The Ultimate Guide to Direct Mail Marketing

What Are the Best Ways to Measure a Direct Mail Campaign?

Measuring your direct mail campaigns is the only way to determine whether or not they’re successful. You can determine what’s working and what isn’t by implementing an effective measurement plan, which will include good calls to action and other elements.

Call To Actions

CTAs can include invites to sign up for services, completing forms for additional information and resources, free demos requests, or a request to call for more details, among others. You can also benefit from creating personalized CTAs for each demographic for more accurate measurements. Unless direct mail recipients are able to perform actions like these, you won’t be able to gather as much data to measure the results of your campaigns.

Lead Lifecycle

It’s also important to measure true success in your direct mail campaigns. Follow leads all the way through their lifecycle and see where they end up. You’ll be able to gauge how well your campaign is by looking at how many become customers compared to leads who wind up lost along the way. This will make a huge difference when finding ways to modify your campaigns, as you’ll see which demographics and CTAs get the final results you want.

Based on the type of responses you get to CTAs and how many sales you make with the amount of leads you have, you can use these measurements to make the appropriate changes to your campaigns.

What Future is There for Direct Mail Advertising?

Many believe that direct mail marketing is an outdated marketing method, but the fact is that this offline strategy has a bright future ahead. Despite online marketing’s popularity, many consumers are getting saturated with emails and other online marketing pushes to the point where many tune out.

Stand Out From The Competition

Using direct mail marketing will continue to serve as a great way to stand out among competitors who stick with dry online marketing attempts. Direct mail will only benefit from technological advancements in the future, as mail pieces are better personalized and use innovative new materials to attract recipients.

Merge Direct Mail To Other Marketing Efforts

Marketers will also be able to use behavioral data from other types of marketing channels to optimize their direct mail campaigns, tying direct mail to their online campaigns and other offline efforts. Direct mail will also always be responsible for increasing the attention given to online campaigns, as a counterpart with CTAs that lead recipients to perform the desired actions via the company’s website.

Tangibility Is Still Relevant

Ultimately, direct mail advertising is only going to develop further as a great way to enhance your marketing campaigns. People still want tangibility in advertising materials when so much appears online to the point of over-saturation, making direct mail a continually relevant marketing channel that can enhance campaigns in many ways. At the same time, it’s deeply connected to online marketing in many ways, making the two inseparable as effective marketing channels that work together toward the same goal.

What is a Good Response Rate for Direct Mail?

Direct mail response rates are currently at their highest, as one of the best marketing methods. The 2016 DMA Response Rate Report found that direct mail response rates drastically increased with a 5.3% response rate with house lists and another 2.9% to prospect lists. This is higher than the previous years since the DMA began tracking these rates in 2003.

Continuously Optimize For The Best Results

Generally, the average ideal response rate of 5% or higher is indicative of a relatively successful campaign, as this 5% can become paying customers in time. However, you should continually work to increase your response rate as much as possible by testing different campaigns and learning what works and what could use improvement. Doing so will help ensure you get the most from your campaigns and give you the best possible results.

So, while 5% and above may be considered a generally good response rate today, you should always push for a higher one by experimenting and optimizing on a regular basis. You may be able to exceed the average and make direct mail a truly beneficial aspect of your marketing efforts.

Keep in mind that direct mail has the third highest ROI according to the DMA report, which will likely increase as the response rate continues to increase. You may find that direct mail is one of the most integral parts of your campaigns, to the point where it becomes a central focus along with you other most profitable marketing campaigns.

Where to Get Direct Mail Addresses

If you’re trying to add more contact addresses to your direct mail lists, you also want to make sure each of those contacts is relevant and worth targeting for a high response rate. There are so many options when putting together mailing lists that it can be difficult to find the best solution for your business.

Turn To A Reliable Supplier To Create Direct Mail Lists

While understanding your audience and which demographics are ideal for your direct mail campaign is integral to getting a solid list of addresses, your business will perform even better if you turn to a reliable supplier to help construct your lists. With the help of direct mail marketing professionals and high-quality direct mail materials, you’ll be able to target the right audience with appealing and engaging mail pieces.

Businesses should avoid using services that simply pull large amounts of names and addresses, and instead try to gather as much data as possible about each contact to narrow down their targeting. The information you need will depend on the target persona you’ve developed, with matching qualities between your lists and your target.

One of the ways you can more effectively develop solid direct mail address lists is to use the Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) program that the U.S. Postal Service offers. The program makes it easy for businesses to send mail pieces with more cost-effectiveness. It also includes certain tools that you can use to target your mailing or send mail pieces to a specific population.

However, if you want something more targeted, you’re still better off working with a company that can help you develop more specific mailing lists of prospect addresses.

How Can Direct Mail Be Personalized?

If you want to stand out from competitors through your direct mail campaign, it’s important to personalize your mail pieces to connect with recipients. There are several ways you can personalize direct mail to engage and appeal to your audience, including

First Name

The recipient’s name is one of the first items they should see in your direct mail pieces beyond the address block, and it’s the easiest way to personalize them. Including a first name is a great way to make your mail pieces feel more conversational in tone.


Certain companies may have offers that apply to customers of a specific gender. In these instances, you can create mail pieces that are targeted toward these genders and tweak your message accordingly.


Adding the location can also make recipients feel as though their neighbors may have used your products or services, subsequently encouraging them to join them if you point out that others near them have done business with you.


Certain products and services may come with an average use time and require rebuying. Businesses that offer these can also create mail pieces with the sole purpose of reminding those customers to make another purchase soon. You can also include coupons or other deals to entice them even more, but include an expiration date so they’re more inclined to act fast.

Previous Purchases or Donations

Depending on how much information you have about each recipient on your direct mail lists, you can reference previously purchased items or donations they’ve made to certain organizations. For instance, if you sell coffee mugs, target those recipients who have bought coffee.

These are some of the ways you can personalize your direct mail lists, along with many others that you can experiment with to see what works and what doesn’t.

Why Direct Mail Marketing is Far from Dead

Many businesses believe that digital marketing is the most important aspect to focus on in their campaigns, with direct mail falling behind as an obsolete marketing method. However, direct mail is actually still relevant today if you want to create a successful marketing campaign.

Direct Mail Is Evolving Simultaneously With New Technology

Direct mail continues to evolve with newer technologies and can be integrated with online marketing efforts. It’s also an excellent way to stand out from competitors who don’t pay any attention to physical mail, giving your audience a tangible mail piece that feels more personal than cold calls or emails that wind up lost in their inbox. As a result, you’ll also be more memorable as a brand and your mail pieces could serve as reminders that encourage recipients to become repeat customers.

For example, if you want to integrate your direct mail pieces in your digital marketing campaigns, you can include short and easy-to-type customized URLs that lead direct mail recipients to a corresponding landing page, where they can learn more about what you have to offer and make a purchase. Taking this step can also enable you to track your direct mail campaign’s success and optimize it based on what needs improvement.

You can also try different designs that act as extensions of your company that best represents your message, with product samples or offers that are unique to these audiences. There’s a considerable difference between other types of marketing and direct mail, but it’s as relevant as it’s ever been.

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Ultimately, direct mail can give you some of the best results to supplement the rest of your marketing efforts, while helping your business more effectively connect with your audience.