Direct Mail

Direct Mail: Glossary, What Is It, How It Works and The RIght Solution

What is Direct Mail?

Direct mail is a form of offline marketing to connect with people on a direct or personal level. It is sent in the form of marketing and promotional materials and could be anything from postcards and flyers to SWAG items. Basically, anything sent to a person’s physical mailbox with the marketing intention is called direct mail. The mail is popularly sent via USPS and Canada Post, but many companies use other courier services as well.

direct mail automation software software software service

Direct mail services offer a one-to-one communication channel between a company and its target customers, cutting through the digital crowd. It can either be B2B or B2C.

Why is Direct Mail Still Effective?

Gives High ROI

Direct mail is known to fetch higher ROI than both online display ads and paid search. Its ability to grab the attention of the recipients is impressive. 42% of recipients read or at least scan the received mail. It is a good ratio and is sure to get the company some valuable responses and a positive ROI. In general, direct mail fetches an ROI of 29%. A guaranteed positive ROI is the key reason why marketers still prefer direct mail over a lot of digital marketing options.

Makes a Long-Lasting Impression

A well-crafted mail is sure to get a lot of eyes on it. It is tangible, and people tend to like receiving things in the mail. It causes nostalgia among people, reminding them of the mail they used to receive from their loved ones. Hence, direct mail is an excellent way to create an emotional bond with people. A hand-written note can help increase its impact. Such small gestures make direct mail more interactive and memorable. People are likely to keep it with them for a long time.

Facilitates a Wider Reach

Many people still don’t use social media. If they do use social media channels, there is no guarantee that they see your post or scroll right through it. Therefore, the scope of digital advertising is restricted to people seeing it. Even a highly creative advertisement with an interesting offer can get missed by a lot of people. On the contrary, direct mail has a wider reach. You can narrow down your target audience and send mail pieces to connect with them directly.

No Competition

In today’s time, most marketers have channelized all their marketing activities towards online channels. As discussed above, direct mail facilitates a wider reach. Another prime point to be noted is that there is no great competition in the offline space. Not all marketers send out thoughtful and eye-catching direct mail to their target audience. The lack of competition gives you an advantageous opportunity to reach out to the customers first and induce them to buy your product or service. There are more chances of getting noticed by using direct mail.

Scope to Get Creative

By now, you must have got enough clarity on what direct mail is. But, there are a lot of remarkable aspects to it – that make direct mail stand out. It is the most creative form of marketing, wherein you can think, design, and send almost anything. Moreover, you also get to show your creativity on the artwork, text, offer, and CTA. Companies can pair direct mail with online marketing forms to make it more effective.

Types of Direct Mail

There are various types of direct mail that marketers send out. Some of the popular direct mail materials include:

personalized direct mail
  • Brochures – Brochures can be two-folded or three-folded and are printed on all sides. They make excellent marketing collateral for promoting brands, as you can use them for charts, illustrations, and short points.
  • Flyers – Flyers are well-suited for promoting events or a specific offer. It is often one page with no folds. They are more colorful than brochures as they have to deliver the message using a shorter space.
  • Postcards – Postcards are good for any season and purpose. They can be highly personalized according to the needs of every recipient. Postcards are known to be intact mail items – attracting more people with their structure and size.
  • Catalogs – Catalogs are product guides and are compiled as a complete book. These are much heavier than all the other mail items and are hence costlier to send. Catalogs can be sent to a small number of targeted accounts. However, sending smaller-sized catalogs makes it affordable.
  • SWAG Kits – SWAG items include coffee mugs, bags, balls, pens, diaries, hoodies, or anything else that you can think of. Marketers send SWAG kits containing such goodies to their targeted clients or high-end customers.
  • Newsletters – Newsletters contain informational content about a brand – its new product launches, new services, new clientele, and other details that are fit to be sent as marketing text.

Guide to Using Direct Mail

If done right, direct mail can prompt a person to purchase your product or service. 39% of recipients try out new products and services after receiving direct mail from that company. There are certain things to be kept in mind while using direct mail as part of your offline marketing activities.

Keep Yourself Updated

Keep a close eye on your competitor’s marketing strategies, products, after-sales services, and other things to know your competition well. You can then use all this information to create unique content for your direct mailers. Marketers should read up on tricks and tips of using direct mail and keep themselves updated on the latest trends. Additionally, remember to know more and more about your target audience. Get to know what your prospects are into, and use it creatively in your direct mail.

Take Note of All Reactions

Track all the responses from the very start. Include trackable features in your direct mail such as a pURL, a unique coupon code, phone number – that can help you measure your campaign performance accurately. Tracking responses can help you draft and use campaign analytics for making your future campaigns more effective.

Use Different Colors and Keywords

Use different colors and keywords in all your campaigns according to your campaign’s content, type of mailer, and purpose. An informational mailer can have professional-looking dark colors, whereas an invitation to an event can have fun and bright colors. Moreover, keep altering the text and keywords so that you know what combination works the best for your company.

Include Exciting Offers

Always excite your audience with your direct mail items. The mail should be convincing enough for your prospects to complete the CTA. Including exciting offers can help in inducing them to set up a call or a demo session. Offer for something that the person is likely to get excited about and is willing to take some action in exchange for that offer.

Follow-Up Regularly

Keep your direct mail list close with you even after the campaign is completed. Don’t forget about your sent direct mail and your prospects after a campaign is over. It is very important that you follow up with your respondents regularly. You can even follow up with people who haven’t responded yet.

Personalize Your Direct Mail

The direct mail definition may not describe it as personalized promotional items, but it is smart to personalize your direct mail. Tailoring everything according to your target customers makes them feel special and encourages them to try your brand. Direct mail is a great way to communicate with people directly. Hence, using the non-personalized blanket approach does not help.

Use Automation

Using a direct mail automation platform, companies can send any number of mail pieces easily and speedily. It is no longer required to plan and design your direct mail yourselves by hiring a designer or spending on inventory like paper, ink, stamps, labels, and envelopes. PostGrid‘s direct mail automation platform and API can help you send on-demand and bulk mail effortlessly. You can easily customize your content, personalize every single direct mail, track responses, get reports, and handle everything in an integrated manner.

Understanding Direct Mail CTAs? Why Do You Need the Best Ones?

Every direct mail piece has a certain! Whether you want to inform the users about the product launch, upcoming event, or the latest offers. Every direct mail campaign will have a primary goal. Thus, you have to encourage prospects or subscribers to do something. 

It is where you need CTAs. Call of Action helps you guide your audience to the action you want them to take. 

So why exactly must you add a CTA to your direct mail? Can’t you leave the information on the pieces without any CTA? 

Importance of Call-to-Action 

While some marketers might launch direct mail campaigns purely for entertainment or educational purposes, most aim to market something. When you are investing in direct mail marketing, you must have expectations to get some return. 

Firstly, we know that direct mail effectively reaches potential customers and generates good leads for any business. However, there’s no guarantee of success when you send snail mail pieces without any CTA. 

You must add a clear and compelling CTA to your pieces. It works like an instruction to encourage the prospects to a specific action on your mail. Businesses can use CTA from purchasing to signing up for a service or scheduling an appointment. A call to action will give purpose to your mail piece. 

We believe that businesses should consider adding a strong CTA for the following reasons; 

Boosting Response Rates 

Although direct mail has a better response rate of 5%, you need to drive some purpose to get a better response. Including an amusing call to action improves your chances that the recipient will respond to your mail piece. It gives them a clear idea of what to do with the mail piece and what action to take. 

For example, if you are running a retail business, a CTA like “Shop now and get a 30% discount” provides a better reason to respond to your mail.

Creating a Sense of Urgency  

Creating a sense of urgency through CTAs is a classic strategy to expect higher response rates. Everyone likes to take the opportunity at the right time. Would you procrastinate on something important for your business? 

No! Absolutely, no. 

A well-thought call to action can help you create this sense of urgency through your direct mail. Your prospects will be more willing to take action immediately without any delays. It is particularly vital when you are promoting a limited-time offer or sale. 

Defining a Clear Path to Conversion 

You need more customers for your business. Adding a clear call to action will give the recipient a clear conversion path. Without this, they won’t understand anything or may not have enough motivation to take any steps. Without a clear roadmap, your mail piece will be only read and land on the trash cans. 

They Help Encouraging Engagement 

Your call to action can also encourage engagement with mail-piece recipients. For example, you might need quick leads for your finance business. You can write a CTA such as “Signup for our newsletter to get an exclusive discount on our services.” It would encourage the recipient to engage with your brand after the initial mail piece. 

They might still need to become paying customers, but they will show some interest in your business. By encouraging engagement, you can build better relationships with your prospects. It would help you expect loyal customers and repeat business soon. 

Get Measurable Results for Your Campaigns 

Your marketing efforts cannot go in vain. After all, you invest your hard work and hard-earned money in direct mail marketing. Adding CTAs to your mail pieces provides measurable results that you can use to evaluate your campaign’s success. 

You can track the number of responses to the call to action. It would help you determine the effectiveness of the mail piece. Later, you can also tweak your marketing strategies accordingly. 

For example, your direct mail campaign generates a higher response rate with a particular CTA. You can use a similar call to action in future campaigns. At the same time, if a call to action is ineffective, you can tweak the message to make it more compelling. 

Designing Your Call-to-Action for Direct Mail

A good CTA on your direct mail doesn’t just attract the recipients. It can add value and highlight your entire business and its offerings. 

Learn how to create your call to action to increase response rates; 

Define the Goals 

You must have a clear purpose when launching your direct mail campaign. Similarly, it would help if you had a goal to guide your subscribers or prospects to take some action with CTAs. Understanding their intent and learning what they are looking for is crucial. Then, you can ask the following questions to yourself; 

  1. What do I want my recipients to do? 
  2. How will they know what action to take? 
  3. Why should they do it? 

You will get the real purpose behind your CTA by answering these questions. The CTA you use must provide some value to the recipient. 

They will ignore anything irrelevant or too dull. Thus, they must understand what they will get for a specific action. You need to provide a particular value proposition in your CTAs. 

Give a Reason To Your Prospects

Why should your recipients care about your CTA in the first place? 

Before adding your CTA into the text, it is vital to inform your audience why the offer is worth their attention. Make that you are clearly defining the benefits of your product or service through the message. It will help them consider your call to action in the first place. 

For example, if you are providing a discount, define the benefits of the concession directly in your mail. Then, it would help if you considered adding the CTA. 

Focus on the Language You Use,  

Your CTA must be relevant to your readers if you want it to be effective.  

The passive or weak language will drift them away from paying attention to you.  For example, if your CTA is something simple like “visit our store,” it doesn’t provide any real reason for them to take any action. 

Instead of using simple or passive language, your call to action should sound amusing and encouraging. Try saying something like “Shop this week to get a 25% discount” or something similarly engaging. 

The goal of your CTA could be anything, always use persuasive language to convince your recipients. It would help if you remembered that the language you use in a direct mail campaign differs from what you’d use in email campaigns. The reader of your direct mail piece will need to make more effort to access an offer. 

In emails, they can click on a text to receive the offer immediately. At the same time, the readers need to complete another step in Direct mail. Yet, don’t think that this extra step would make your campaign less successful. You have to be fair when adding CTAs to your mail pieces. 

These could be some alluring and descriptive calls to action; 

  • Get 50% off today
  • Schedule an appointment 
  • Start planning 
  • Call XYX for a free consultation 
  • Join our slum-saving mission 
  • Order now to get free shipping 
  • Find your dream home with us 
  • Lose weight in just seven weeks 
  • Refer to your friend and earn a commission 
Incorporate Modern Technology 

Traditional calls to action are evolving with modern technology. Now, there are more channels that you can use to engage with your customers with better engagement. 

You can consider these examples with different technologies; 

  • QR Codes: “Scan the QR to get your exclusive discount today.”
  • PURLs: “Go to to learn more about our mission. 
  • VDP-Enabled Maps: “Follow this route to our new workspace.”
  • NFC: “Tap here with your NFC-enabled phone to receive a discount.” 
Where Should You Place Your CTA? 

Many marketers need help determining the placement of their CTA. Some even consider using multiple CTAs, but they only create confusion and divert their interest. 

You must avoid burying your CTA in an area on the mail piece where readers will ignore it. If your mail piece contains a significant amount of text, then you should repeat or rephrase the CTA in the direct mail piece. 

Deliver the Promise of Your CTA

Once you have added the CTA to your direct mail piece, it is critical to delivering the promises to your customers. When you follow through on your promises, you can build trust among them. 

For example, if your direct mail has the motive to provide discounts. Then, you must be ready to fulfill the promises of offers to your customers. Failure to deliver would hamper your reputation. 

Running A/B Variable Testing 

You will get crystal clear results about the effectiveness of your direct mail campaigns. It will help you to understand the elements of your campaigns which are performing well. 

Single variable A/B testing refers to observing any noticeable change in recipient behavior based on a single variable.

Why Your Direct Mail Campaigns Need More Responses?

You have created a killer direct mail campaign and invested a lot of resources. Still, you need to get more responses for your efforts. According to SmallBizTrends, direct mail campaigns have an open rate of 80-90%. You have more chances of getting replies with direct mail than you would from email, social media, or online ads. 

But what could go wrong with your direct mail campaign and compromise the response rate? There could be different reasons if you are not getting the expected response rates. 

We think you must avoid these mistakes when sending direct mail to your recipients;

Lack of Personalization 

Do you pay any attention to personalizing your mail? Does one size shoe fit everyone? Can your generic message leave any higher impact on your audience? 

In the age of stiff competition, your generic messages will appeal to only some masses. Every Tom, Dick, or Harry uses the same trivial marketing message to reach their audience. This strategy might have worked in the “past.” Yet, it could be more effective in today’s digital age. 

Customers will only pay attention to relevant and personalized messages. Thus, your business must put in enough creative efforts to create the personalization necessary for attracting customers. 

Customers will only be willing to provide their personal information. Yet, research shows that more than half of all customers (58%) are eager to give their data. 

Consider our variable data printing process to personalize your direct mail. It would help you change text, graphics, and images without slowing printing. Variable data printing is the best solution for better customization of direct mail.

Not Relying on an Address Validation Service

Is your mail even delivered to the accurate postal addresses? The address data that you are using could be obsolete or have errors. Thus, it is vital to consider a reliable address validation API tool to improve direct mail engagement levels.

An address validation tool allows us to fix typos and validate the deliverability of addresses and new metadata. It helps you to categorize better and understand customer interests. You will avoid wasting your direct mail pieces, delivery, and other vital resources. Less mail going to dead or low-value addresses means you will bring more ROI. 

NCOA or National Change of Address service can help decrease the chances of mail going to the wrong addresses and Return to Sender (RTS) rates. Not using an address validation service can significantly lower your campaign’s efficiency and ROI.

Direct Mail with Boring Format

We all know that direct mail is visual and tactile. It is popular for leaving a long-lasting impression on prospects. You already have a competitive advantage over other marketing channels. 

Yet, you must be creative with the format to retain this advantage. Marketers often use oversized envelopes, a letter campaign with a business envelope, or a postcard. These are some of the most popular formats because they are effective. 

Yet, sometimes it becomes crucial to break away from the norms and be creative with the format. 

Poor Timing 

Timing plays a critical role in the success of any marketing campaign. Similarly, you need a reason to send a direct mail piece to your prospect. For example, you should gather attention for your upcoming event or product. 

Launching a direct mail campaign takes time. People often need to pay more attention to the timings and drive in a hurry expecting that they will see results. You can talk to our team to discuss the timings to get the best results for your campaign.  

No Clear Understanding of the Target Market 

When marketing your business, you must have an accurate knowledge of your target audience. You must ensure that the right people will be receiving your marketing material. Thus, clear market research is necessary to reach the right target audience. 

If you are not sending it to the right audience, there’s a good chance you will not get any response. Thus, it becomes vital for you to know to who you want to send your mailers. For example, an insurance company providing education loans should not focus on elders. It would only lead to an audience with no interest. 

Having No Clear Call to Action in Your Direct Mail 

Campaigns with no clarity often fail to achieve their goals. Thus, including a clear call to action in your direct mail becomes vital. With this, you can engage your audience and interact with your brand. 

Problems with the Budget and Scale of the Campaign 

Before investing in your direct mail campaign, you have to determine the budget and scale of your campaign. It would help you to ensure consistency and completeness in your direct mail campaign.

Having Unrealistic Expectations 

We understand that direct mail marketing could be a significant investment for your business. Yet, expecting small rewards after a while would only be logical. You need to know the average return on investment for a direct mail campaign. It would take more than one direct mail piece to understand the results of your campaign. You must have realistic expectations from your marketing campaign to fetch fruitful results from your marketing efforts. 

What Does it Take to Create a Successful Direct Mail Campaign?

So, do you want to create a successful direct mail campaign that improves your lead generation, customer retention, and brand awareness? Crafting a marketing campaign requires careful planning and execution. Personalization, innovative technologies, targeted marketing, and compelling offers can help you reach your marketing goals. 

As direct mail experts, we often suggest the following tactics to our clients; 

Running a Loyalty Program with Direct Mail

Successful marketers know rewarding customers with loyalty programs effectively increases sales and generates repeat business. Businesses have used loyalty programs for over a century to build and maintain strong customer relationships. 

Acquiring a new customer is 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. You should also implement the right program to boost customer loyalty and lifetime value. Consider it a win-win situation for you and your customers. 

Ready to implement a direct mail campaign with a customer loyalty program?

First Things First! Define The Goals of Your Loyalty Program 

Before you start drafting your physical mail pieces, defining your goals is vital. Without clear goals, your customers would have distractions and ultimately leave your loyalty program. 

So, what do you want to achieve with your loyalty program? 

Do you want to increase your customer retention or drive sales? 

Do you need customer feedback for your products or services? 

Learning your goals will help you create a loyalty program to meet your business goals and customer needs. 

Draft Your Direct Mail Loyalty Program 

So now you have your goals for the campaign, it is time to draft your loyalty program with direct mail. 

Your customers must understand the features and benefits of your program. For example, it could be offering discounts, gifts, free products, or access to your events. 

The message should be clear and understandable to let the customer know about the benefits of joining. Use persuasive copy and eye-catching graphics to encourage your customers to sign up. 

Use a Trustworthy Mailing List

You will need a trustworthy mailing list to start your direct mail campaign. You might have your existing mailing list, or you can consider talking to PostGrid. We provide authentic, accurate, and deliverable mailing lists for businesses launching loyalty programs. 

You must ensure that your list is a relevant and accurate successful campaign. We recommend considering past purchase history, geographic location, or demographics. It will enable you to tailor your messages and offers to reach the right target audience. 

Give Some Personal Touch with Personalization  

Generic messages aren’t effective anymore. Almost every marketer is using them to reach their customers. Thus, personalization is a leading aspect in getting the attention of your target audience. We suggest you use our variable data printing technology to personalize each mail piece with the recipient’s name, address, and other important information. You can also consider studying the recipient’s purchase history and other preferences. 

Analyze the Response Rate 

Measuring each campaign is necessary to understand its effectiveness. It would help you to avoid shortcomings and improve your marketing efforts. Thus, start evaluating the response rates of your loyalty program. You can include a URL, QR code, or a unique offer code in your direct mail pieces. It would help you to learn how many customers are signing up for your loyalty program due to your marketing efforts. 

Now Follow Up! 

Most marketers need to remember this step and take the opportunity to entertain potential customers. It’s vital to follow up with your customers to keep them engaged. You can send newsletters or promotions to drive interest toward your loyalty program. 

What Can You Send to Boost Your Loyalty Program?

Sometimes your marketing efforts can get repetitive and boring. You need a mixed bag of strategies that continuously engages your customers. Remember, consistency will play a significant role in retaining prospects for your loyalty program. We would like to suggest the following methods; 

Explain All the Benefits of Your Program

There must be a compelling reason for consumers to stick with a subscription service.  Let us consider Netflix! 

What is Netflix offering with its subscription service? 

Users get an immense content library, high-quality streaming, and flexible pricing plans. So they have a clear idea about the offerings of the streaming service.

Similarly, you must explain each benefit of joining your direct mail loyalty program. Talk about the unique perks, offers, and access you provide with the service that any ordinary customer wouldn’t get. 

Sending Constant Reminds

Constantly remind your customers about your loyalty program. They must know about the new benefits and perks they might need to take advantage of. It would help if you studied their profile to learn what they do with your loyalty service. 

Tell You Are Thankful

Gratitude is a vital expression to make your customers feel valued and appreciated. You can launch a campaign with thank you cards, letters, or postcards. Show your creativity with the design and message of your mailing piece. You can also encourage your customers to share their feedback on social media or GMB and provide them with an additional incentive. 

Celebrate Birthdays and Anniversaries

A birthday or an anniversary is an occasion of celebration. You can take this opportunity by sending a birthday mail with an exclusive discount or offer. It would provide a sense of belonging and leave the customers with a personal experience. 

Showcase Upcoming Products and Releases 

An engaging customer base would love to learn more about your products and future offerings. You can take this opportunity to showcase new products or services you will launch soon. 

Provide Access to Exclusive Sales 

The loyalty program you offer will be of interest to your customers for a variety of reasons. They are looking for access to exclusive products and sales. Thus, you can inform and provide access before such sales start. Yet, be ready to deliver your promises to ensure a seamless experience. 

Omnichannel Marketing with Direct Mail

Isn’t it amazing that you see an advertisement on television, and moments later, you see the same ad on Instagram? Then, the next day, you wake up, sip your coffee, and see the same ad again. 

Using omnichannel marketing like this helps you create a seamless customer experience. 90% of customers believe consistency across different marketing channels plays a significant role in building better relationships with the brand. 

With omnichannel marketing, you can connect with customers at various stages of their journeys by mixing offline and online channels. You can include direct mail, social media, website, and email in your marketing campaign. 

Using Direct Mail with Other Channels 

You can include personalized URLs (PURLs) or QR codes for your direct mail campaigns to direct your recipients to take a specific action. It would help you to ensure a seamless customer experience and increase customer engagement, brand awareness, and retention. 

Adding Additional Value to Your Marketing Campaign 

Marketing through omnichannel channels is different from traditional marketing methods. It would help to have a clear and defined investment focus to create interest and satisfy customer priorities. McKinsey suggests the following schemes to pursue omnichannel marketing; 


It would help if you had a cross-channel shopping strategy that combines online and offline channels for physical-first and digital-first businesses. 


A cross-channel shopping strategy should be comprehensively tailored and targeted for relevant engagement. It would go beyond regular targeting and look-alike analysis. 


Your omnichannel marketing strategy should integrate with consumer needs and lifestyles. It should provide content, offers, and other vital interactions. Such an approach would improve the total brand experience, where the platform would become part of the user’s lifestyle. 

Combining Direct Mail with SMS

It has been over two decades since texting became popular. You might think that the world has moved from using SMS. Yet, it is astonishing that 27% more businesses are using SMS for marketing purposes. 

You can implement SMS marketing with your direct mail campaign. Engage your customers by sending postcards, letters, or brochures after triggering SMS. Including an invitation to amalgamate SMS marketing with a direct mail piece is also possible. 

Combining Direct Mail with Email

Most marketers prefer using email marketing to reach their target audience. Yet, there might be better tools if you are looking for a higher response rate. Launching direct mail campaigns can give you a response rate of 4.4%

Imagine how much you can achieve by combining direct mail with email marketing. Here’s what you can do with direct mail and email marketing; 

Improve Your Brand Reach

You can reach a larger audience and increase the impact of your marketing message. Many of your customers would prefer using one channel over another. Why not use both plans to cater to the needs and preferences of your audience? Your campaigns have better chances of getting a higher level of engagement. 

Higher Personalization with Campaign

Personalization is a vital aspect of every marketing campaign. Both direct mail and email marketing will give you enough scope for personalization according to your goals and preferences. You can also consider your target audience’s specific needs and interests. Many businesses use this opportunity to make the experience more engaging and streamlined. 

Improvement in Response Rates

We already discussed the response rate of direct mail campaigns.

Combining both channels can boost your response rates instead of using a single approach. The two plans can reinforce each other, increasing the likelihood of a higher response rate. Audiences using any of the channels would show interest in your brand. 

Combining Direct Mail with Social Media

Social media is almost ubiquitous these days. You can take the opportunity to combine direct mail with building awareness, attracting customers, and retaining existing customers. So, how will you get these netizens’ attention to your business?

As a direct mail expert, we often suggest the following strategies to our clients;

Gathering Information with Social Media

Every marketing campaign requires some user data. How are you going to get this data if you are starting? 

Social media platforms can help you gather critical user information about your target audience. It would help to understand their online behavior. You can learn what pages they follow or the content they frequently engage with. This data helps optimize direct mail messages and fulfill their interests and preferences. 

Including Social Media Handles on Your Direct Mail Pieces 

Are you looking for more followers on your social media accounts? You can run online ads to gather a relevant audience and get people from your existing direct mail campaigns. 

Include your social media handles on your direct mail pieces to encourage recipients to follow your accounts and engage with your company online. The proper use of hashtags can help you to track engagement and measure the success of your campaigns. 

Provide Exclusive Promotions

Social media engagement is vital to keep your brand more visible online. You can provide exclusive offers to your followers and reinforce the message by sending physical mail. For example, your business can give a discount code on social media. Then, you can send a direct mail piece to deliver more information about the promotion. 

Efficient Use of White Space in Your Direct Mail Pieces 

Have you ever seen a newspaper’s classified or business section? Are you interested in checking any information about the immense influx and clutter? Do you know why you need help with the influx of information? 

White space plays an extensive role in any design. You might have the best fonts, colors, design, graphics, images, and CTAs on your direct mail piece. Yet, not having sufficient blank space can make your recipient lose interest in your direct mail piece. 

Understanding White Space

White space is the blank or negative space between different design elements. Businesses often try to squeeze every inch of space in a design to maximize their advertising message. Yet, leaving adequate white space in your marketing space leaves a big difference to the readers. 

White space helps your consumer to focus on the text. People need this for comprehension while reading anything on the web or paper. Whether it is present on a screen or page, white spaces help in dividing content and graphics in direct mail. 

Let us learn more about  

Convincing Reasons to Add White Space in Your Direct Mail Piece 

A direct mail piece needs white space just like any other element of the design. The characters on your physical mail piece must be easy to understand. Here’s why you need an appropriate amount of white space in your copy; 

Fulfilling People with Limited Attention Spans

In the digital age, the average attention span of people has come down to only 8.25 seconds. You require more time to get the attention of your prospects. Do you want to divert their attention to the clutter in the design? 

Not, really! 

The recipients will only bother to check the entire mail if it has fewer graphics, text, and CTAs. You only get their attention when you stop diverting their mind with too much information. 

It helps in Highlighting the Critical Elements. 

Highlighting everything in your direct mail makes nothing highlighted in your direct mail. If you are emphasizing everything, people won’t get the actual features of your physical mail. You need more space on your direct mail pieces. It creates a dilemma about highlighting the vital elements. Adding white space guides your recipients toward the most decisive parts of your snail mail. You must provide this guidance to your target audience to get a higher response rate. 

Minimalism is Attractive 

Try going to Apple’s official website and checking how they place their information. You will see a lot of white spaces giving it a more aesthetic feel. The white space on your direct mail forces you to simplify the marketing message to make everything crisp and clear. Instead of fitting everything into the limited real estate, you must let your important element breathe out. 

PostGrid’s Best Tips to Make the Best Use of White Spaces 

White space is exceptional for your direct mail. Yet, you must do it in your marketing campaigns. Here’s what we would like to suggest: 

Simple Use of Backgrounds 

The background must be simple, whether your mail uses a solid color, graffiti, or an image. People should be able to understand the mail with ease. 

Stop Overlaying Text on Top of Images 

Images are for visual impact, and text is for reading. Refrain from the overlapping text on images, as it only creates confusion and distraction. 

Stop Using Multiple Fonts 

You want to draw attention and not cause distraction. Use only one font in your mail, making it easier to read and scan. A minimalist font is preferable to make your message appealing and crisp. 

Easy-to-Read Text

The text on your direct mail should be easy to read. You can use this by dividing your text into small sections and adding personalization elements. 

Adding QR Codes to Your Direct Mail Pieces 

QR codes may have existed since the early 1990s, but their implementation has seen more diversification in recent years. Statistics show that there were over 6.8 billion scans in 2022. You could understand the impact of QR on the global economy. 

A QR code is a 2-D barcode that users can scan using their smartphone or other mobile devices to access content or information instantly. Direct mail marketers often use QR to provide additional information about a product, service, or promotion. 

Businesses are finding unique ways to integrate QR codes into their direct mail pieces. Here is why you should consider adding these codes; 

Support in Tracking the Effectiveness of Your Campaigns 

Are you running your campaigns to target different audiences? Including QR codes in your mail pieces can help you monitor individual results. You will get complete knowledge of which marketing strategy is contributing to your success or failure. 

Add Sophistication to Your Print Mail Design 

Do you often need more space in your direct mail piece? No, worries. You can only add the necessary text to your mail and leave the rest to QR codes. 

It would give you more space to focus on design elements and make the piece more attractive. Additionally, people need more time to read lengthy descriptions and unnecessary explanations. A QR code can solve this problem by directing them to your website if they need additional information. You can also use a QR code to contact your business directly. 

Unifying the Gap Between Online and Offline World

A customer journey can have multiple touchpoints through direct mail, website, stores, social media page, or stores. By having an innovative direct mail marketing experience, you can tie offline and online customer experiences together.  

Adding a QR code can significantly increase the speed of the decision-making process. It would help you build a positive brand image and make the shopping experience more memorable. 

Helping in Gathering User Data

You must know that user data is the fuel source of every successful marketing campaign. Having crucial insights into your audience segments will help you boost your strategy. 

This data would help you to learn who will be more likely to buy the product or service. 

But how are you going to collect data with QR codes? 

Let us explain the process, 

First, you must cleverly integrate the QR into your direct mail piece. There must be some encouraging factor that would motivate people to scan your QR code. 

Whenever a user scans your code, your software system records the date, time, location, device form, and operating system. Moreover, you will also learn about the user persona and their preferences. You can later process this vital data in CRM software to gain deep insights into your customers. This innovative use of QR codes will make direct Mail marketing more cost-effective and efficient. 

Implementing Geocoding in Your Direct Mail Campaign 

Do you want to improve your marketing efforts’ response rate and ROI? Geocoding can help you learn about the precise location of a postal address in the form of longitude and latitude. 

With this technology, your physical campaigns will become more powerful and targeted. It will help you find the relevant mailboxes and improve the probability of getting a response. 

Geocoding can help you connect a postal address to a physical point. This information will be vital for your marketing database to reach an identified audience. 

So why do you need geocoding in your next physical mail campaign;

Improvement in Targeting 

Every marketer is transforming their marketing plan by targeting the right audience. Geocoding will help you target specific areas, such as neighborhoods or zip codes. You can use our geocoding API to reach the right audience. 

Personalize Your Mail 

Geocoding allows you to personalize direct mail based on the recipient’s location.  For example, consider adding information promotions or local events in a specific area. 

Support Your Cost-Effectiveness Initiatives 

Businesses seek the best ways to save money on their marketing efforts. Geocoding would help you target only the relevant areas and avoid unnecessary expenditures. You can also reduce printing and postage costs and improve the return on investment (ROI). 

Boost the Response Rates

We advise using geocoding to make your marketing materials more relevant to your recipient’s location and interests. 

Better Data Analysis for Your Campaigns

Using geocoding will help your business to analyze the performance of your snail mail campaigns by location. You will learn which areas most respond to your marketing love and understand their consumer behavior. 

How to Determine the Budget of Your Direct Mail Marketing Budget?

You might think that direct mail is more expensive than digital marketing channels. Yet, statistics show that direct mail recipients bought 28% more products than people who didn’t receive direct mail. Despite the rumors and misconceptions, direct mail is still more cost-effective than other channels. 

How much do you need to spend on your direct mail campaign? 

Well, the answer is more complex. The budget of the campaign will vary for every business. The expenditure will depend on your willingness to spend and the direct mail campaign size. 

Your budget will also depend on a copy, graphics, type of direct mail piece, printing, personalization, volume, and postage. 

Also, the budget of your campaign will depend on these three factors: 

Your Expenditure Limit

Defining your expenditure limit when designing, printing, and shipping your mailing pieces is vital. 

Products or Services You Are Promoting 

Different products and services will need a specific direct mail format to expect effective results. Thus, the arrangement, design, and creativity will invite additional expenditure. 

Campaign Target 

Your campaign target will also determine the cost of your direct mail campaign. 

An average direct mail piece costs between $0.30 to $10 per person. The actual costs depend on your expenditure on design, marketing copy, mailing lists, printing, and postage. 

This chart will help you understand the budget for a direct mail campaign; 

Direct Mail Type Average Costs Price Per 1000 Mail
Copywriting $100 $100
Printing Mail $1 to $2 per mail or flyer $1000
Designing $100 $100
Delivery $0.17 per direct mail $160 to $170

Why Do You Need to Consider Sustainability in Your Direct Mail?

Consumers have access to more information than ever about the environmental impact of their everyday lives. They expect brands to care about environmental protection as well.

Your direct mail campaign should also consider sustainability for the following reasons; 

Considering the Environmental Impact

A direct mail campaign can significantly impact the environment due to materials, energy usage, transportation emissions, and waste generation. When you consider sustainability practices, it helps you reduce your campaign’s negative impact on the environment. 

Sustainability Contributes to Cost Savings 

It would help if you acknowledge sustainability by using recycled paper or reducing the size of mail pieces. It would significantly reduce printing and postage costs. You can use these savings to extend your marketing campaigns further. 

Building a Positive Brand Image

People are getting more concerned about the environmental impact of businesses. Thus, they are more likely to support companies committing to sustainability. You can also build a positive brand image and reputation by implementing sustainability practices in your direct mail. 

Legal Compliances

Many countries, including the US, have strict laws and regulations on using certain materials, such as plastics or other non-biodegradable materials. If you don’t comply with these regulations, you will only invite legal and financial penalties. 

Future-Proofing Your Campaigns 

By considering sustainability, you can make your campaigns and business future-proof by aligning them with evolving consumer values. Environmental protection plays a crucial factor in consumer decision-making choosing a company.   

Dos and Don'ts of Direct Mail

Certain guidelines can be followed to make your direct mail campaigns a huge success and avoid any scope of wasted time, energy, and money.


  • Define Your Targeted Audience – Always define your niche and the type of audience that is best suited to your product or service. You need to be clear about the demographics that play an important role in your brand. For example, if you are an educational institution, parents will be your primary audience. You need to have a targeted direct mail list for conducting direct mail campaigns. You can purchase them from a mailing lists broker or use your own data.
  • Run Tests – There are many different types of direct mail that you can send out. Hence, you should determine which type is best for you. Initially, you should send out only a few direct mail pieces as test batches. Track the engagements of this campaign, draw results, and plan the main campaign accordingly.
  • Include a CTA – The most attention-seeking direct mail also requires a CTA to fulfill its purpose. Include an upfront and clear CTA that is easy to be completed by people. It can be anything like taking a survey, using a code, requesting a demo, or signing up on their website.


  • Don’t Send Anything Without Proofreading – Direct mail is like the first impression that your brand makes in front of an audience. Don’t print and mail anything that is not proofread thoroughly. Before printing, check for typos, errors, factual mistakes, and other things. Make sure that the offers are genuine and your mail reads well.
  • Don’t Miss Follow-Ups – After knowing what direct mail is, you should know that there is some amount of work both before and after conducting a campaign. Make a note of the respondents and follow up until you close the deal. Missing follow-ups can disturb all the objectives of your campaign. Furthermore, engaged customers are more likely to react to future marketing communications.
  • Don’t Forget to Drive Online Traffic – As we have already established, direct mail returns high responses. You can use these responses to drive online traffic. You can keep posting about your upcoming campaigns on your social media channels and keep your audience hooked. Driving traffic to your online channels can help you connect with your audience better.

PostGrid's Direct Mail Glossary

If you are new to direct mail marketing, you must learn about the frequent direct mail terms vital among marketers. As experts in direct mail automation, we understand the value of incorporating technology into direct mail campaigns. 

Many of the direct mail terms are also common in digital marketing practices. Yet, some will be unique and new for you. 

Database Marketing

This term in our direct mail glossary relies on customer information from your database to develop personalized marketing messages. 

Direct Mail Automation 

Automation is possible when you integrate our direct mail API with your CRM, marketing, e-commerce, or other systems. Direct mail automation helps in managing large batches of mail with ease. 

Event-Driven Programs 

These systems help you to trigger mail pieces depending on events such as an individual’s birthday, anniversary, product purchase, etc. 


It is one of the most critical direct mail terms for responding to a customer request. You can provide fulfillment on purchased products, services, merchandise, etc. 


This term refers to the improvement in response from a mail piece after altering a campaign. 

List Brokers: 

A list broker connects marketers to mailing list owners. 

List Rental 

Marketers often need their data; they must rent lists for a single use. Rental makes a crucial term in our direct mail glossary. 

Multichannel Marketing 

Using more than one channel refers to multichannel marketing. A campaign can include direct mail and email marketing to get better responses. Every marketer should know it is one of the vital direct mail terms. 


In a direct mail campaign, offers mean the incentive you provide through your mail pieces. For example, consider adding an exclusive discount on your mail. 

Omnichannel Marketing 

You might confuse omnichannel marketing with multichannel marketing, but both have different purposes. Omnichannel means including coordination across all the communication channels. At the same time, multichannel refers to just contrasting channels inconsistently. 


These are unique web addresses where businesses expect their prospects to come. You can create a unique pURL for a targeted individual. It is also one of the most relevant terms in our direct mail glossary. 

QR Codes 

Quick response helps in connecting your direct mail with digital content. By scanning these codes, your customers can access more product information, schedule appointments, and contact you, or more. QR codes are also part of critical direct mail terms because they contribute to campaign success. 


You can divide your mailing list into different groups for testing purposes. Segmentation plays a considerable role in snail mail marketing and our direct mail glossary.

Triggered Direct Mail 

You can launch this mail only when you fulfill certain conditions. Usually, a CRM system is necessary to launch triggered direct mail campaigns. It has a considerable role in campaign success and our direct mail glossary. 


Coding Accuracy Support System helps businesses to improve the accuracy of matching mailing lists to USPS delivery codes. Your direct mail software must have CASS certification, one of the most direct mail terms. 

Cleaning Names 

You can use them to correct spelling errors, address standardization, ZIP code correction, and duplicate elimination. 

Database File 

A collection of tables is what this term means in our direct mail glossary. Each table has a relationship with one or more tables through a common data element. A single entry in a database table can relate to various entries in another table. 

Data Enhancement 

Getting data from any external source to an address and name file and adding additional information is popular as data enhancement. We can improve the data by inserting lines, salutations, geocoding, or genderizing. 


This term is identifying and removing data file duplications. 

Demographic Data

This data is socio-economic data that includes housing type, estimated customer value, or ethnicity to help marketers fine-tune their mailing lists. Demographic data is vital in our direct mail glossary because it can help you target qualified prospects. 


The meaning of this term relies on the application. There could be ID numbers such as phone numbers, social security numbers, or account numbers that might have duplicates. 

Flat File 

A fiat file consists of all the records in the same format. These records don’t have any relation to each other. 


This term refers to the representation style of a file. You can determine the format by considering the order of fields and the data structure.


It is one of the most vital direct mail terms that helps marketers to convert addresses into geographical coordinates. You can use geocoding to compute the distance between two addresses. 

Holdout Group Testing 

It works similarly to A/B testing. You can differentiate between the one group not receiving direct mail and the other receiving them. 

House File 

This file represents an organization’s database of current customers, past customers, and prospects. It contributes significantly to the success of direct mail marketing and is a worthy inclusion in our direct mail glossary. 

House Holding 

This technique is common among mailers to reduce mailing costs. They only send a single mail piece to a household. 

List Maintenance 

This term from our direct mail glossary means maintaining, updating, and deleting records from a mailing list. 

Mailing Lists  

A mailing list consists of current customers, former customers, or prospects showing interest. These people are already familiar with your brand. 


This term is also vital if you are studying a direct mail glossary. The software can help you upload data from multiple sources and combine them. 

National Change of Address 

This database has information about every person, business, or family that comes under the change of notice with USPS. It helps reduce the cost of Undeliverable as Addressed (UAA) mail. 

Nth Name  

It is a method of testing files in which the value of ‘n’ will help you determine how many records you select . 

Variable Data

With variable data printing, you can change a single element from one data record to the next.

Variable Logic  

It is an innovative method of altering text or graphics on a physical mail piece. This logic has the format: IF something is true, THEN do this. 

Printing Terms From Our Direct Mail Glossary


It stands for per thousand. You can use this value to define the cost of envelopes, paper, or data processing. 


It refers to a jagged, stair-stepped appearance of diagonal lines on the print. 


It is a technique in that businesses smoothen the looks of stair-stepped lines. 


This term refers to the printing that goes beyond the small area. After you trim the material, no unprinted edges will come in the piece. 


Preparing equipment to create accurate and consistent printing is a term from our direct mail glossary. 

Dots Per Inch/DPI 

It is a measurement unit that you can use to measure image resolution. 

International Color Consortium 

This is a consortium of companies that sell neutral and cross-color management systems. We consider it a considerable part of our direct mail glossary. 


There are three colors (color model): red, green, and blue. RGB is used by digital devices, while CMYK is used by printing devices.  

Mailing & Postage Terms from Our Direct Mail Glossary 


USPS relies on this standard to accept designs for a set of ZIP codes. 

Address Block 

This term from our direct mail glossary represents the space on a document with the recipient’s name and address. 


These terms represent the Army Post Office or Military Post Office. The domestic ones are APOs, while foreign bases are MPOs. 

Aspect Ratio 

The USPS needs you to maintain a specific length to height. It must be between 1.3 and 2.5. You will be liable for a ‘non-machinable surcharge if you violate the aspect ratio requirements.’ 

Deliverability Rate 

This rate represents the proportion of names on a mailing list with a deliverable mailing address. 

First-Class Mail/FCM 

This mail provides businesses with services like automated mail forwarding without additional charges. 


It refers to the mailpieces with sizes 3 ½” and 6 ⅛”, 5″ and 11 ½” long.  


This term refers to a direct mail piece that does not need an envelope.

Direct Mail Examples

Below are some direct mail ideas that you can use in your next campaign.

B2B Direct Mail

  • iPad – You can send an empty iPad box with a note asking for the person’s time in exchange for the iPad. The Heinz marketing company had used this idea, and it worked great for them.
  • Content Kit – You can pile together all your best blog posts, customer reviews, case studies, and reports as one content kit to be sent to your high-end accounts. This kit should be highly informative and give them a feel of offline reading.
  • Fake Press Release- Draft a fake press release stating how the company (your client) has achieved something big using your products or services. Tell them how they can achieve it for real.

B2C Direct Mail

  • Miniature Greeting Cards – Miniature items are already liked by everyone. They are cute, pleasant, and attractive. Sending tiny greeting cards to your customers can help grab their attention and impress them.
  • Hot Chocolate or Coffee – This option is perfect for the holiday season that falls during winters. Simply send a packet of instant coffee or hot chocolate along with a note that emphasizes how easy it is to make instant coffee. Further, tell your prospects how your product can similarly make their lives easier.
  • Personalized Brochures – You can get really creative with brochures and personalize a lot of details. Including a person’s name and some other common habit or fact is a smart move. For example, if you are a car insurance company, mentioning the name of your prospect’s car can help get their attention easily.
  • Gimmicky Toys – You can design small toys or items representing your brand. For example, pizza restaurant owners can design small pizza keychains, or home sellers can design and send small house-looking toys with a personalized note.

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