What is a direct mail campaign? You’ve probably received a postcard from a real estate agent in your mailbox, right? How successful are direct mail campaigns? It might surprise you to learn they are often more successful than banner advertising…

5 Proven Tactics For A Successful Direct Mail Campaign

Even with all of the marketing and advertising options we have now, one of the oldest and most powerful is direct mail. While there have been some upgrades, thanks to the digital age, it still packs the same punch it did years ago in both physical and email form. 

Direct mail via email is:

  • Fast
  • Effective
  • A valuable tool

For any brand with a serious marketing strategy. 

What is direct mail?

Direct mail is cold mail. While it used to be a physical item like a:

  • Flyer
  • Brochure
  • Postcard

It can now also be an email

The best plan is a high-value mailing list rather than one formed by taking a quick scrape from Google. Additionally, it is best to niche down.

Email lists are buildable or purchasable. You can get a list applicable to your industry. Examples:

Direct mailing puts your content in the right hands. 

So, how to ace your next direct mail campaign? Let’s explore five proven tactics…


Before you begin, your target market must be defined. There is little room for error with a direct mail campaign due to how you are trying to reach them.

For B2B, you want to create an emotional connection – just like with a B2C – but you’ll need to double down on the value and service. Keep in mind that you are demanding time from your audience. When you send them something they need to read, be sure it is worth their time and they will be pleased they took a look. 

Your audience is more than just:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Job

Take the time to build personas, or ideal client avatars, so that you fully understand your ideal client so you can get your marketing messages right.

Mailing List

Your mailing list is one your most valuable tools. As they say, the money is in the list.

If you have a mailing list, work through it and add contact details where possible. Remove anything too old, and tidy it up. A “clean” list is a powerful list – your chances of reaching the inbox are greater.

If you purchase or start a mailing list from scratch, you won’t need to neaten too much, but it is worthwhile to start by doing an audit on your mailing list

Direct mail campaign tip: Smaller companies can negotiate a smaller list purchase.



  • You should buy this product right now because it is great. {{Not good.}}
  • This product has been shown to increase sales by 43% and has an ROI of 75%. {{Better.}}

The copy you write can tell a story, but it needs to be short and effective. Tell your audience:

  • What they are getting
  • How it works
  • How much it costs

Every product or services solves a problem of person or company. Tell them exactly how yours does it. 

You can write the copy yourself, or you can hire a direct mail copywriter to do it for you. Work toward grabbing attention quickly. Typically, in the subject line. Your first two sentences should instantly captivate. 

Pay attention to wording and tone. Messages should match your brand voice and audience preferences.

Design: Direct Mail Campaign Gold

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White space is your friend when it comes to direct mail because too much text is overwhelming for the brain to process. It looks clunky and time consuming. In that case your message will go unread.

Instead, every element of the design should serve a purpose. Anything that doesn’t should be removed. 

Those who have a graphic design background have an advantage. However, getting fresh eyes on it for feedback is important. 

If you are sending physical mail, then get several different samples before buying in bulk. For emails, test them multiple times before they go out in a final blast. 

A/B Testing

Based on the results from previous direct mail campaigns you can refine your emails until they are consistently performing. Take these steps:

Start with small projects, and then increase volume sent. Before long, you will have the best marketing pieces possible and see customer conversions.

Use your metrics and results to create future campaigns, and continue to watch how your audience reacts. Targeting repeat customers is something that is often overlooked when it comes to creating impactful direct mail campaigns.