Direct Mail Print Marketing

There are ways to keep print marketing pieces out of the trashcan. (Photo Courtesy of Flickr User Jaaron)

Anyone with a mailbox has received junk mail. From advertisements offering deals we don’t care about to companies flooding our mail box with print marketing items that are so boring we don’t even know what they offer.


If done correctly, using direct mail marketing to create buzz and promote a business can create a positive response. On the other hand, if done incorrectly the ad can land itself in the trashcan very quickly and leave a bad impression of the company in the recipient’s mind. So what are the tricks to keeping direct mail out of the garbage? We recently shared ideas for keeping your email newsletters from going to the trash. The same is possible with print marketing pieces that are direct mailed.  Here are some simple tips for direct mail to be effective.


Get a good mailing list 

First of all, it is important to find a reliable company to create the mailing list. One of the things to research is, if the company has the sources to find the exact demographics for the campaign. When sending out direct mail the business needs to ensure that it is reaching the target audience for the specific campaign or it will be ineffective.


It is probably also worth the time and effort to weed out what appear to be duplicate entries going to the same household. For example, a husband and wife both don’t need to receive the same mailing. Duplicate mailings will appear (and be) wasteful.

Design a creative and useful piece 

Most people will look at a print marketing piece at least briefly to decide if it’s something they care about (or not). Does your direct mail have features that immediately capture attention and offer something the recipient wants or might want? Often times when a consumer receives direct mail it looks like junk mail which causes it to end up in the trash. It may seem simple, but designing an effective direct mail campaign relies heavily on the appearance of the print marketing piece. It is important to ensure that the message of the campaign is taken seriously and it is easily understood by the target audience.

Engage the audience 

Once the reader’s attention is captured, what keeps their attention? All direct mail should engage the reader by having interesting titles and copy. This should include an invitation to join the business’ social networks or read their blog. The key is to keep it simple, all too often the message of the campaign can get buried in clutter of copy and design elements. Ensure that the business’ message is clear and to the point. Also, remember it’s not all about selling something, but rather providing an experience.


Call to action 

A call to action is used build a response from the target audience. To create an effective call to action, first determine specifically what the consumers need to do. Should they call, email, like on Facebook? Be specific and make the message very clear. Creating a deadline can also be helpful in gaining a faster response by creating a sense of urgency.  It is important to remember that the call to action is not entirely making a sale, but also grabbing the attention of the target audience and allowing them to respond.



An advantage of direct mail marketing is timeliness. Mailing directly allows for a company’s message to be sent when it matters most. For example, it would be beneficial for a landscaping company to send out direct mail materials during the late winter, early spring months rather than in the mid-winter when landscaping is not as demanding.


If planning to send multiple pieces of direct mail, it’s also important to do so in well-planned intervals. Take too long between print marketing pieces and people will lose interest. Bombarding the mailbox with mail will just be irritating to the customer.


By following these three simple steps a business can begin to develop an effective direct mail marketing campaign that will stay on the table of its target audience instead of landing in the trash bin.

Need help?

The Belford Group is an experienced image-building marketing and website development agency, with more than a decade spent providing creative marketing and advertising solutions to fit any budget …and any medium.
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