Beginner's Guide to International Direct Mail Marketing

Direct mail still has an important role to play in the marketing mix for international e-commerce and retail businesses.

International direct mail marketing

Are you exploring new ways of boosting your international marketing strategy?

In a world where customers are constantly bombarded with promotional digital content in the form of emails and paid media, you may be finding it hard to compete for attention. So, how do you reach your target audience in a way that engages them?

You may be surprised to learn that direct mail marketing is still a pivotal tactic for businesses that are looking for a more impactful way to feature on their customer’s radar. Direct mail marketing material gives your brand’s message a way to cut through the noise and land in your customer’s hands.

There’s something romantic about direct mail, even millennials are into it – 30% said they would prefer direct mail compared with 24% favouring email.

What types of international direct mail can you send?

Postcards: Fantastic for short messages. This format gives you the scope to be creative and attention-grabbing. They serve well as reminders and notifications.

Leaflets / Flyers: This is a great low-cost option to deliver a message, as detailed or as simple as you like. Use colour, use images, print on both sides of the page – just make sure you have a clear call-to-action.

Letters: Snail mail is a great way to personalise your message for the customer. Traditional mail will get your recipient to engage with the content because it is confidential and can be targeted to your identified leads or existing customers.

Brochures: Brochures are a superb format through which you can introduce new customers to your product. They can be manufactured in different sizes and help you to make a strong visual impression.

Customer gifts: Reward your loyal customers with a free gift, or introduce new ones to a little taster of your product.

Catalogues: A print catalogue allows you to showcase all your products, along with descriptions, prices and images. This is a great tool to help your customers make purchases now and in the future.

‘Lumpy’ mail: Want to give your target audience that exciting feeling of receiving something unique and tangible? Lumpy mail is usually bulky and stands out from the rest of the mail in the letterbox, enticing the recipient to open it.

‘Naked’ mailer: Some postal services will now allow a mailing to be sent naked. This is where a catalogue has no outer packaging (envelope or polywrap) and the address is printed directly on the catalogue.

There are many benefits of direct mail marketing

Benefits of international direct mail

With an email blast, your message may not get read past the subject line before it’s trashed and forgotten. This is due to the sheer volume of content we now get sent to our inboxes with a frequency that demands too much processing time for the individual.

A tangible piece of mail allows you to craft a very targeted, personalised message that takes up physical space in the recipient's life. Between 80-90% of direct mail gets opened, compared to only 20-30% of email.

According to reports, 56% of customers perceived print marketing as more trustworthy than other types of marketing. The element of nostalgia and the constant threat of cyber scams, as well as the nature of digital marketing omitting individuals who are not tech-savvy, supports people’s inclination to engage with physical mail more confidently. Furthermore, figures affirm that direct mail gets better response rates than email.

How can your direct mail campaign fit into your digital marketing strategy?

Your digital marketing efforts and your direct mail campaigns don’t have to work in isolation; in fact, the two can combine to help you track your return on investment.

Your postcards could display a QR code that takes prospects to a landing page which recognises the source of the link. Each leaflet could offer a discount code that, when input into the discount/coupon field of your virtual checkout, will give you an indication of who has taken action after receiving your mail. You can also include other unique links or offer incentives and prizes.

How to reach international markets

Direct mail marketing isn’t a tool for your local market only. Asendia has 20 years worth of experience in dealing with business mailings. Regardless of your organisation’s size, we can formulate a cost-effective way to print, fulfil and post your mail globally.

We recognise that printing your marketing material domestically may not always be the best option for your business. In fact, your campaign production can be split between countries in order to optimise cost savings. Asendia is currently able to produce and post from the following countries:

  • UK
  • USA
  • Spain
  • France
  • Netherlands
  • Germany
  • Poland
  • Scandinavia
  • Italy
  • Romania
  • Switzerland

Our flourishing global reach and longstanding strategic partnerships with other large post offices enable us to access the largest known independent network of ‘direct entry’ posting ratings. We offer two solutions according to your expertise and required level of preparation: Easy Direct Mail and Expert Direct Mail.

Six tips for successful international direct mail

  1. Research whether you are legally able to send direct mail to the location you are targeting. Asendia will be able to advise you here.
  2. Ensure that the content of your direct mail is not lost in translation. You can enlist experienced professionals to help you formulate the best possible content strategy for the market you are trying to access.
  3. Focus on one pain point. Don’t convolute your message, be clear with your branding and make your calls-to-action easy to understand.
  1. Personalise your message where possible; people appreciate customisation and attention to detail.
  2. Use impactful, clear font and artwork.
  3. Devise a plan for tracking engagement. For example, you can use discount codes, links to tagged landing pages, invite recipients to enter a competition or synchronise your direct mail campaign with a social media campaign.


Direct Mail Postal Solutions

Easy Direct Mail
For the worldwide distribution of small-to-medium volumes of direct marketing materials (for example catalogues, brochures, leaflets, customer gifts, advertising and promotional letters, cards and samples) that only require simple preparation and sorting conditions, our Easy Direct Mail service is the ideal solution.

Expert Direct Mail
Expert Direct Mail is specially designed for global mailings that are prepared in a postage-optimised manner specific to each country of destination. It is the most cost-effective solution for the distribution of direct marketing material in this way, including catalogues, brochures, leaflets, promotional letters, cards and samples. You can even print the address and postmark with a ‘local look’ so it doesn’t appear that it’s sent from abroad. This means recipients trust it more and are more likely to open the envelope.

Direct Mail Fulfilment

Mailing house in Southampton
Our mailing house provides high quality (ISO 9001 accredited), flexible, and cost effective mail fulfilment services; providing a wide range of printing, enveloping, polywrapping and packaging services. Whether your mailing is 100 items or 1 million items, it's for UK delivery or global distribution, Asendia UK's mailing house can help you.

Unique direct mail solutions for France
With La Poste as our parent, Asendia is uniquely positioned to provide direct mail solutions to France. Not only can we provide low cost international direct mail postal services within France, we also have the support of La Poste's direct mail divisions that are experts in data and mailing lists and can provide insights into the French market.


Get in touch with Asendia

If you’d like to learn more about how you can launch your business in foreign markets using direct mail, we are able to provide the resources, expertise and services to help you fire off a compelling campaign.

Get in Touch