When Direct Mail Marketing Tactics Make Sense

With all eyes on digital, businesses are often quick to jump on what’s trending first and what works later. This is especially true with regards to marketing.

As a small business owner spread thin, it often feels like there’s little time to dedicate to building awareness. So when everyone raves about social media, display ads, SEO and the like, why not throw some mud at the wall and see what sticks?

There’s nothing wrong with this trial and error mentality. Harnessing the power of digital marketing can do wonders for brand visibility. But it’s worth keeping in mind the value found in more traditional forms of marketing as well. Smart marketers spread their efforts across a variety of channels.

Direct mail, for example, is an outbound marketing tactic that can be effective at reaching target audiences. How?

For starters, you’re up against less competition when you choose to get in front of someone via a mailbox. You don’t have to rank on the first page of Google or find a way to catch the attention of scrolling eyes.

Another reason why direct mail isn’t dead is the ROI. It holds strong at a median ROI of 29%, beating out both paid search and online display.

Here are some use cases where direct mail marketing might make sense for your business.


Coupons offering a percentage or dollar value off are a great way to entice customers right out of the gate. At the very least, they encourage people to dig deeper into what your business has to offer.

If you’re new to an area, offering introductory discounts via direct mail is a great way to let people in on the fact that you exist. There’s tangible value in a mailed coupon. So even if someone doesn’t jump to use it right away, there’s a good chance they’ll stick it to their refrigerator for use at a later date.

Customer Appreciation

There’s an air of romanticism associated with direct mail. This ties back to the fact that fewer companies pursue the route of mailings in favor of digital.

Receiving a piece of mail feels personal and again, gives customers something tangible to relate back to your business. This is why handwritten letter services like PostPigeon have found success in working with businesses. They help drive more meaningful connections with audiences.


Like the appeal of coupons, samples entice recipients to explore your business’ products first-hand. They’re a little taste of what customers could expect if they were to make buy.

It reduces the risk buyers may feel in committing to a purchase flat out. Samples can also weed out dissatisfied first-time purchasers. This helps you better hone in on audiences most likely to turn into lifelong fans.


Open a catalog from one of your favorite retailers and what do you see? If the phrase style inspiration comes to mind, then it’s doing its job.

Traditional catalogs are making a comeback in the world of retail as brands seek to get in front of customers with more than their products.

It’s about advertising a lifestyle and providing context around the value of a product post-shopping cart. Like a blog, your direct mail catalogs can offer original content that nurtures ongoing customer engagement.

Promotional Swag

Who doesn’t like free stuff?

From calendars to magnets, functional direct mail is a great way to not only capture your customer’s attention but keep it. The more they reference something with your brand’s name plastered on it, the more likely they are to find it top-of-mind when the need to buy arises.

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