Marketing with Direct Mail: A Guide To Lead Generation

It makes sense to think that direct mail is a thing of the past. Nowadays, people’s lifestyles are often defined by electronic devices. Digital communication like email, text, and social media are considered more efficient ways to connect with customers as they are almost always online. Ironically, that’s precisely what makes marketing with direct mail stand out from its digital counterparts. 

Direct mail can be more effective in cutting through the noise and putting your brand under the spotlight, compared to an email drowning in an already overwhelmed inbox. 

Think about it. 

Would you prefer your message to be in an inbox filled with countless other promotional materials that customers don’t even bother to open or have it delivered to their hands? 

At Speedeon, we help our clients identify and execute the best lead generation strategy for them – be it fully online, offline, or a combination of both. If you are on the fence about integrating direct mail into your marketing strategies or want to learn more about it, this guide is for you! 

What Is Direct Mail Marketing?

Marketing with direct mail means sending out advertisements or promotional messages through the postal system, directly to the customer’s doorstep. It can be postcards, letters, brochures, samples, catalogs…take your pick! These tactics have been around for ages.

Direct mail is a lucrative marketing strategy for both B2B and B2C brands looking for a highly targeted channel to connect with their clients. Thanks to its versatility, sectors such as retail, insurance, finance, and home services use it as an integral part of their marketing strategies. If you implement accurate, up-to-date life event data to nurture your audience at the right stage of the buying circle, you can maximize its benefits. 

Why Is Direct Mail Still Relevant?

Direct mail is tangible – a stark contrast with the digital world. When there’s an excess of online advertisements, consumers experience digital fatigue and may find it difficult to keep track of the promotions they get. But, when you physically deliver a well-designed piece of creative, it can create a lasting and memorable impression. 

Moreover, the increase in consumer data over the years has allowed businesses to perfect their targeting efforts and execute successful direct marketing campaigns with higher ROIs. 

But, it doesn’t mean you forgo marketing with digital channels. In contrast, cross-channel activation that uses both online and offline channels can yield better results. It can help you reach a wider audience, establish a strong presence in the market, and accelerate lead generation. It also contributes to delivering a seamless customer experience, improving retention and loyalty. 

With the help of website visitor identity resolution, direct mail can also be a prime channel for offline retargeting to follow up with audiences interested in your products.

What Are The Benefits of Marketing with Direct Mail?

  • Personalization 

With direct mail, you don’t have to go with a ‘spray-and-pray’ technique and wait for miracles to happen. It is possible to create highly personalized campaigns using segmentation and predictive analytics. The target audience’s demographics, interests, and purchasing behaviors can help in curating custom messages. It can boost your lead gen’s ROI and improve loyalty because customers know that the brand is well aware of their needs.

  • More precision

Many leading and high-end brands go for direct mail lead generation because it offers a greater degree of precision when it comes to targeting. If you have the right data in your hands, you will know the exact customers in the market seeking your products. Best of all, with data monitoring, you will also know when to target and win their attention. Here’s how Speedeon helped a leading furniture retailer re-strategize and sharpen their direct mail campaign using mover data.

  • Higher response rates 

When executed right, direct mail campaigns deliver greater visibility and higher response rates. Unlike emails, direct mail commands more attention by taking physical space and offers creative freedom. Customers are more likely to respond to your offer if it’s customized and appeals to their requirements and preferences. 

  • Legitimacy 

There’s been an increase in scams and phishing activities lately and for this reason, customers can be hesitant to open emails with promotional content, especially from a brand they don’t know. So, direct mail can be a great way to overcome the issue of credibility. 

  • Reach new segments

Another benefit of direct mail is that it allows you to connect with customer segments that are hard to reach through digital modes of communication. It is especially true if the product or service caters to segments like senior citizens.

What are the Drawbacks of Direct Mail?

  • Higher Setup Cost 

One of the barriers preventing brands from marketing with direct mail is the cost. A significant budget should be allocated for designing the mail piece, printing, postage, and other service fees involved in the process. However, the increase in response and conversion rates make up for higher costs on the front end, as long as the ads are well targeted.

  • Inaccuracies in the mailing list

If your mailing list contains outdated information, such as old home addresses, your message won’t reach your audience. It’s essential to implement data hygiene and enrichment practices to remove irrelevant, outdated, or duplicated data – and validate existing information. Reliable third-party data will help fill in the gaps in your existing mailing list and even expand it.

about to read direct mail

Ingredients of a Great Direct Mail Lead Generation Program

Direct mail requires significant investment, compared to digital modes of marketing, and therefore it’s important to do it right. Here are the core elements of marketing with direct mail.

  • Have a goal

Simply kicking off a generic direct mail campaign will not yield results if you don’t have clear objectives outlined. A set of intended outcomes makes the campaign more focused and more effective. Consider if your focus is improving brand awareness, lead generation, or customer acquisition, and build accordingly.

  • Determine your target

Effective targeting ensures your message reaches the right audience at the right time. The greater the understanding of your customers and their next move, the greater the potential for influencing their purchasing decisions. 

  • Include a great offer and help remove objections

Your marketing message should include a compelling offer, aligning with your audience’s buying behavior and expectations. It should persuade the customer to engage with the mail piece. Well-thought-out copywriting will be your ally here! Make sure you include a value-driven offer that will help clear out objections — for example, a guarantee. 

It’s key here to work to remove the “risk” from the purchase. Of course, you see this all the time online. The key difference here may be how your guarantee is visually displayed in your mailer.

  • A Compelling CTA

Implement a compelling call to action (CTA) that gets the customers to move on to the next step of the buying journey. Think about how you can get them to consider your product or purchase by differentiating your brand from your competitors. A good CTA will get things going!

  • Establish the brand’s digital presence

As mentioned above, relying on direct mail doesn’t mean you let go of your digital marketing efforts. Marketing with direct mail can be a great way to establish your digital presence. For example, your mail piece can have a QR code or URL that leads customers to your website, allowing them to transition from offline to online seamlessly and make the purchase seamless. 

  • Back your campaign with data

Finally, and more importantly, back your campaign strategy with data every step of the way. Even if you are an upcoming brand with limited first-party data, enriching it with reliable third-party consumer data can get you ahead of the game. Access to high-quality consumer data can shape, refine, and transform your direct mail campaigns. 

Why Is Good Data a Non-Negotiable Requisite When Marketing with Direct Mail?

  • Identify high-value clients

One of the major benefits of using data for your direct mail campaigns is that it helps you narrow down your targeting to find the customers who are more likely to respond to your offers. It will reduce marketing spend, drive response rates up, and increase customer lifetime value. At Speedeon, we offer our clients over 1000 variables to help them segment their customers’ personal and behavioral data easily.

  • Build your ideal customer profile

Having a comprehensive understanding of your customers is vital for offering them personalized experiences. 

  • Execute trigger marketing campaigns

Trigger marketing strategies, driven by your customer data, can take your direct mail campaign to a whole new level. By enriching your first-party data with third-party life event data, you can track when customers go through a major life event and send a tailored offer to their doorstep when they need it the most! As you are targeting people who are in the market and ready to buy, you should see a higher ROI. 

  • Update your mailing list 

The strength of your direct mail strategy relies on the strength of your mailing list. If you want to expand your mailing list with solid leads, data is your friend. You can create lookalike audiences by enriching your limited client data with multiple data sources. This way, you can identify new prospects with similar traits to your best customers and target them in your direct mail lead generation campaigns


Still on the Fence? Check Out These Direct Mail Stats 


  1. 76% of customers trust direct mail over digital channels when they want to make a purchasing decision.
  2. Personalized direct mail can bring 50% more response rates compared to non-personalized direct mail.
  3. The Response Rate Report 2021 by ANA shows that direct mail generates a higher ROI, beating digital modes by a higher margin.
  4. Up to 90% of direct mail gets opened, compared to only 20-30% of emails.
  5. Research by the Data & Marketing Association shows that 92% have been directed to online or digital activity as a result of receiving direct mail.
  6. A study by USPS revealed that over 60% of catalog recipients were influenced to visit the website.

Perfect Your Direct Mail Strategy with Speedeon

From identifying the best prospects to personalizing your messaging and delivering it at the right time, data plays a critical role in ensuring your campaign pays off.

Do you want to get ahead of the competition by marketing with direct mail? We are here to help you kick off awesome advertising campaigns and capitalize on new opportunities. Get in touch with us. Our team can design an effective direct mail strategy to win you new clients and accelerate growth!

Connect with us today.