Our 10 Best Tips for Direct Mail Marketing: Redux!

Meet the writer: Karen Pieper

Hi, I'm Karen! I've been in the industry for 21 years and can't wait to share my perspective on all things direct mail. I'm currently the Digital Marketing Manager at Letter Jacket Envelopes and deal with tasks from managing the website, facilitating conversations with customers, and much more!

In 2014 we shared with you some of the best secrets for catching a potential client’s eye. Now we want to share with you how to keep it. In a world of digital ads, quality paper remains vital to top-tier sales. But to compete with that online “buy” button, we want to help you score major points for follow-through. Without further ado, here are 10 of our very best tips for making your direct mail marketing campaign shine from start to finish.

Know your reader

Gather over good coffee with your resident data hounds, and together run a fine-tooth comb over audience stats. Who are your readers? Do their needs fit your goals as a company? Is your message speaking specifically to them? How? Then, hone your list of recipients to reflect that work. Do this regularly.

Woo your reader

It’s not all about the gimmicks. You likely know this. Catch the eye, but keep it classy. You don’t need a font that makes the reader think, “I forgot to pay a bill again!” And you’re not necessarily looking for an instant buy. You want your reader, who you hand-picked, to like you, to want to hear more. A personal, well-tailored envelope starts a long-term relationship.

Tell a good story

Now your reader is ready to listen. Give a pitch that’s worthwhile, well-written, and longer than a web blurb. Take time to tell the story: Who are you? Why are you a good match for their needs? What are you offering? Then lead readers to a decision they feel good about with your crystal-clear CTA (Call to Action). Even if today is not the day they write that check, if your content is a pleasure to read, they already trust you. You’re telling a story they want to hear.

Build a digital bridge

Now, how easy is it to find your website? What if I’m ready to order now? Is there an app for that? Give readers easy-to-spot info on how to find your online presence. And get creative. One study shows that companies who included a Twitter handle on their envelopes saw a 200% increase in response

Build a human bridge

Paper already carries a high potential for relationality. Fulfill that potential by providing personal appeal and human contact. Use the recipient’s name. Then clearly print the number for customer service and make it easily accessible, include a testimonial with photos, or provide the location and hours of the brick-and-mortar closest to your recipient’s home. People also love paper coupons they can take to the store, especially (believe it or not) those mysterious Millennials.

Leverage creative risk

One of the most fun parts of marketing is A/B testing. This is the scenario in which one version of the ad, “A,” goes out, while creative variation “B” also goes on its merry way, and the success of A vs. B are measured by response rates. In other words, if there’s a brand-new tack you want to take, you’ll either get a successful campaign, or really helpful data, or both. Try a variety of campaign tactics and then use, use, use that data. It’s a win-win.

Stay accurate

We can’t say this enough: keep those gifted data hounds on the scent. (And keep giving them good coffee—they deserve it.) Old data won’t help you. What worked last year may not work this year. And don’t assume that anything works (or doesn’t work) until you see the results. Keep close tabs on your clientele and their responses, and integrate that data continually into your direct mail strategy. Good, accurate marketing is what keeps an incredible 92% of shoppers preferring mail for their buying decisions.

Stay accurate

That’s right, this one’s in here twice! This time we’re talking about the information you share in your campaign. Avoid making 20-point font statements that require tons of fine print to clarify. Again, you’re building a reputation, building trust. People look forward to your mailings because they know they won’t get taken for a ride. Have fun. Be creative. You might even try humor, if appropriate. Just be upfront, be clear, and don’t get accused of fake news!


Combine paper with mobile ads, email, social media, or other marketing options. This multi-channel strategy is proven to get the very top response rates. Just make sure that your message stays clear and consistent across mediums. Overlapping your mediums doesn’t hurt, either. Try including a sign-up for mailings on the web, or making mailed coupons acceptable for online purchases.

Be patient

Who knew marketing required virtue? Keep sending additional inquiries and offers to the people you know to be your target, and keep on the front lines of your business and follow-up data, even if the first few tries seem to turn up radio silence. Don’t be daunted. Solid strategies take time, as well as multiple thoughtful campaigns, to start seeing fruit that lasts.

Paper clearly still packs a punch. And it all starts with that first mailbox impression. Now that we’ve shared our best tips for direct mail marketing, what’s your next step? However you decide to address the world, Letter Jacket has been customizing premium envelopes for over 100 years. We understand direct mail, and we’d love you to see for yourself what makes us special. Have questions? Just get in touch. And if it’s your first time with us, check out our promo code for free shipping on your first order. 

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