What is Direct Mail Marketing?

Datamasters » What is Direct Mail Marketing?

Distributing information in a digital world with DataMasters. This image focuses on the concept of Direct Mail Marketing, showcasing the relevance of traditional marketing strategies in the modern digital landscape. The visual seamlessly aligns with the page's context, emphasizing the importance of understanding and implementing direct mail marketing in the digital age.

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When you have a business, you want to reach as many people as possible so that you can access customers who are interested in what you’re offering. There are a number of ways to go about this with direct marketing being one of them. If you’re a business owner it’s important to not only understand what direct mail marketing is, but also what it includes and how it can help you improve your bottom line.

Targeted direct marketing is a marketing effort that delivers promotional material about your business directly to your target audience. This is done via a wide variety of marketing materials including brochures, catalogs, postcards, newsletters, and sales letters. This is one of the most beneficial ways to reach new and existing customers because you know exactly who is receiving your message. Instead of mailing out information blindly, you know who should have received your information, allowing you the opportunity to also follow up.

Different types of direct mail

You’ll want to cater your direct marketing to suit your needs. Here’s a look at the different formats of direct mail and how they can help you achieve your goals.

Cards and Postcards

These are the most common and often the least expensive. You can choose from a variety of sizes depending on how much information you want to convey. These are best used for reminders, thank-you notes, or to advertise promotions. You likely see these in your mailbox occasionally.

Envelope Mailers

Much like any other piece of mail, the contents of these pieces of direct mail are sealed and need to be opened. They are more expensive and are best for confidential mail and direct mail that contain more than one piece of paper.

Foiled Self-Mailers

Think of these as the in-between option of cards versus envelope mailers. These are made from a single folded sheet of paper and are sometimes glued to stay together. These are best for offering coupons or if you have a lot of information to tell your prospective customer.

Catalogs and Booklets

Many people are familiar with these as they contain multiple pages of products and are typically not sent in an envelope.

Circulars or Inserts

These are a low-cost, yet effective way to get the word out about what you have to offer. They’re great for coupons and product advertisements.


These are the most expensive forms of direct mail and should be reserved for only your high-value potential customers. They definitely get people’s attention, but since they are expensive, you don’t want to send them out to everyone.

If you are going to take the time to develop a piece of direct mail, you’ll want to send it to go the target mailing route rather than saturation. While saturation can allow you to send your mailing to a complete zip code of potential customers, you may be wasting your efforts since many people may not be interested and will throw it away.

With a targeted mailing you are sending out your piece of direct mail to certain people based on a list of addresses that was developed from either a certain location, demographic or other filters. You increase your chance of response because the people who are receiving your mailing have some type of interest or connection.

Characteristics of a successful targeted direct mail campaign

There are things you can do and things you can avoid if you want to have a successful marketing campaign using direct mail. Let’s take a look…

Always Proofread

You not only want to make sure everything is spelled correctly and your grammar is correct, but you also want to make sure everything you’re advertising is true. You may want to advertise buy one get one half off and incorrectly write buy two get one half off. A mistake like this can deter customers who would have taken advantage of your offer if they only had to buy one item instead of the two you incorrectly advertised.

Know Your Audience

If you’re looking to sell Life Alert bracelets, you’ll want to make sure to target an audience of senior citizens, not millennials. Taking the time to do your research can save you time and money when it comes to direct marketing.

Have a Quality Call to Action

Simply telling people about your services or products isn’t enough. Inspire them to want to take action. You can do this by inviting them to join a contest or take part in a promotion. Invite them to do something that will get them to buy your product or service. Be creative! Without a call to action, you might as well just through your money in the mailbox because you’re wasting it.

Make Sure to Follow Up

Since you have a targeted list, follow up with your prospective customers. See if they received your mailing and read it. Do they have any questions? If they have taken action or come in with a coupon they received in a mailing, be sure to thank them and offer them something new so that they keep coming back for more. The objective is to have a steady stream of repeat customers, not one hit wonders.

Have a Catchy Piece of Mail, But Don’t Go Overboard

While you want a piece of mail that’s going to eye-grabbing, you don’t want to go overboard with a tacky ad. If your ad is not appealing or is over-the-top you may not attract the audience that you desire. Remember that sometimes less is more.

As you can tell, direct marketing with mail goes much deeper than just sending out a flier and keeping your fingers crossed it will pay off. It requires research, time, as well as the knowledge of knowing what works and what doesn’t. Many business owners don’t have the time to develop a successful direct mail marketing campaign. That’s where DataMasters comes in. We can create a direct mail marketing campaign that can get you the results you need.

Call DataMasters today at 469-549-1800 to get started. Let our marketing experts get to work for you!