How Can Direct Mail Services Help Your Small Business?

direct mail

Did you know that 70% of Americans say that mail is more personal than other forms of marketing on the internet? And 54% of people were open to receiving mail from brands they were interested in. Of course, you want to make sure that you follow proper direct mail etiquette to ensure you don’t inundate your customers.

But, if you haven’t used direct mail marketing to entice new customers and hold on to old customers yet, then you are missing out on a crucial piece of the advertising puzzle.

Keep reading to find out how you can use direct mail services to build your small business.

Use a Wide Variety of Direct Mailing Tools

The great thing about direct mail marketing is that far from being dead, it’s becoming more and more innovative in the way it markets to current customers. As you might imagine, the customers of the 21st century are quite a savvy bunch and they need to be marketed to in an intelligent and empathetic fashion.

Some direct mail formats you can use nowadays are as follows:


Remember the old days when people would send you postcards from holiday destinations around the world. It used to be so exciting to check your mailbox every day to see if something fun had arrived in it. With the advent of same-day delivery and tracking, it’s not so exciting anymore to receive packages in the mail.

But you can bring back that tradition of sending postcards to your customers. It could help bring that feeling of nostalgia into their day and it will ensure that your business stays on top of their mind for a while to come.

Door Hangers

This is another way to get at your audience. It ensures that your customer will not be able to ignore your direct mail, as they would have to open their front door at some point in the day.

Even if your customer only glances at your direct mail piece for a few seconds before they dump it, it would have been subconsciously imprinted onto their mind, so they will remember your business the next time they are searching for related products or services.

Scented Inks

This is an innovation that’s blowing direct mail services out of their normal realm.

One way to do this is by using scented inks, so even if your customer wanted to, they couldn’t ignore the heavenly lavender or rose scent emanating from your mail. You could even use nostalgic scents from your customer’s childhood if you are marketing to a particular generation, like vanilla, pine, or the smell of the ocean.

This is called sensory marketing, and it’s when you use the senses, touch, smell, and sight, to grab your customer’s attention.

A direct mail piece is great for this because it’s all about engaging the senses, definitely more so than internet marketing would be.

You could also take advantage of sensory marketing by using specially crafted paper that feels unique to the touch for your direct mailer pieces. Your customer will have to touch your direct mail at some point in time and using special paper will ensure they sense something different about your piece which could entice them to have a closer look.

Stand Out from Your Competitors

Social media marketing has inundated the world so much that direct mail has become the black sheep of the family that everyone ignores.

But that’s why direct mail services can be such a boon for your business. You can be using direct mail marketing when your competitors are not. This means that you could be marketing to your customers in a less crowded and competitive marketplace.

If yours is the only direct mail piece in the pile of mail that’s related to plumbing services or floral arrangement classes, then it’s more likely to catch your customer’s attention, than if it’s one in a pile of many.

Take advantage of this trend, by getting on the direct mail bandwagon before everyone else does.

Every Door Direct Mail

The United States Postal Service is on your side when it comes to direct mail marketing. It has a program called ‘Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM)’ that allows you to have flat mailers delivered to specific neighborhoods using carrier routes.

The advantageous thing about this is that you don’t need to have a mailing address list at all. All you need to give the USPS is a route and the USPS will deliver your mailer to every house or business on the route (or both). This makes it so convenient for you and cheap as well!

You don’t need to buy expensive mailing lists from companies. You can use EDDM to market to entire portions of a community. This works especially well if you have a local business like a retail store, a dental practice, or something similar.

Don’t Forget to Send Your Customers Something Usable

You’ve probably heard of the psychological effect where if you are kind to someone else, they feel obligated to do something kind in return. This technique is used quite a bit in business and is called reciprocity marketing.

You can use this in direct mail marketing as well, by sending over direct mail pieces that are useful to the customer in some way. It could be as simple as sending them a fridge magnet or a sticker that they could place on their fridge with a list of emergency phone numbers on it.

Or you could even send elaborate items like calendars, diaries, pens, post-it notes, or something related like that, with your business logo on it. Every time, the customer uses these items, they are going to be reminded of your business. And when it comes time to reciprocate the favor, they are more likely to seek out your business to purchase your product rather than your competitors.

Use Custom Print Effects

Think outside the box when it comes to direct mail pieces. It’s quite possible in today’s innovative market to think of something peculiar and be able to find a direct mail printing company that can create that direct mailer piece for you.

For example, maybe you are thinking about adding some holographic designs to your direct mail piece. That’s absolutely a possibility nowadays.

Or maybe you want to create a scratch-off interaction on your mailer. You can do that as well!

Become creative with your direct mail piece – if it hasn’t been done before, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be done at all! Brainstorm with your marketing team and come up with something that your customers wouldn’t have seen before.

All you need to do is try out a direct mail campaign with your new piece. If it works, you can keep going. If it doesn’t, you can scrap the project and try something else.

Follow Direct Mail Etiquette

No matter if you have been in the direct marketing field for a while now, or if you are new to it, there are certain rules and etiquettes you have to follow to ensure you don’t end up alienating yourself from your customers and potential leads. Some of them are:

Do not overwhelm your customers with mailing pieces. It’s better to send some higher-quality direct mail pieces once in a while, rather than sending poor-quality pieces every single week.

Have a mechanism for people to opt out of direct mail campaigns. The USPS has mechanisms for customers to opt out of junk mail, but make sure you have something on your mailing list to allow for that as well.

Try as much as possible to use recycled paper or post-consumer fiber to create your direct mail pieces, so you don’t become a burden on the environment. Also, showcase this on your mailing piece as well to indicate to your customer your eco-friendliness.

Many direct mail campaigns use the information they have gleaned about their customers from research and surveys. Make sure you don’t come across as stalkerish or Big brother-ish when you use this information in your direct mail campaign.

Grow Your Business Using Direct Mail Advertising

It’s easy to dismiss ‘old’ advertising mediums like TV, radio, or direct mail because social media marketing and email marketing have taken over this world. BUT, that would be akin to dismissing traditional meals like meat and potatoes because new foods like quinoa and kale have become more famous.

No matter how the world changes, direct mail services will still be as necessary for the marketing game as email marketing is.

If you wish to take advantage of direct mail services to get at your customers or leads and are located in Houston, then contact Catdi today. We can help you with all your commercial printing needs.

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Carlos Alonso - I love everything print!

Contrary to popular belief i wasn't born in a vat of magenta ink. Hope you enjoy the content on Catdi Printing. Not all articles are created equal. The quality of writing being dependent on the level of caffeine i had that day. Look forward to working with you and helping you grow your marketing skills/knowledge.Lets chat!Carlos