How to Make The Most Out of Your (Freshly Baked) Direct Mail

With the right ingredients – tactics, content, and visuals – your direct mail has the potential to be hot and fresh out the oven. Because of the tactile experience it provides, direct mail can provide a refreshing experience for customers who are constantly bombarded with digital ads and emails. On average, Americans receive 605 emails a week, compared to only 16.8 pieces of mail. Basically, for every 36 emails coming in, only 1 piece of physical mail is received. As a result, physical postcards, packages, pamphlets, or whatever else people can get their hands on all work to cut through the digital noise.

Stats – or Should We Say Pie Charts

Not only does direct mail stand out among digital mail and ads, but its’ impact lasts much longer. “The average lifespan of an email is 17 seconds, compared to direct mail’s average lifespan of 17 days,” (Compu-Mail). What’s more? Direct mail has some serious ROI…



Freshly Baked


As we said before, direct mail is freshly baked and an effective part of direct marketing. It stands out in a growing crowd of digital communication, conveys value and can be down-right exciting to receive. But here’s the thing – not all direct mail is created equal. The most effective direct mail prioritizes several key elements…


The Recipe

Here are some best practices if you’re new to direct mail or looking to improve:

Economize Words

As humans, we don’t like to read more than is absolutely necessary. The best direct mail uses clear and concise points. And, when in doubt, ask one simple question: Is this sentence absolutely crucial to the point/pitch? If it’s not, cut it. The best mailers are short and sweet. Sometimes we don’t need the whole meat lover’s pizza – just the plain can hit the spot.

Prioritize Graphics

Photos can convey complex information while cutting down on copy. A clear, drool-worthy pizza photo can express much more than words to your potential customers. And, don’t forget to keep your brand standards in mind when picking graphics. It will help to remove the guesswork for your recipients.

Consider the End Product

While you’ll want to focus heavily on images and copy, remember to carefully consider format, envelope, finish, feel, etc. – and don’t be afraid to think outside the (pizza) box. Remember, humans are tactile beings, and first impressions are lasting ones.

The Baking Steps

Trying to economize mail expenditures and use the most cost-effective option? If so, it’s best to follow the Post Office’s guidelines for postcard mailers:

Must be…

• Rectangular
• At least 3.5” high x 5” long x 0.007” thick
• No more than 4.25” high x 6” long x 0.016” thick

Want to stand out and attract attention? Consider opting for:

• Larger postcards (6’’ x 9” or 6” x 11”)
• Bi-folds, Tri-folds, Iron-cross formats, or Extra-large (9’’ x 12”) mailers
• Dimensional mail that use boxes or bubble envelopes

The Key Ingredients

A lot of trial, error, consideration, and tasting goes into a great pizza recipe. The same goes for direct mail.It’s only as good as the considerations you make before sending it. Here are some questions and considerations to keep in mind when creating your next piece of direct mail.


• Who is my target audience?
• What would resonate most personally with my audience?
• What could I do with direct mail that hasn’t been done already?
• Am I taking full advantage of personalization?
• Can I convey my message faster/more clearly?
• What tangible offering would best capture the attention of my audience?
• How will they respond or access more information?
• What response mechanisms will best serve my organization?


• Creativity counts – think about what will stand out in a crowded mailbox.
• You’re only as good as your data – reliable list compilers make a difference.
• Response is a direct reflection of the offer – make sure it’s enticing and engaging.
• Provide as many options for response as possible – PURLs, QR Codes and BRCs are all great options.
• Tie in a corresponding digital ad component when possible – multiple connections maximize results.

The Pepperoni to the Pizza

Remember when we mentioned that people saw some serious ROI from combining digital and direct mail? That’s because they’re made to go together, like pepperoni on pizza. Marketers have noticed some remarkable returns from the combo, like 40% conversion rates, 68% increased website visits, 63% increased response rates, 60% increased ROI, and more.

So, are you ready to get the most ROI out of your direct mail and cut through the digital noise? Contact us to start brainstorming the best recipe for your next campaign.