direct mail campaign

How to create great Direct Mail Ads

In a digital marketing dominated world, a lot of people consider direct mail marketing as an old school/outdated strategy. Some even think that the method is dead. Well, it’s true that the internet has grabbed all the attention, the social media; in particular. The majority of business owners today rely on the internet to grow their business. However, the internet has way too many complications, and it is not always the best option, especially for smaller businesses. This is where direct mail marketing comes in.

Direct mail marketing is an advertising medium which has proven to be one of the most effective and efficient methods. It has been in practice even before digital marketing was conceived. It’s not only for the businesses trying to kick off, but it can also work wonders for bigger companies or businesses.

With the right technique, you can propel your business at a faster rate, and the best part of using a direct mail marketing method is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money. Unlike digital marketing where you have to pay your service providers, web developers, and technicians.

So, how exactly can you achieve success by using the direct mail method? The answer is simple, and that is to create an engaging, attractive, and irresistible direct mail package. There are a few things that you need to consider while working on your mail design.

But before we learn the techniques, let’s take a look at different types of direct marketing advertising materials.

Types of direct mail advertising.

  1. Letters.

Traditional types of letters are sent to known clients, or customers to let them know about a promotional offer or discount.

  • Newsletters.

Newsletters are sent to the subscribers on a monthly or weekly basis. It usually contains news updates, upcoming events, and offers.

  • Catalogues.

These contain all the information regarding the products, offers and details. Booklets and catalogs have high print cost. For this reason, they are used for promoting high-end products, and are sent only to a specific target audience, or qualified leads.

  • Self-mailers.

These include postcards and brochures; they are considered as powerful direct mail advertising materials because they do not use an envelope. Since the recipients don’t have to open the envelope to read the message, there is a greater chance that the recipients may see the content.

  • Packages.

Packages usually contain a letter and a catalogue. These are mostly reserved for special type of customers who are highly valued. An even more complex package may include a small gift or a product sample.

Creating a great direct mail design.

Most essential direct mail design elements.

  1. High quality and engaging graphic or image.

When you’re creating a direct mail, imagine that you’re the reader or the recipient. Is it compelling enough to make you read the entire message? If not, try again, make use of a good photograph, something that will catch the reader’s attention, raise his /her curiosity.

  • Your business or brand’s insignia/Logo.

Your direct mail should bear your brand’s logo. It will immediately tell the readers which company or business the mail is from.

  • The headline.

A short headline that will excite the readers and make them want to know more.

  • The letter/ body.

A continuation of the headline, consisting of short sentences. It should not focus heavily on the product or service you’re trying to promote or sell, but it should be more focused on the needs of the recipient.

  • Call to Action/CTA.

A direct mail without a CTA is useless. It should grab the reader’s attention and make them take the next step. The best method is to provide them with an irresistible offer which can be availed by calling a toll free number that you provide, or by visiting your website.

Tips for letter writing.

While the letter is not viewed as a personal letter from a relative or a friend, the response will be much better if it is written in a friendly tone, and most importantly, make it look like a letter. For the salutation, you can use “Dear colleague” or “Dear Friend”.

Try to mention the benefits or offers within the first two or three sentences. The readers may not read everything. If you have lots of offers or benefits, write them down in a bulleted form. The shorter the sentences, the better and easier it is for the readers.

A single sentence in the opening paragraph is more than enough. Also, avoid using fancy fonts; they make your letter appear hard to read.

Do not use the first person, always replace “I” or “We” with “You.” For example, write “You will receive a gift” instead of “We will send you a gift.” In addition, make use of relevant and stunning graphics, and add P.S at the end, every reader will read the P.S even if they skipped some part.

Things to consider while creating a direct mail campaign.

  • Set your goal – Your goal should be the reason for creating direct mail in the first place. Are you trying to spread awareness, or trying to promote the sale of some products?
  • Choose your target audience – What niche are you in, and what type of audience are you looking for? It could be an existing customer or people who seemed interested.
  • Is your offer good enough – A discount or an offer should not cause your business to suffer, but it had to be good enough or compelling. For example, offering a product at half price for a limited period is a good one.
  • Add a short and engaging line on the envelope – Remember that the recipients will be getting a lot of mails. Yours should look different, and appealing. Write one short sentence on the envelope, which will make the reader want to open it.


Employing direct mail marketing is an excellent way to grow your business. Remember that not everyone likes to see digital ads. Some people still like to have something tangible in their hands while reading it.