Direct Mail


In my last column, I wrote about the importance of repetition in online marketing.  But repetition is important in other forms of marketing, as well, and in particular for direct mail.

Typically only around 2% of direct mail pieces are actually received by your intended audience.  The great majority of direct mail is simply tossed in recycling.

To increase your chances of success with direct mail, I suggest the following:

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  1. use a greeting card-size envelope - - they are more likely to be opened than a standard letter size
  2. If sending mail without an envelope, use an oversized postcard so it stands out in the mail the possible customer receives
  3. Include the person’s name on the mail piece rather than “Resident”
  4. Include a return address
  5. Ideally, handwrite the envelope or use a font that makes it look handwritten
  6. Include a QR code so that people can check out your website directly from the mail piece
  7. Target the mail piece to the demographic most likely receptive to your product or service - - it’s more efficient and economical to send 100 direct mail pieces and get a 25% response rate (25 good leads) than to send 1,000 direct mail pieces and get a 2% response rate (20 good leads).

Most importantly, do not do a direct mail piece one time - - if you are going to spend money on direct mail, plan to do at least 3 if not 5 or more mailings.  The more you repeat the mailings, the higher your response rate and the more likely someone will open the mail you have sent them.



Michael M. Shapiro, CEO and Publisher of, is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Rutgers College, Rutgers University.  Michael also serves as Immediate Past President of the Suburban Chamber of Commerce.  



The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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