Direct Mail Solutions Guide & Direct Mail Ideas

April 22, 2020

Thinking of which marketing approach to connect with your customers? Direct mail marketing strategy is the way to go. There are creative b2b direct mail ideas you can explore to reach out to your existing and future clients. Read on to find out which approach is best for your business. 

Direct mail marketing solutions involve different marketing ideas which businesses use to reach out to their target market. Contrary to the old belief that this strategy only uses postcards and letters. Direct mail trends have utilized a lot of creative methods to provide the most efficient way to connect to customers. This approach eliminates the “spray and pray” notion of old postcard and media ads marketing style.

Many companies use direct mail marketing strategy because it’s more cost-efficient and effective. Through the right direct mail marketing solutions, companies can advertise their businesses to their target market. Compared to other marketing approaches, direct mail solutions directly promote your business or services to your customers.  

Does Direct Mail Marketing Strategy Still Work?

Yes, direct mail solutions always work. This approach has been proven effective for years. Even Neil Patel, a renowned author/entrepreneur, said that direct mail ideas produced higher returns on investment than other methods. He stated that b2b direct mail services resulted in higher ROI than display and paid search advertisements. Furthermore, the response of customers to direct mail is 5.3% while email marketing has 0.6% response.

So why is direct mail marketing strategy effective? The following explains why using different direct mail trends is highly effective.

1) Direct mail marketing solutions are interactive

When you send promotional materials to customers, they usually check them first before deciding whether to keep them or not. This scenario should be your cue to start thinking about creative direct mail ideas to get your customer’s attention. The minute your customers receive your promotional materials, they are already interacting with you, so make the best impression. 

If you own a cafe, sending customers felt coasters with printed discount code at the back is a great approach. It is one of the direct mail examples you can use to get a positive customer response. Forget those postcards or menu brochures. Those will just end up in the trash bin.

Graf Lantz - Custom Felt Coasters $24

graf lantz - custom felt coasters - gemnote

2) Direct mail marketing strategy is memorable

You must make your direct mail marketing strategy memorable. That’s the impression you want to instill among your customers. So how do you do this? When you send direct mail solutions application to your customers, do it on special events like Valentine’s day or their birthdays. This will give them the feeling that you value them. 

If you are a spa owner, you may send customized masks and candles to your customers. You may indicate a special procedure at the package to ensure that your customers follow up. For instance, tell them there is another mask free for their special someone if they both visit on Valentine’s day. Through this approach, you make it memorable to your customers and you get another potential client. It’s a win-win solution.

Slack Scent Basik Candle  / Custom Eye Mask

Slack Scent Basik Candle - eye mask

3) It reaches more customers

Even if social media gains popularity for years, many of your customers may still not use these platforms. Hence, a direct mail marketing strategy is still a more appropriate method. Using creative direct mail ideas, you can connect and interact with your target market more effectively. 

One good example is for automotive shops in remote areas where most people don’t use social media. Here, auto shop owners can use automotive direct mail services to reach out to their customers. They can use a custom key chain to show their appreciation to their customers. In this key chain comes a special note telling customers that next time they have their cars checked they will get a cool cap. These are just a few direct mail examples that you can use to reach out to customers, and gain new ones.

Custom Key Chain / Custom Cap

custom key chain - custom cap

4) You can be creative 

B2B direct mail solutions are the best methods to use your creativity. Applying several creative direct mail ideas will help you get your desired response from your customers. One example is sending your customers a discount code printed on a task pad, and every time they visit your shop, they will get free items. In every free item you give, there’s a special note on how they can get the next gift. For instance, on their second visit, they must tag along their best friend to get a gorgeous tumbler.

There are many creative direct mail ideas you can use to ensure customers keep coming back to you. Not to mention that these ideas can bring more new customers to your business.

5) Minimal competition

Since you can customize your direct mail solutions application, you are less likely to have stiff competition. Provided that you apply all the necessary demographic details of your customers, you can nail it. A few perfect direct mail examples that you can apply are sending customized magnets when they follow up. Then, they get enamel pins on their next store visit, and finally a gorgeous mug on their second purchase from your store. 

Because your direct mail marketing is personalized according to your target market, there’s almost no competition at all. 

Custom Magnet $1.50 / Enamel Pin $3 / Custom Enamel Mug $12

Fun+Enamel+Pins+(1) - Custom+Enamel+Mug+$12 - Custom+Magnet+$1.25

The success or failure of your direct mail marketing solutions depends on how you appeal to your customers’ senses. Be creative, and give away useful and well-thought-of items. As much as you want to cut on your marketing cost, refrain from giving postcards or leaflets because they won’t do anything. Customers are likely to throw those away without even reading the content. Spending on those marketing ads is just a waste of your company's resources. 

Three Important Points for a Successful Direct Mail Marketing Strategy

The success or failure of your direct mail marketing strategy lies in three factors: creativity, appeal to customers, and uniqueness.

1) Creativity 

This is your chance to explore the latest direct mail trends to create innovative marketing plans. You can use customized gift items for your valued clients during special events. For instance, you can give a lip balm, and when they make a purchase, they get a custom tote. 

Custom Tote $14 / Custom Lip Balm $1.25

Custom Lip Balm - custom tote bag

Another direct mail marketing strategy that you can do is giving away sticky notes with special instructions. In the instruction that they can get free subscriptions if they along with two of their friends or relatives buy the month’s special items.

Custom Sticky Notes $6, Netflix Subscription $30-$60, Spotify Subscription $30-$60, Kinfolk Digital Subscription $40 

Audible Subscription $30-$60

Netflix - Spotify - Kinfolk - audible subscription - custom sticky note

You may also give out coffee samples, a couple of teabags, and marshmallows on Valentine’s day or Thanksgiving season. Make sure to put a special interactive note, so they will follow up on you.

Malvi Marshmallows *2bags ($10) / Elm Coffee or Another Brand $15 / August Tea Mini $3

Malvi Marshmallows - Elm Coffee - August Tea Mini

2) Appeal to your customers

Make them feel special. Not only that you must think of creative direct mail marketing ideas, but also touch on their emotions. It will be great, if your company can send customers some direct mail gifts on their birthdays. You can give them an exclusive gift pack to let them feel special. You may bundle some cute pens, custom bandana, and hand sanitizer in a cute pouch. 

Hand Sanitizer / Pouch / Prodir Swiss Pen / Custom Bandana

Touchland Sanitizer - custom pouch - bandana - prodir swiss pens

If your customers know that you remember them on special occasions, you will leave a lasting impression. That’s because your gift is memorable. 

3) Uniqueness 

Sending your customers some unique direct mail marketing solutions is one way to dominate your market. Sure there are numerous direct mail industry trends available, but you don’t necessarily need to apply all of them. You just have to understand your target market and select unique gift items to fancy them. It is important to think of giveaways that will stand out and get the attention of your customers.

Custom Patch / Genuine Leather Luggage Tags / Custom Passport book

Patch - Passport Book - Genuine Leather Luggage Tag

A few unique direct mail ideas that your direct mail specialists may recommend are custom patch pins, passport holders, and leather luggage tags. They may seem ordinary, but its impact is significant. The patch pins which they will have to attach on their backpacks or jackets. This will mean that they will have a good look at your giveaway. The luggage tag that they will place on their suitcase on their travels means they will always remember your company. The same goes for their passport holders. Because they will constantly see your gifts, they will always recall your company. And that’s a constant advertisement.

Who Use Direct Mail Marketing Solutions?

All businesses use direct mail marketing solutions application. Banks, universities, restaurants, car dealers, foundations, and even small enterprises use this marketing method.

- Banks 

Banks often use direct mail marketing solutions to their valued depositors and investors. They spend hundreds of thousands on their marketing plan to ensure that they give a strong impact on their customers. They don’t use lousy cards or brochures to reach out to their market because they want to build an esteemed brand. 

- Universities 

Colleges and universities allocate a significant amount for their direct mail services. This is because colleges and universities are big businesses as well. They carry out various marketing approaches to appeal to students. Some universities giveaway caps, pens, note pads, key chains, and many others during promotional events. 

- Restaurants

Restaurants are some of the common users of direct mail industry trends. They use several creative direct mail marketing ideas to reach out to their customers. However, some restaurants still fail in their effort to gain customers’ response because of an inappropriate approach. Some still use brochures and leaflets which normally end up in the shredding machines. This is why, every business that aims to use this strategy must give out useful and unique items as part of their direct mail marketing examples. 

- Car Dealers

Car dealers are among the generous industry that gives away excellent automotive direct mail items. They send leather key chains, bill holders, caps, umbrellas, and the list goes on. They know the value of sending quality direct mail items to their customers.

- Non-Government Organizations and Foundations

Yes, they do apply different creative direct mail marketing ideas. This is because they want to solicit funding, create awareness on their cause and people's involvement.

- Small Enterprise

Small businesses such as cafes, bakeshop, dental clinics, and grocery stores also use direct mail marketing solutions. Unlike bigger corporations, these small companies have smaller costs in their b2b direct mail strategy. The reason being is their relatively small market coverage. 

3 Tips on Saving Money On Your Direct Mail Marketing

Direct mail marketing solutions indeed take a significant chunk in the business budget. This is because marketing is the lifeline of the business. Without proper marketing, there won’t be sales – and that means no business. 

But because of the ongoing changes in the marketing world, there are many ways to advertise your business. You can do it using the usual TV or electronic, ads or using different direct mail services. The latter is more cost-efficient and interactive. It is also more laser-focused in connecting to your target customers. For these reasons, it is safe to say that direct mail ideas may result in a successful marketing approach. 

If you want to make the most out of your direct mail marketing solutions budget, here are three tips you can consider.

1) Do-It-Yourself Approach

Do not get intimidated by doing your direct mail marketing services. It’s easier than you think. You probably have your customers’ profile list. From this list, you can start creating a schedule of your direct mail list. You don’t have to give all of them all at the same time. Make a plan on when is the perfect time to send these direct mail ideas. 

You may contact gift shops like Gemnote, to help you decide what direct mail solutions are within your budget. There are lots of creative direct mail ideas and products you can find online. You just have to be resourceful.

2) Plan the Strategy

Whether you will hire some direct mail specialists or you will do it on your own, always make a plan. You must focus on your brand, your market, and your budget allocation. Your expenses may be huge or less depending on how well you plan your marketing strategy. Nobody uses direct mail industry trends to waste the company’s money. This is the very reason why they think of the best way to successfully carry out marketing strategies.

Your marketing solutions may cost only around $30-$50 per client if you know what direct mail industry trends to use. Again, you don’t have to send all your customers gifts all at once. You must select the dates like birthdays, special occasions, or when there is an opening of a branch near their areas. This way, your goal is very specific and your target group is reached accordingly. 

3) Hire Direct Mail Specialists

If your company is huge, hiring some direct mail specialists is handy. You will spare yourself from the worries and potential errors in your marketing executions. If you have a marketing department in your company, you may just need a supplier for your direct mail solutions. There are reliable corporate gift shops online that can offer you creative direct marketing ideas that will surely stand out.

When Is the Right Time to Use Direct Mail Marketing

An intelligent direct mail marketing strategy must be executed with success and sales increase in mind. For this reason, sending your direct mail gifts must be done at the right time and for the right target.

Holidays or Special Occasions

Send your direct mail marketing solutions during the festivities or holidays. This is the perfect time to get noticed by your customers. In these times of the year, people expect to receive gifts or greeting cards. And so, if you give away unique direct mail gifts, customers most likely appreciate your effort. 

During the holidays, it’s not the time to give cheap or lousy gifts. Check the latest direct mail industry trends to know which items are popular. Remember that your main goal is to interact with your customers. If they don’t find your gifts useful or appealing, they likely won’t follow up.


Early on this article, you learned that your direct mail marketing solutions must be appealing to your target market. When we say, appealing, we don’t just mean plain attractive. Rather, something that will touch the emotions of your market. One way to do this is by sending them gifts on their birthdays.

This is a personalized b2b direct mail approach that will create a memory for your customers. They will feel special and valued; hence they will most likely continue to support your business. Appealing to your customers' feelings create a huge impact and recall. 

Important Events or Announcements

When you are opening a branch soon, you can get your customers' support by sending them one of the direct mail examples we have discussed before. If it’s a cafe opening, then send them customized coasters with interactive instructions. For instance, the coaster will serve as their VIP voucher for a special dessert. Another way to execute this approach is to get more new customers. In the instructions, you may instruct them to bring three of their friends on the opening to collect the complete set of four coasters. Plus, they get discounts on their orders. Using this approach is like hitting two birds with one stone.

Always search for the latest direct mail industry trends to make sure that your target market will respond positively. Use ideas and solutions that are timely and relevant to you, your business, and your customers.

Reach wider target

Not everyone uses the same technology. That’s why you need to use creative direct mail marketing ideas to reach your market in all demographics. Some of your customers are not using social media often, or they don’t watch televisions. In these scenarios, social media ads and TV commercials may not be as effective as you thought. Therefore, this is your opportunity to send the right giveaway to these market groups. They are likely to remember your company because they feel recognized. 

One simple way to reach your target markets in all demographics is to send them customized stickers that indicate discounts. Unlike the usual postcards, stickers are more noticeable because of their texture. As long as you have great design and layout, your customers will pay attention to it. 

Promote your online presence

Since most businesses these days use the Internet, you also need to establish your brand online. Because of this, you can use social media to spread your direct mail marketing ideas among your customers. In this approach, you can identify your market through your following. Once you know your target, you can apply direct mail marketing strategy in the form of giveaways. 

You can create online polls or games which your customers can join, and winners will get gifts. This is effective in increasing your followers and improving your business presence online.

Bottom Line

Every business uses direct mail marketing solutions to reach out to their customers. No business uses this approach to waste money, effort, and time. Rather, they want to generate sales, a response from customers and leads to widen the market. For these reasons, it is fair to spend your company’s marketing budget on the right approach.

If you think using the usual letters and postcards to limit your direct mail marketing cost, you’re wrong. You are putting your efforts and money in vain. Customers pay little to almost no attention to these materials. In fact, most of them end up as trash. Remember that getting your customer’s attention is the first step to connect with them. So, make the right impression. 

You are investing time, effort, and a good amount of money on your direct mail marketing strategy, so do it right. Understand the behavior of your market as well as their needs. This will help you decide what direct mail marketing solutions are appropriate to them. More than just getting noticed, you want to build a lasting relationship with your customers. Your direct mail marketing strategy represents your company and your brand. Therefore, make it a priority to send customers high-quality items. 

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