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There’s no denying it, the Internet has radically changed the way businesses market themselves. That doesn’t necessarily mean direct mail has become obsolete. Business owners can still reach out to prospects and generate sales using direct mail marketing.

In this, the digital age, the vast majority of business owners are trying their luck with digital marketing strategies such as SEM, SEO and social media. This means there`s less competition at the mail box, which is allowing direct mail marketing to shine. Instead of competing with hundreds of emails or search ads, you only have to compete with bills and unaddressed, untargeted junk mail.

But in order to grab your prospect’s attention and get them to execute your call to action, it is important to plan your direct mail campaign carefully. Fortunately, it creating an effective mail strategy doesn’t have to be hard.

Get the Right List

The key to any direct mail campaign’s success lies in selecting the right list. It`s not going to matter how amazing the piece is if it`s not going to the people. Whether you decide to research your mail list options personally or engage the services of a list broker, it`s important to be know who you target market is. The more specific you can be, the greater the response is going to be.

Go Old School

Most direct mail marketers use printed labels or envelopes with printed addresses when sending direct mail pieces. It might be cheaper and faster, but there`s a greater chance that your pieces will end up being tossed. In this day and age, getting a hand addressed piece of mail is unusual. If you take the time to handwrite the envelopes, your prospects are going to want to know what’s inside.

Most prospects won’t throw away a hand-addressed letter without opening it. If you`re going to spend the time and effort to actually handwrite an envelope, they are going to at least spend the time and effort to open it.

Personalization is Key

If you walk into a meeting and are handed a stack of papers just like everyone else, do you feel special? Of course not.

Now, if the attendant addressed you by name, and your name was on those papers, you may feel far more important. That’s what variable printing allows. You can also use variable printing to insert the prospect’s name, location, and other data into the body of the letter.

This extra step of personalization makes prospects feel more special – and if you can make your customers feel more special, you’re already more than halfway to the sale!

Pay Attention to the Layout

Here are some easy tips for layout:

  • Use a font large enough to make it easy to read. Big, important messages and points should be larger than other details.
  • Don’t use big paragraphs of text. Break it up into small sections. People don’t read long letters, but skim them for information.
  • Use a bulleted list, just like this. People are naturally attracted to reading bullets, so highlight the most important points here.
  • Use images, but not too many. You don’t want there to be so many images that the prospect is only looking at the pictures.
  • Feel free to use highlighting and handwritten notes in the margin. This drastically improves readership, as it feels more personal.

Go Digital

Digital marketing isn’t going anywhere, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It allows you to provide additional information about your business and gives prospects more ways to get in contact with you. Make sure your mail piece has your website and email address on it. You can even include your social media contacts. For an easy way to direct prospects to your website, try using QR Codes.


Don’t give up after one shot. You could have a wonderful design, great copy, and a solid offer, but be mailing at the wrong time. Maybe you`re targeting the wrong market. You should be constantly tweaking and testing to see what works best for you. Test variations on lists, design and timing to find out what works.

By using these simple strategies, you can create a direct mail campaign that will interest and engage your prospects. As you test and refine your marketing mailers, you can turn a higher percentage of your prospects into satisfied customers.