How to Create A Successful Direct Mail Campaign

November 12th, 2019

Amy Paterson is a Marketing professional with over 14 years’ experience planning events, designing ads, website maintenance, building content for web/social/newsletter campaigns, creating and editing marketing materials, and acting as liaison to the sales team of 15 account executives nationwide. She is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a BBA in Marketing. Additionally, Amy is certified in the Adobe Suite, taking classes for Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. Check out some of the software reviews she’s written here.


In my experience, direct mail campaigns can prove to be extremely effective and don’t have to be overwhelmingly complicated. We are all inundated with mass amounts of emails every day, so now more than ever conventional mail may be considered a “breath of fresh air” to receive. Although it is more expensive than digital, you may see the ROI is more effective at getting a response. I’ve broken down my success in 5 important points, so here’s how to create a successful direct mail campaign.

The Target

Narrow in on your audience. Who is your buyer? Understand their pain stake, or why they would benefit from purchasing your product or service.

The Mailing List

Do you already have a list in-house of existing customers and prospects? If so, it’s time to brush off that list and make sure it’s up-to-date and accurate. You can also purchase a list from a reputable mail house or list broker to try and get new business. Keep in mind, your mailpiece is only as good as your list…so make sure whatever list you use is accurate

The Call to Action/Offer

You’ve contributed countless hours to make sure your mailing list is accurate… good for you! You are 40% of the way there… Yup… 40. All that time will be wasted if no one responds to your direct mail. Giving your audience a call to action or offer provides them something of value in exchange for their response. Think of it as bait and hook… you want to put the bait out there to hook the fish. This must be something compelling, simply an offer they can’t refuse.

The Creative

There are several items to think about when it comes to the look of your direct mail campaign. People receive tons of mail every week, day, month… how will yours stand out to get their attention, and not go directly into the trash? High-quality imagery with attention-grabbing colors always get noticed first. But remember…stay within brand, create a simplistic design, deliver clear messaging, and have a well-defined and concise call to action or offer.

Measure Your Results

Tracking ROI is crucial. This not only shows you how well the piece performed, but can also help you measure what worked, what didn’t, what you should do differently (or the same) next time. Use a trackable URL address, coupon codes, campaign-specific email, etc…whatever you decide, track those leads!

In conclusion, the mailing list and call to action/offer are by far the most important elements to consider when creating a successful direct mail campaign. By focusing on all of these points, you will improve your direct mail results, and be the hero of your department!