custom data fields beyond their address, and experiment with warm and inviting fonts.

direct mail campaign idea #2 - brevity

An Example that Really Delivered: Trusted Ally Home Care

This postcard from Trusted Ally Home Care speaks directly to its target audience of proud former site workers. The design adds the personal touches of a real client testimonial, an exclusive event invitation, and a snapshot of the founder that tells a history-rich story.

Direct Mail Campaign Idea #3: Offer Up

If you’re forcing your brand into someone’s literal hands, you’d better make it worth it! Think freebies, coupons, or inside-scoop pre-sales.

direct mail campaign idea #3 make an offer

An Example that Really Delivered: Uncorked Kitchen

This postcard from Uncorked Kitchen combines our favorite design elements above, and it also offers $15 off a relaxing evening with wine with a gorgeous view. Now this is how you get a future customer to not only read your marketing, but stick it on the fridge and send a photo to a friend. (Pro-tip: I can be that friend.)

Direct Mail Campaign Idea #4: Make It Hyper-Local

One of the best benefits of direct mailing is the ability to reach potential clients in a distinct geographic area, which is exactly what small or local businesses thrive on.

An Example that Really Delivered: Crossfit LoDo

Crossfit LoDo incorporated a hyper-local feel into this postcard design to target and invite clients from their own neighborhood. A high-quality photograph welcomes potential members into their space so by the time they come by for a class, they’ll already feel at home.

Direct Mail Campaign Idea #5: Let It Unfold

When your marketing finds itself in the hands of a potential client, try inviting them to not only flip and read, but to interact with your mailer. Custom die-cuts and folds send more than a promotion or an invitation; they share an experience and increase the amount of time your brand is seen. Plus, as compared to postcards and letters, self-mailers (mailers that fold with a tear-away seal) are reported to yield the best results.

An Example that Really Delivered: Vista Eye Care

This mailer from Vista Eye Care utilizes the unique shape of their building in their custom die-cut shape. Finding a great designer, especially one experienced in packaging design, will help you create a mailer to remember!

Now that you’ve seen the positive statistics and beautiful designs, we hope you’re feeling inspired to launch a new direct mail campaign idea of your own! YellowDog has over a decade of experience planning, designing, printing, and mailing successful and unforgettable mailers, and we can’t wait to help you deliver your brand’s message.

Christine Mealy

Christine Mealy

Christine has worked in the print industry for over 13 years, and has been with YellowDog for 11 of those, serving as resident swag expert and general knower of all things print-related.

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