Direct Mail Marketing Isn’t Dead: you’re just doing it wrong

In the days before telecommunication, instant email, and 24/7 social media outlets collecting private data and using it to show personalized ads, the only way to reach a wide customer base was through print. Newspapers, magazines, billboards, and, of course, direct mail were the only options, and personalization options were limited. Times have changed.

Advertising is now precisely honed in with cookies-driven data that helps deliver targeted ads, advertising to customers is now spread across multiple channels, and interactive media like videos can grab the decreasing attention spans of web surfers instantly (that attention span is less than a goldfish, by the way!). All of this has spelled the death of direct mail marketing, right?


If you’re one of the constantly struggling companies that gets 0 feedback on their direct mail efforts and thinks this form of advertising is done, then check out these stats:

  • 33% of customers think direct mail is the best way to remember a product
  • 79% of consumers say they would act on direct mail immediately
  • 74% of consumers can’t wait to open their mailbox


So why isn’t your strategy working? The answer is a harsh one: you’re doing it wrong.

Direct mail marketing isn’t dead, you just aren’t doing it the right way. Here are a few things to do away with right now:

1 – You aren’t giving the customer something they can hold

Digital marketing channels hold advantages that direct mail will never be able to compete with like time and cost savings. But there’s one thing you can’t do with a digital advertisement: hold it. Yes, believe it or not, customers want something tangible that they can hold, examine, play with, and even show off to their friends (like our Magic Concepts!). Adding that extra personal touch (literally!) will help create a human connection. With creative direct mailers, you can create a tangible product that will make a lasting impression and even help do some residual advertising for you. Sending plain letters and envelopes marked “resident” will do next to nothing (1%-1.5% response rates).

The Mailer Magic solution: Our magic concepts are unique, interactive, and effective mailers that increase open rates dramatically. This is really the ultimate chance for you to brand your name and create a buzz that sticks out in their minds. Why send an envelope when you can send a soda can, cube, or even magic card!

2 – Focusing on bulk campaigns instead of getting personal

The increase in available channels for advertising and inundation of media in front of consumers’ eyes means you won’t get anywhere trying old-school styles of marketing. Those bulk marketing campaigns are the real-world equivalent of spam mail. In the past, technological limitations meant bulk campaigns were the only option — with traditional printing, companies created mass templates and bought bulk pieces of the same design.

Today, variable data printing allows for mass customization by combining the power of computer databases with digital printing, letting you fully customize the consumer experience. Personalizing your mail shows that you care about the customer, and doing it right has produced response rates of over 20%. Imagine the difference between these two scenarios:

A customer has recently bought a guitar at your music shop and you send a follow up piece of direct mail:

The traditional way: Dear valued customer, thanks for your purchase. Get ready for our big sale!


The Mailer Magic way: Hey, Dave! Enjoying that guitar? Don’t miss your chance to get accessories for it at rock bottom prices during our sale!

The latter has a success rate at least 8 times higher!

3 – Your direct mail isn’t coordinated with a digital strategy

Coordinating a digital strategy to back up your direct mail marketing efforts is a must. Yes, using unique and personalized direct mailers will help skyrocket your response rates and dramatically increase your ROI, but why stop there when you can have more?

If you’re only sending mail, you are missing out on a valuable opportunity. Imagine this:

A customer opens up one of our slide & reveal mailers to find a personalized message AND a personalized URL leading them to a landing page designed specifically for them with their information already filled in. Harnessing the power of a coordinated digital strategy with your direct mail is essential.

Direct mail marketing isn’t dead, you just aren’t doing it the Mailer Magic way. Doing it the right way brings massive returns on ROI. Direct mail marketing is alive and well, and it can make you a lot of money.