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Digital marketing continues to be all the craze when it comes to marketing tactics, but that doesn’t mean it should be the only strategy you focus on to promote your business. There are so many channels for digital communication that the competition for space online is extremely competitive, and consumers are becoming overwhelmed by online chatter. One way for your business to stand apart is by utilizing the tried and true strategy of direct mail marketing where you can cut through the noise and competition by sending tangible products straight to your consumer’s mailbox. 

However, marketers need to consider how using direct mail will push campaign goals forward to make this strategy effective. Here’s more information on why direct mail marketing still works and how to employ it for your business. 

What is Direct Mail Marketing?

Direct mail marketing engages prospects, leads, and clients by sending physical print marketing items to create meaningful connections and encourage more sales. Any businesses or organization can send mailers such as promotional material, menus, coupons, brochures, or postcards to advertise their products or services to their target audience. 

What are Different Types of Direct Mail?

Direct mail is typically divided into two categories: (1) Traditional, enveloped letters, and (2) Stand alone mailers. Which format you choose should depend on factors such as:

  • Marketing goals
  • Marketing budget
  • The business and its services or products
  • Target audience 

A traditional letter is more formal and best used for personalized, confidential information, or for an offer package that may include a letter, order forms, a brochure, and more. These mailers enable businesses to build credibility by highlighting their services or goods in a formal manner. Letters can offer more in-depth information that is customized to suit a specific customer. They can also be used to showcase new products or services in a visually appealing way with colorful brochures or other inserts.  

On the other hand, stand alone mailers are any type of promotional material that is sent without an envelope. This can include post cards, oversized postcards, catalogs, packages, brochures, or booklets. Many self-mailer pieces are designed on a single piece of cardstock or stronger paper that is then folded into panels and secured with glue or another adhesive. The most popular kind of self-mailer is a postcard because they offer the opportunity to display attention-grabbing designs, and save marketers printing and shipping costs by utilizing EDDM (Every Day Direct Mail) services.

Elysium Marketing Group is highly experienced with creating a variety of mailers. Our team has seen success with direct mail in various industries including menu mailers for quick-service restaurant clients, oversized postcards to capture attention for B2B clients, and intricate mail pieces to capture the attention of a high-value client for our high-end dining clients. 

For example, when Harvest Seasonal Grill needed a direct mail piece for the opening of one of their locations, our marketing team worked alongside their creative lead to create a stunning mailer to promote their newest location. We used a mailer with a card affixed to a postcard that contained an offer of a free entrée with the purchase of another entrée. The mailer generated great results for the new location and resulted in an ROI of 86%.

Direct Mail Strategy for Harvest Restaurant

The Top Self-Mailers Marketers Can Use

Aside from folded self-mailers, marketers can implement a number of designs to best reflect their brand and marketing goals. We break a few of them down below:


Postcards are a quick, versatile, and low cost way to engage customers. Marketers have the opportunity to create arresting visuals and leverage the nostalgia postcards tend to evoke. Marketers often use postcards to introduce new products, extend gratitude, remind customers of upcoming appointments, or offer promos to reignite interest and engagement among existing customers. 

By incorporating concise, actionable language and a clear CTA such as redeeming an online offer, businesses can expect higher engagement rates. At Elysium Marketing Group, we’ve seen success utilizing oversized postcards for our clients. This allows additional real estate to incorporate brand messaging, offerings, etc. at the same postage cost as a “normal sized” postcard. Plus, you quite literally can’t miss them in your mailbox!

Direct Mail Marketing - Tangible Marketing - Packiging_Panera Bread


Catalogs may bring you back to a time of circling toys for the holidays or browsing for dresses or appliances. Fast forward, and they’re still effective depending on the business and their sales strategies. This type of direct mail piece allows marketers to advertise a line of products in large, colorful print or showcase informational packets. By targeting the right clients, businesses can still capitalize on this solid strategy. 


Brochures can help businesses reach out to prospective clients without overwhelming them with information. These self-mailers present the chance to engage customers with beautiful, clever design elements and smart copy that promotes the scope of offerings. 

For example, Triad Associates needed a simplified, modern brochure to explain their services in an accessible way. Elysium Marketing Group streamlined the design of the folder and word-smithed their copy to display Triad’s service information in a manner that was easier to understand and aesthetically pleasing.

Dimensional Mailers 

Dimensional mailers are meant to grab the customer’s attention and are best used for high-value prospects that are most likely to engage. These interactive packages can be anything from a box with a gift inside to a pop-up card or tube. Dimensional mail is focused on the visual elements that will make customers absorb your brand’s style and take action. They can also enjoy unfolding and refolding the mailer, which will help keep your brand top-of-mind. 

What are the Benefits of Using a Direct Marketing Strategy?

There is Less Competition 

A recent Statista report found the number of emails sent and received around the world on a daily basis continues to rise. In 2020, it was 306.4 billion emails and it’s projected to rise to 376.4 billion daily emails by 2025. Case in point, this can become overwhelming, with many emails potentially going straight to spam or the promotional folder. Direct mail gives businesses the chance to interact with targeted customers in a more grounded way where they are more likely to take the time to read and engage. 

In fact, Triadex Services found 54% of consumers surveyed reported they want direct mail from brands that interest them. Additionally, The Direct Marketing Association reported direct mail gets response rates 10 to 30 times higher than digital, so it clearly can have a major impact on marketing efforts.  

Creates an Emotional Connection

Marketers can create positive associations with a brand by personalizing direct mail pieces. From adding a recipient’s name to using a handwritten font in the copy, there are a number of ways for businesses to add a human touch and build trust. According to a recent study, adding the recipient’s name to direct mail can increase response rates by 135%. Essentially, customers feel like they’re receiving a gift addressed directly to them, and are more likely to remember your brand and take action. 

Leads Customers to Digital Channels 

While digital marketing relies on users to input their contact information to build a contact list, direct marketing enables businesses to target specific audiences and gain contact information based on factors such as zip codes. Businesses can then use direct mail pieces to lead recipients to digital channels such as landing pages, apps, or otherwise. By incorporating an easy, accessible CTA like scanning a QR code, you’re more likely to convince prospective customers to input more contact information like their email address so you can reach them digitally. 

It’s Interactive & Engaging 

Marketers have the opportunity to deliver a wide variety of creative direct mail pieces to prospective and existing customers. Direct mail is tangible and can engage your senses to create a positive, lasting impact. It also takes more time to process information from direct mail instead of simply clicking and scrolling through an email or webpage, making it more memorable. This allows consumers to have a greater chance of recalling the brand when making a purchase decision.

From handwritten notes and eye-catching corporate swag to coupons and gift cards, you are more likely to keep your brand at the forefront with direct mail. 

Is Direct Mail Marketing Expensive?

When it comes to direct mail, costs can vary substantially. Smaller, more simple pieces without envelopes and packaging such as postcards will cost the least, whereas dimensional packages with branded packaging will cost more.
Factors to consider when determining a direct mail marketing budget include:

  • Mailing List: Are you purchasing a targeted consumer mailing list or using an existing database of contact information? Mailing lists can be segmented by demographic, location, behavioral characteristics, and more, but adding more filters when purchasing can be more costly depending on the company. 
  • Copy: Are you using an in-house copywriter (or writing it yourself) or outsourcing? 
  • Design: Are you using an in-house designer (or designing it yourself) or outsourcing? Do you need professional photos taken or can you use stock images? Do you need to gain permission for using photos commercially?
  • Personalization: Personalizing items like placing a customer’s name on swag can lead to a higher ROI, but it is a greater investment and best used for high-value prospects.
  • Printing: Printing costs vary based on the type of mailer, the materials, the quantity, the complexity of the design, and any finishes. The smaller and more simple the piece, the less you will spend.  
  • Packaging: Depending on the product, bold packaging can make a huge difference, but it will cost more. Will your packaging be simple and traditional, or will you brand it to advertise your product on all levels? 
  • Shipping: Shipping costs are based on your item’s shape, weight, and destination. 
  • Postage: Depending on your format and the mail list type you use, you can use bulk postage rates instead of First-Class or Priority Mail to lower costs, among other postage discount strategies

How a Marketing Consulting Agency Can Boost Direct Mail Strategy

Elysium Marketing Group is a full-service Philadelphia marketing agency that has worked with clients spanning multiple industries on direct mail projects. Our team has the ability to utilize our talented copywriters and designers to create a piece that will truly wow your potential customers. To learn more about our direct mail marketing services and receive a free consultation, please fill out our contact form or call (484) 684-7420 to learn more.