What is Direct Mail Marketing?

27 June, 2019
What-is-Direct-Mail-Marketing.jpg

In 2019, all of the hype is around digital marketing: social media, SEO, content marketing, etc. But here at Asendia we still believe that direct mail marketing can and should play a part in your marketing mix.


Direct mail definition

Direct mail is any piece of physical promotional material that is sent directly to customers, leads or your target audience.

Typically, direct mail comes in one of the following forms:

  • Letters;
  • Leaflets;
  • Catalogues or brochures;
  • Postcards;
  • Packages;
  • Newsletters.

Direct mail is often not requested by the recipient (although that’s not always the case) and will typically contain some sort of special offer.

Examples of direct mail marketing campaigns

You might think direct mail marketing is a bit old fashioned in today’s hyper-digital world, but there are plenty of examples of big brands doing a fantastic job of promoting themselves through this channel.

World Water Day

Image credit: Pinterest.com

To spread the message about the importance of water, World Water Day Belgium sent out this mail that could only be viewed after water was poured across it. This campaign received a significant amount of press coverage and went viral on social media.


Kit Kat Chunky

Image credit: WDMOnline.com

To promote their Kit Kat Chunky, Nestlé posted Royal Mail-style leaflets through people’s letter boxes. The mailing said the product couldn’t be delivered because it was too ‘Chunky’, but recipients could redeem the leaflet for a free bar from their local newsagent.

Simple, but effective. Nestlé saw a large surge in purchases following the campaign.

ADT Security Box

Image credit: MayVenDev.com

Recipients of this mailing weren’t likely to forget it in a hurry.

The campaign worked in the way shown in the images above. The mail was slid under the door, and it opened up automatically into a box shape. The messaging said ‘Breaking into your apartment is easier than you think.’

Daring, but genius.


How effective are direct mail marketing campaigns?

The question of effectiveness when it comes to direct mail marketing is the same as with any form of marketing - what’s the content of the campaign?

The examples above were effective because they were designed to capture the attention of the recipient but, generally speaking, how effective is the medium? You’ll be surprised by some of the statistics.

High ROI

According to data from the Data & Marketing Association (DMA), direct mail delivers a higher return on investment than both paid search and online display ads: 29% versus 23% and 16%, respectively. Meanwhile, social media is only ahead of direct mail by one percentage point (30%). Email is way out in front of all the other channels with an ROI of 124%.

Fewer brands are using it

Sometimes, the fact other organisations don’t do something is an indication you shouldn’t either. This isn’t the case with direct mail.

The rise of digital marketing has meant fewer brands are turning to direct mail, and this is exactly why it’s a channel you should start considering again. People now receive fewer mailings in the post, making it more likely that yours will stand out. What’s more, with more and more companies going paperless, people are receiving less post in general than they used to.

The benefits of the novelty aspect is something well worth considering for your brand.

It’s more memorable

When we spend time online we are constantly bombarded by advertising and marketing messaging, whether that’s via display ads, social media content or influencers. It’s starting to become noise, and background noise is never memorable.

A study conducted by the United States Postal Service found that millennials in particular had a stronger emotional response from physical ads, making them more memorable.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how direct mail marketing could help you promote your brand, get in touch with the team here at Asendia. We have many years of experience in crafting direct mail campaigns for a range of organisations, and we can’t wait to help you too.