Direct Marketing

Postcards: Can They Be As Effective as Envelope Mail?

When people think of direct mail marketing, they often think of two things: letters and postcards. You can’t use as many words with postcards as you can in a seven-page mailer, but there’s still a whole lot you can do with these seemingly small yet powerful pieces of paper.

The Magic of Lower Costs

Mailing a postcard campaign can be as much as 40% cheaper than running a standard mail campaign.

That’s a huge difference that goes directly towards your bottom line.

With postcards, you can mail more people and still be profitable even with a lower response rate.

What Are Postcards Best Used For?

You shouldn’t try to use postcards to sell products. If you’re selling a $69.99 supplement plus a monthly subscription, that should absolutely be sold via mailer or a multi-step mailer.

However, postcards can be a very cheap way to test a message or list. You can get a rough sense for whether or not you’re looking at a live list at a much lower cost.

Postcards are also great for lead generation. Use postcards to drive people to a website or a call-in number. The cost per lead generated will be much lower than using standard mail.

What to Avoid with Postcards

The number one thing to avoid with postcards is appearing too “salesy”.

That means avoid big bold “40% OFF!” signs and giant red headlines.

First off, you risk getting your postcards tossed out by the post office if you’re extremely salesy. Second, most people sort through their mail over the trash can, ready to toss out any mail that looks like junk mail.

Instead, try to make your postcard appear as if it were coming from a friend. Use hand writing fonts. Do still use a headline, but don’t make it look like a sales letter.

Where possible use a first class stamp. Not a printed one, but a real physical stamp. That’ll help get your postcards through the post office, as well as help you get your mail read by the receiver.

Try using different card sizes. Unusual sizes tend to get read. Extra sized postcards or even smaller than usual postcards can both catch attention.

Mailing postcards successfully requires a slightly different mindset than direct mail. With direct mail, your goal is to create a sales letter that hits as hard as possible.

With a postcard, your goal is generate interest without giving too much away. Your goal should be to either get their address or their email so you can hit them with a stronger sales message through a different medium.

Let us know if we can help you with your mailing campaigns!

10 Facts You Should Know About Direct Mail

Direct mail is still one of the most effective, if not the most effective, way to reach customers for the cost. Here are ten facts about direct mail that show how it can bring your company a solid return on its investment.

Direct Mail Response Rates.
With email inboxes becoming more and more occupied by unwanted spam, legitimate email solicitations that a customer may be interested in are becoming lost in the shuffle. Conversely, a well crafted, vivid, attention-grabbing direct mail piece is likely not only to be seen but also to be responded to as well.

Fact. According to ANA/DMA in 2018, the response rate per house list for direct mail was an impressive 9%. It was the highest response rate for house lists since the report started and is nearly twice that of the response rate for 2017.

Fact. The direct mail response rate was 5% for prospect lists in 2018; which was substantially higher than it was in 2017 and the highest response rate for any year since 2003. A clear indicator that response rates continue to rise.

Fact. A lead generation campaign which uses a letter-sized envelope to recipients on a  house file produced an excellent median response rate of15%.

Fact. For decades now, we have been told that the internet is the future of marketing. Yet, despite that claim, direct mail continues to produce a greater response rate than that of any digital direct marketing mechanism. The response rate is a staggering nine times higher than that of email, pay per click or social media.

Fact. According to the USPS, the intended response rate in 2016 was 11% for standard mail and 13% for first-class mail.

Reading Direct Mail.
Again, as compared to ads received in an email, customers are more likely to read an ad received via direct mail. It could be that not having to go through the act of opening an email is a factor, or having the mailer in hand leads to a natural curiosity as to its contents; whatever the reason, there can be no doubt about the direct mail piece making an impression.

Fact. A study done by the USPS in 2016 showed that 75% of households regularly read or scan most of the direct mail ads they receive.

Fact. A Gallup poll taken in 2016 revealed that 36% of those under the age of 30 enjoy checking the mail each day. This fact runs contrary to the trope about Millennials only caring about what is on their smartphones and shows that the reports of direct mail’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Fact. It’s not just Millennials who enjoy checking mail on a daily basis, across all age groups, 41% look forward to going to the mailbox each day and seeing what is inside.

Fact. In 2015 Baby Boomers were influenced the most by flyers, advertising cards and catalogs more than any other form of media.

Fact. Direct mail is a “no-brainer”, case in point- it requires 21% less brainpower to process than does digital media and evokes a much greater positive brand recall.

In Conclusion.
Despite being awash in digital technology, there is something lasting and true about holding a piece of mail in your hand that cannot be duplicated or replaced by email or any other form of digital media. It is that visceral response that keeps people looking out their home or office window to see if their mail carrier is coming. In fact, being able to hold on to something that was personally sent to you or your company is a feeling that only direct mail can bring.

5 Reasons Your Company Should Use Direct Mail

Direct mail has proven the test of time and still has proven itself to be one of the most effective tools that any company can have at their marketing department’s disposal. In the digital age direct mail, especially business to business direct mail, is a proven way to get past some of the digital gatekeepers that can relegate your emails to the spam filter. So, with the fact that direct mail still stands strong after centuries of use, here are five reasons your company should use direct mail for its direct marketing campaign.

Direct Mail Gets Your Email Noticed.

A well designed, eye-catching, direct mail piece can bring about name recognition and will begin to linger in your prospective customer’s memory. After receiving a  few direct mail pieces, your target recipient may become curious about your company and notice your email in their inbox. In this way, you are overcoming a common problem in the digital age known as “fragmentation of attention.” Fragmentation of attention is the decline in how long someone can focus on one thing. Recent studies show that the average amount of time someone can stay focused on any one thing is between eight to twelve seconds.  A vibrant direct mail piece can grab and keep hold of someone’s attention and therefore build brand and name recognition, thus making more likely your email will be opened when they recognize your company’s name.

Direct Mail Helps Build Your Brand Locally.

Selling to your local market is often more convenient than selling to an out of state or out of the country market. Local customers may already be somewhat aware of your brand, through print or broadcast ad campaigns, or simply may have seen your company as they traveled past it. So, your company already has a brand foundation locally from which to build. Direct mail marketing helps you to tailor your message to those potential local customers who are likely to purchase your product. Direct mail sent locally helps your company to capitalize on the organic relationship between your company and potential customers that already exists.

Direct Mail Gets Better Responses than Email, Social Media, or Internet Marketing.

Studies show that emails only have a 1% response rate; social media also only boasts a 1% response rate. Internet marketing produces less than 1% in responses. Direct mail, however, garners a response rate of 3.7%. Since customers are more likely to convert from direct mail recipients to paying customer’s your company is much more likely to see a higher ROI from direct mail than an email blast, a Search Engine Optimization campaign, or a Pay Per Click campaign.

Direct Mail can Drive Traffic to Your Company’s Website.

Adding your company’s webs address to a direct mailer is a simple way to drive traffic to your company’s site. Use your direct mail piece to describe your company, products, and any sales you may have. After the piece has served its primary purpose use your company’s web address in combination with a free offer such as a digital download or a coupon. You can require the customer to fill out a brief survey before they get the download or coupon to gather customer demographics. Use the customer demographics you collect to tailor your next direct mail campaign.

Customer’s Don’t Consider Direct Mail Spam.

Due to its personal appeal and physical properties studies have shown that a customer will open an email at a staggering 90% rate. Because direct mail requires 21% less cognitive effort; which means that messages are absorbed quickly and will be embedded in the customer’s memory, these facts underscore why direct has been and remains such an effective means of communication with customers.

Four Reasons Direct Mail Still Works

As Long as There Are Mailboxes, Direct Mail Will be Effective.

It’s a time tested, proven method that works despite being over five hundred years old. It’s true, the advent of the printing press by Gutenberg in 1440 made mass production of flyers possible. As the mail systems around the world improved, so did direct mail marketing. Sears built an empire on its direct mail catalogs. In recent years Sears abandoned that model, and their business has been on the decline ever since.  

The things that made direct mail marketing a success then are still why it works today. Direct mail marketing is personalized; it is being sent directly to one person. Direct mail can be colorful and attention-grabbing.  It allows you to use your branding such as fonts, logos, and language. Not only is direct mail marketing a trusted marketing method, but it still achieves in today’s digitally dominated world. Direct mail can bypass the vast magnitudes of digital flash and noise that surrounds us.  Not only is it more effective in many ways than banner ads, pay-per-click, and SEO enhancements, but also can give you a higher return on investment. You know a customer will at least hold and look at a direct mail piece, with pay-per-click ads and search engine result pages (SERP) a customer may only glance at it for a few seconds; which brings us to our next point.

Direct Mail Marketing Last Longer Than Digital Marketing.

True, what is put on the internet stays there forever, but that does not mean people will look at it forever (unless you are a politician or celebrity who tweeted something objectionable years ago). For the rest of us, marketing campaigns on the internet disappear into the ether and are never seen again. This analogy is no exaggeration; a tweet has about 20 minutes that it will be looked at by a customer. During that 20 minutes, the numbers of views will decrease unless you are fortunate enough to be retweeted. A Facebook post last a little bit longer than a tweet, around two hours.  By contrast, a direct mail piece lasts at least 24 hours and can sit around someone’s office or home for weeks or months. It is not unusual to hear stories about customers responding to a mailing that had gone out months earlier.

Direct Mail Marketing Doesn’t get Routed to a Spam Filter.

If you have taken part in a mass marketing email blast, you know that half or more of the emails sent then wind up in a spam filter. If you are not aware of what ever-changing terms get your email sent to a spam filter, you can count on nearly all of it being routed away from inboxes. Direct mail doesn’t get sorted and put into a secondary mailbox; it goes directly to the customer’s hands. You know that a customer will at least skim the piece, as where the average customer won’t read what is in their spam filter.

It Can Drive Customers To Your Company’s Online Presence.

If you’ve spent time and effort in producing a high quality, attention-grabbing website, it means nothing if people don’t visit. You can use pay-per-click-ads to try and guide customer’s to your site, but if you don’t use just the right language, it may not work. Direct mail pieces with your company’s web address will receive organic clicks from people typing in the address on their own. Including social media addresses will also drive customers to those platforms. Make sure to have backlinks to your website in social media posts to draw attention from search engines. Even in this day and age, direct mail can enhance your online presence and SERP results.

Direct mail continues to be as effective now as in Victorian times. It will be useful for the foreseeable future because there is still a visceral advantage of the physical over the digital.

How to Make Direct Mail Work for Your Company

How Can Direct Mail Help Your Company?

If your company is involved in direct marketing, you are most likely aware that direct mail Is still a feasible option in your marketing campaigns. With full email inboxes and a neverending stream of online advertising, direct mail stands out from the rest. A direct mail advertisement comes to the customer physically and won’t be lost amidst competing emails. The customer can actually hold the mail, which makes it more likely that it will be read. The addressee of the correspondence also has a sense that the email is personal. Names and tailored details make the customer feel your company truly cares about them. Direct mailings can either target specific groups to sell a product or convey a message. With a target demographic it is easier to promote a product or service through devices such as catalogs, brochure, and postcards. It is also budget friendly; you can be sure that there will be a return on investment. Bulk rates make mass mailings affordable and profitable. Direct mail is also a proven marketing strategy that has made it through decades of technological advancement from the radio to television to smartphones.  Here are some ways direct mail can help you effectively reach customers.

Direct Mail Should be Part of Your Full Marketing Campaign.

With the attention a direct mailing will create, incorporating it into an overall strategy is wise. The word campaign is appropriate for this marketing strategy; which will have to be continuous to work. A combination of mailings, social media posts, emails, and online ads will have to be executed to reach new customers. Being persistent is the key to being successful in your campaign.

Add A Personal Touch.

Dale Carnegie got it right; people love to hear or read their own name.  The more personalized you can make your content the more likely it will grab the customer’s attention. It shows that you know who your customers are and that your company cares about them. It also means that your customer will remember your company because your mailing was personal.

Build Your Brand With Direct Mail.

The time spent reading a mailer will exceed time spent in reading a social media post or an email. It is the perfect opportunity to convey more about your product or service. Make sure that your mailer has vibrant graphics that will hold the customer’s attention and fonts, images, and icons laid out in your company’s branding style guide. Including information on how your product or service could benefit a customer, you are developing both your brand and the customer’s loyalty.

Make Sure Customer Information is Current.

Using the same data for a mailing done five years ago will not reach the same customers. People move, and companies go out of business, so you want to make sure your database is up to date. Accurate data is crucial to reach your target demographic. You also want to make sure that the mailings go to customers who will buy your goods or services. Having accurate data will let you know what age, income, interests potential customers have and how best to market to their individual needs.  

Don’t Use a Weak Call to Action.

As with an email or social media campaign your call to action cannot be half-hearted. You want to convince your customer that your company’s product or service can improve their life. Without a strong call to action, you will not convince customers of anything. The most effective way to get a customer to respond to your call to action is by using the right language, keeping it brief, and making sure it is on several locations in your flyer. Use the call of action anywhere you can without spoiling the aesthetics of your mailer.  Weeks after the mailer was read customers will remember your call to action.

Call BMS Direct today for all your direct mail needs!!

Send Mail That Matters: The Evolution of Direct Mail

Consumer preferences have changed so much in the past 5 years that a lot of traditional marketing tactics now seem nonsensical because they are not effective anymore. Direct marketing strategy is no different. The most advanced retailers are recognizing that when direct mail and behavioral analytics are used synergistically they sell more stuff! When paired with online consumer data, the impact of print can be greater than ever before.

The progression to what is now possible can be broken down by looking at how direct marketers use data.


Dear Resident,

Using limited data from basic mailing lists, retailers create identical mailings that usually showcase a product and offer and send it to as many people as possible. These simple mailers tend to be all about the retailer’s objective and message with coincidental relevance to the consumer.



Hello Homeowner,

Using third party and purchase history databases, retailers are able to find similarities between consumers and group them into segments. Direct mail pieces are then created based on the shared attributes of these groups.These mailers tend to be more relevant than mass mailers but not personalized to the individual.



Hey Kevin,

With pairing online behavioral data with machine learning, retailers can now create a completely customized mailer with a unique offer, product and creative and send it straight to an individual consumer. By tracking a consumer’s unique online behavior— what items they click on, what emails they open, what they put in their shopping carts and their purchase history, location or other demographic information, retailers can send Mail that Matters to…. Kevin.


Reprinted from Better Ways

Why Your Company Should Automate Direct Mail

If your company is involved in direct marketing, then you know that direct mail has not gone the way of the dinosaur. When a potential customer has an inbox full of emails, it is much more likely you will grab their attention with direct mail.  Direct mail campaigns can be time-consuming, taking hours to stuff envelopes. The whole process of sending direct mail manually can be problematic and at times chaotic. What can you do to avoid the pitfalls of manually sending direct mail? The answer is simple, migrate to automated direct mail.  Here are some reasons why automation will work for your company.

Software Remembers to Notify Customers.

When you have an upcoming event or announcement the software’s application programming interface (or API) will communicate with your customer’s server. The customer can also send requests to you with customized information. The ease of having customized content stored will allow your software to create and send unique mailing pieces.

It Gives Your Customers More Control.

As previously stated, the latest automation software interfaces with your customer’s server, which in turn gives them more control. They can track mailings and have mailings that are triggered by specific events.

It Gives Your Company More Control.

t used to be that a marketing company would have to email a spreadsheet to a printing company and hope for the best that everything would come out the way it should. Now with API’s the process has changed; the mailing information is stored in a database that is connected with an automated system. You can oversee your direct mail campaign from a single location.  This means no more cutting and pasting between systems. Integration will act as a cybersphere where all your tools communicate.

Elimination of Human Error.

The larger the mailing, the greater chance someone along the line will make a mistake. It is almost inevitable the more people who are involved with a direct mailing, the greater the chance of something going wrong.  With automation you remove multiple employees and vendors from the direct mail process. This eliminates reprints or a second mailing to correct the first.

Improved Analytics.

The larger the mailing, the greater chance someone along the line will make a mistake. It is almost inevitable the more people who are involved with a direct mailing, the higher the chance of something going wrong.  With automation, you remove multiple employees and vendors from the direct mail process. This eliminates reprints or a second mailing to correct the first.

More Productivity.

With your direct mailings being automated there will be more time for your company’s employees to focus on other tasks.  No more time sifting through their inboxes searching for emails from a vendor. Less time will be spent on the phone with a vendor ensuring everything goes exactly as it should. What used to take multiple employees to accomplish, takes minimal employee effort after automation.

The bottom line is that automating your mail system will increase both productivity and results. There are far more reasons to automate than not to automate. The thing to consider is if building an in-house automated direct mail system is going to yield return on investment. The initial costs of a direct mail API can be expensive, and without enough return on investment, it may be wrong for your company.  Be sure to thoroughly research the partner you choose in building your automated direct mail system. The right company should be able to give you the costs and time frame up front. Make sure to request the contact information from their former customers as a reference.

As API technology advances, it will continue to make automation of direct mailings the clear choice for companies who have a high volume of mailing campaigns. In the future, the software may be able to anticipate needs from recurring events and make suggestions. So, it remains up to you, would your marketing company benefit from automated direct mailings?

Video Marketing for that "Wow" factor

You might remember the moving pictures in the Harry Potter newspapers”¦well, not so strange. Think Video in Print. Then think about how this can transform your direct marketing campaign.

“Marketers are increasingly incorporating video content”¦video marketing trend will become “the new normal.”SEW 10 Top Predictions for Video in 2014

Video is an amazing way to integrate emerging technology into your direct mail. Video is incredibly effective in conveying your message. The easiest way to integrate video into your direct mail is to use a QR code that links to your YouTube video but look at how Lexus has integrated video into their advertisement with “CinePrint” technology.

How’s that for a “Wow” factor in your personalized direct mailing?

According to the Direct Marketing Association, “Statistical Fact Book 2013,” in 2012 U.S. direct marketers spent $51 billion on direct mail, both catalog and non-catalog. That investment drove more than $642 billion in sales. Direct mail is still effective but in the digital world it takes more to stand out. People still appreciate being able to hold something in their hands, and Direct Mail becomes so much more effective when combined with a multi channel strategy like integrating with QR code, email, social media and video.

Calvin Klein Video in Print

Merging digital technologies with the printed page has become a successful strategy for Calvin Klein, Anthem, Disney, Audi, Bacardi, and many others who are incorporating video into their printed marketing brochures using Americhip, the inventors of Video in Print®, the innovative mind behind Multisensory® advertising technologies. offers their Video in Print – is offering in a two panel printed product.

Video in Print. org considers the Video book a”Marketing Product Breakthrough”

“With the power of video and print in one piece you are sure to make the greatest impact with your direct marketing. These books appeal to those who like to read and those who prefer to watch a video. Can you ask for anything more in a direct marketing tool? We don’t think so and that is the reason we have spent years developing this product line.We guarantee your message will make the impact you have always desired.” –Direct Marketing
DMC’smost innovative and forward thinking marketing products to date, include the DMC Video Book & Video Mailer. The Video Book features actual video in print and comes in various sizes, ranging from as small as a business card to as large as a full sized book. Every video book comes equipped with an LCD video screen and crystal clear audio as well, making it a very powerful print marketing product.

Consider these Stats offered byUvideo:

  • According to Starch, a media research firm, advertising print content that incorporates video scored a perfect 100% on ad recall, 100% on brand identification and 100% on consumer interaction.
  • 94% of consumers found print with video messaging to be more innovative than standalone print.
  • 90% of those who viewed a printed product with embedded video passed it along to colleagues, friends and family members.


Uvideois our proprietary fully functional LCD video player which has been designed to be embedded into custom direct marketing pieces delivering engaging audio & visual presentations. Uvideo engages right away, as the medium is as much as the message.

The folks at BMS Direct will help you create a video campaign with a “wow” factor in it. BMS Direct ensuresyour direct mail campaignis mailed on-time and within your budget. BMS Direct’s reputation is unmatched for providing quality lettershop services in Virginia and nationwide. Contact us for a free quote.

Direct Mail as an Impulse Marketing Tool

Think QR codes for personalized coupons and 3D augmented reality experiences within catalogs pages.

Merging digital and physical advertising is going to be the new direction for growth in direct marketing. Mailers receive lower rates for sending direct mail that includes 2D barcodes with a call-to-action.QR code direct marketing

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has been offering new programs to compete with cheaper digital channels and to reach consumers in an increasingly digital world and providing incentives to direct mailers to do business with them.

“Right now is a pivotal point for direct mail; it can do things it never did before. It can elicit an impulse buy,” says Gary Reblin, VP of new products and innovation at the USPS. “Direct mail was never viewed as [an] impulse tool at any point in history, but now it can [be one]. We’re trying to evolve the mail to have its place in a more digital and mobile society.”

Marketers must think differently to stay relevant and engage today’s oft-distracted, multichannel customers. Personalized mailings using database technology makes it more expedient to execute mailings, as flexible and easy as email, so marketers can make changes to campaigns in progress based on the results of conversion data and personalized target markets.

 “Marketers today are gathering as much data as possible on customers, taking that information to [compose] relevant communications, and using direct mail as the vehicle,” says Don Jarred, VP of production services at marketing services provider Epsilon.”

Here are 10 tips for clever direct marketing:

1. Deliver your message into the right hands

Consumers expect messaging to be relevant across channels, including direct mail. Marketers often have scores of data about customers and prospects and should use this information to avoid batch-and-blast messages.

“Direct mail is a great way for us to target consumers,” says Laks Vasudevan, director of acquisition at Discover Credit Card. “It’s our most targeted platform, and we use it as an opportunity to understand the consumer more.”

2. Make it personal

Combine transactional and profile data to make sure customers get a message that is right for them. Marketers also use predictive analytics to craft and send communications that they anticipate will do well with a particular individual.

“Analytics tools are essential to creating smart databases that can self-mine and identify”¦the responses [marketers] are looking for,” says Grant Miller, global VP of operations and product management at Pitney Bowes.

The USPS’s Reblin emphasizes that personalization is vital to the effectiveness of direct mail. “Direct mail still gives the consumer the idea to check out a product, unlike when they do a Google search and have to come up with the idea themselves,” he says. “But it has to be targeted to get the customer’s attention.”

3. Remember those special days

Triggers like birthdays are especially effective for connecting with customers on a personal level.

“Birthdays are very personal to all of us, and we like to have the personal touch by sending something in the mail,” says Kelly Cook, SVP of marketing at DSW. “A customer may love getting an email from us for fashion tips or to let them know about a triple points offer, but their birthday is different.”

4. Integrate direct mail with other marketing channels

Use direct mail as part of an overall messaging program that includes TV, radio, billboards, contact centers, and online.  Consumers are introduced to messaging through TV ads and billboards, but direct mail serves as the catalyst to drive sign-ups either via your call center or an online application.

“Direct mail is a critical part of a communication plan,” Vasudevan says. “But we believe that it’s important that we use multiple channels to close the loop.”

5. Plan holistically

When using direct mail as part of an overall multichannel effort, it’s essential to consider how each channel will impact the others. For example, adding QR codes to a direct mail piece is a great way to catch a customer’s eye, but if it leads to a website that’s not optimized for mobile, then it could turn customers off instead of spark a sale. Or, when using direct mail to encourage customers to go online and register for an event, the PURL (personalized URL) should lead directly to the sign-up page, not the brand’s homepage.

“Direct mail is no longer just a mail piece,” the USPS’s Reblin says. “If you want it to be more effective by integrating it with other channels, then you need to think about the whole experience.”

6. Use 2D codes wisely

Adding a 2D barcode such as a QR code can bring a static piece of marketing to life. During the 2012 political campaign season, politicians used direct mail pieces with QR codes to deepen the conversation with citizens. After scanning the codes, the recipient could watch a video of the candidate speaking on a specific issue, for instance.

“Mail is a great jumping-off point,” USPS’s Reblin says. “It can encourage people to go deeper to find out more.”

7. Push the envelope

Mailers are rethinking how to use the envelope as a marketing tool. Discover, for example, uses images of its cards on its direct mail envelopes. Its mailings go out when the brand is already running ads on TV, radio, and billboards, so the customer may be more likely to open it to see what offer Discover has tailored for them.

“Marketers should experiment with the envelope to get a customer to open it and not dispose of the mailing,” says Pitney Bowes’ Miller.

Using full color on envelopes has gotten easier to print thanks to new wrapping technologies, which build envelopes quickly and efficiently out of one roll of paper around the mailers” without driving up costs.

8. Think customer-first

As with all marketing, direct mail should be inspired by the customer. “Gone are the days of blanketing the universe with one offer,” Epsilon’s Jarred says. “We’ve become much more analytical and send creative that is backed by a real understanding of the customer.”

Demonstrating that understanding means that marketers must get back to basics: make sure their lists are current, their mailings are targeted, and their promotional offers are meaningful so their message will resonate with the recipient.

9. Increase production with new technologies

New innovations in ink jet technology make it easier and more cost effective for marketers to produce high-quality mailings and get them out quickly. With these innovations in direct mail production, the channel has more in common with email than it has in the past. Although, in general, direct mailers still plan ahead for campaigns, it’s easier than ever to test campaigns in progress and change them during the execution based on how recipients are responding.

Improvements in database integration can also help speed the mailing cycle without risking the personalized experience. “In the past you would print out a whole bunch of pieces and have them in warehouse ready to distribute, and then add envelopes,” says Pitney Bowes’ Miller. “New analytics tools allow you to sub-segment and fine tune your market, coming out of the blocks without requiring a lot of extra effort to identify your target market when you get into physical production,” he adds.

10. Marry mail and mobility

Consumers are used to getting direct mail pieces with coupons or toll-free numbers on them. Mobile offers ways to simplify both. Inspired by Google Wallet, this month the USPS is launching a new promotion to encourage mailers to send direct mail pieces with coupons that can be uploaded to a mobile phone.

The USPS is also encouraging marketers to add QR codes that feature click-to-call triggers. Recipients can scan the QR code and the phone number will automatically pop up on their phone. All they have to do is click to reach the company’s contact center. “This is a great way to solicit an inbound telemarketing response,” says Epsilon’s Jarred. “By allowing consumers to capture information more quickly, direct mail is staying nimble.”


Check out the details on these 10 tips in a recent article in Direct Marketing News by Dianna Dilworth

Traditional Direct Mail Statistics

Here’s a great article on direct mail statistics by Jean Grunert,  of Demand Media, some pertinent info for business mailings and some interesting stats.

comstock-gettyimagesAlthough all the attention in recent years seems to be on digital marketing, traditional direct mail remains a viable and profitable channel for many companies. Traditional direct mail offers a personalized method of communicating valuable offers to both businesses and consumers. Several direct mail statistics underscore its continued importance in the marketing mix.

Response Rates

A response rate refers to how many people responded to a direct mail offer. According to DM News, in 2012 the average response rate for direct mail was 4.4 percent for both business to business and business to consumer mailings, considerably higher than industry expectations. Envelope-sized direct mail letters achieve a 3.4 percent response rate when mailed to a house list, and a 1.28 percent response rate when mailed to a prospect list.

Amount Mailed Annually

According to the non-profit group 41 Pounds, in the United States the average adult receives 40 pounds or more of traditional direct mail each year. The average person receives 16 pieces of traditional direct mail per week. For every 16 pieces of direct mail marketing received, adults receive about 1 personal or business envelope. More than half of unsolicited direct mail is thrown out without being opened.

Cost Per Lead

The cost per lead is how much a company spends on a traditional direct mail program in order to achieve a lead or response. The 2012 Direct Marketing Association survey indicates that the average cost per lead across all channels is about the same. Traditional direct mail has an average cost per lead of $51.40 for a general mailing list and $54.10 for postcards. House lists lower the cost per lead to $19.35.

Production Statistics

Production statistics demonstrate the labor, time and expense in producing direct mail. The U.S. Postal Service website lists production costs as the cost to create, design, print and mail all aspects of traditional direct mail. The non-profit group 41 Pounds states that approximately 100 million trees are needed for the paper used in direct mail annually. Transportation costs for direct mail are approximately $500 million or more per year. The U.S. Postal Service estimates the costs of direct mail creative production at .20 cents per piece.”


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