What the Snail Mail?! Why Direct Mail Marketing [still] works & How to do it right

Direct Mail Marketing

We were showing off our quarterly marketing mailer on our Instagram story this past week, and received a TON of questions about it...including a lot of things like "WHAT?! You still send marketing things out to people IN THE MAIL?!?"  So, we decided it's time to give you the scoop on direct mail marketing. Why it still works, what we did for our mailer, and what you should be doing if you're sending out a mailer to market your business.

Does direct mail marketing (aka snail mail) still work?

The best way to look at this is to compare direct mail marketing to digital marketing. I know what you're thinking, "Digital marketing is probably so much better because I can get my ad in front of a ton more people for way cheaper", right? Um...
Let's crunch the numbers real quick.First, here's the stats: Digital ads are doing pretty well if they get a 0.14% clickthrough rate and then from the people that click, the average conversion rate is 2.35%. For email marketing, the average clickthrough rate is 2.71% and then the conversion rate for email marketing (via a newsletter) is about 1% for a house list. The overall conversion rate for direct mail is 1.0 to 3.7%  (depending on whether the recipients are from a prospect list (1%) or a house list (3.7%).


If you skimmed through that paragraph, and all you saw was "blah, blah. Numbers, numbers, yada, yada" then here's a little infographic to make it more fun:


If you're over there just eating up all these numbers and percentages, here's some other fun direct mail facts:




What did we include in our mailer?

Time to spill all our secrets. Here's what we put in our most recent mailer and why. If you didn't get one, and are experiencing a little FOMO (fear of missing out), just send us your address and we'll try to get one sent your way! (We have a few extras around here somewhere.

  A super snazzy postcard

We designed a postcard with three different backs to target our main customer categories. One was a photo of some cutesy succulents, one was a more modern black & white tree photo, and another was a cluster of cacti. The front has some text bubbles that bounce around and explain what we do + a call to action. (If you want to see what it says a little better, you can click here)

P.S. We designed them in-house and used MOO to print them – they let you print different backs within the same pack – and if you click this link, you get $15 towards your first order. (yay!) If you're a little lost about where to start, you can contact us to work up a catchy and effective design just for your brand.

What to include in a marketing mailer - a snazzy post card

  A handwritten note

Whoa. Ain't nobody got time for that except, well, us.
And that's mostly because we like to make very personal connections with all our customers, but also because we only send out about 150 mailers a quarter. We also find that this gives us a WAY better conversion rate, so it's worth the time in our book. This lets the customer know we are familiar with their business and have taken the time to assess what we think they might need, and where we think we can help.
Let's be clear: direct mail is super effective without a handwritten note. Even if you were to send out just the postcard, it would still be effective. Here's a pro tip (that happens to work across all platforms): the more personal and authentic you can make marketing material, the more effective it is.
Include a hand-written note in your marketing mailer

 A personal envelope.

We like to use brown paper envelopes, since it feels earthy and fits into the look of our brand.
Pro Tip: A colored envelope besides white is eye-catching and helps create more interest, which leads to a higher likelihood it gets opened.Our envelopes include a roots stamp in the bottom left corner. We hand write the address on the front, because independent studies say that handwritten envelopes have a 99.2% open rate. You probably already knew that – in this age of digital overload who doesn't get a little excited to get a hand-addressed envelope and open it first?

  A business card.

It might feel redundant, since you're probably thinking, "But wait, doesn't that just have the same information as your postcard?" Yes, but it's a lot more convenient size, which means the potential client doesn't have to save the postcard if they want to contact us. Plus, the photos and design coordinate with the postcard. That conveys a stronger sense of brand identity, which builds trust.

What should you do to design a mailer that really works?

Make it personal

Remember that pro tip from above?
We all like getting stuff just for us, and marketing is no different. We don't want to feel like a person or company is talking at us or that they are just saying the same exact thing to everyone. That feels impersonal. Marketing via direct mail is already a step closer to being personal than a banner ad or even an email, but if you can think of ways to add additional personalization, it will increase the effectiveness and number of responses.
There is no substitute for authenticity, so the more genuine you are, the better.

Include a solid offer

Your mailer should tell people what you're offering them. Is it a discount? A service? Let them know what you have to offer and why you are contacting them. The clearer your proposition and reason for reaching out are, the more effective your mailer will be. If you are too vague, people won't understand why they might need your product or service.

Strong call to action

What do you want people to do in response to your mailer? Visit your website? Follow on social media? Buy something? Give them a clear direction about where to go next and what to do. It's not effective to simply inform them about your offering, you want them to take action to buy your product or hire you for your service.

Leave a comment below or let us know at hello@rootsbeforereach.com

P.S. The MOO link is an affiliate link. If you click & buy something, you get $15 and we get $15. That's what we call a win-win.

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