How to combine direct mail and email to deliver a killer marketing campaign

A multi-platform strategy creates an engaging one-two punch campaign that’ll have current customers coming back for more and win over new ones

With the rise of digital communication, it seemed direct mail would become obsolete; then it seemed social media marketing would make email redundant…

But these different marketing strategies don’t have to be in competition with each other – direct mail and email can work in tandem to deliver a killer one-two punch campaign that’ll have current customers coming back for more and win over new ones.

The stats speak for themselves: according to the Royal Mail MarketReach It’s all about Mail and Email report, when mail was used in tandem with an email campaign, 13% more consumers were driven to that brand’s website – while campaigns that included mail were 27% more likely to deliver top-ranking sales performance, The Private Life of Mail report found.

Both mediums require a similarly informed and strategic approach to achieve maximum impact and both can be used to supercharge each other’s effectiveness. Delivering the same message across multiple platforms will make extra sure your target market pays attention.

But why still use mail in a digital era and how can you achieve maximum impact by using it alongside email? Find out with these seven tips.

1. Mail is hard to ignore

Emails are much easier for your audience to dismiss than physical mail and to many, promotional emails have become synonymous with spam – 70% of consumers have been influenced to make an online purchase as a result of receiving direct mail, according to Kantar TNS/ 2017.

Marketing that’s fallen through your letterbox has to be physically interacted with. If it’s well-designed and targeted that may be all the time you need to grab their attention.

Tangible marketing content is more powerful than ever in an increasingly digital world and connects with consumers in a different way. It’s also effective across generations – millenials are just as likely as retirees to be engaged by direct mail. In fact, more than one in four 15-24 year-olds have purchased as a result – a strikingly similar number to the 55-66 year-old demographic, according to The Life Stages of Mail report from RoyalMail MarketReach.

2. Tailor your campaign

Don’t just send out a barrage of meaningless material and hope for the best – there are many ways to tailor your email and direct mail to increase the chances of a response.

Consumers are far more likely to interact with content that’s relevant to them. Get to know your core customers inside and out by profiling them through market research and loyalty or memberships schemes that build a picture of their habits and behaviours.

Those who have an emotional response to mail are likely to act upon it. Of the respondents surveyed, 92% said the “mail they found useful or interesting” made them feel something with an astonishing 92% of that number going on to act on that feeling.

3. Be strategic

A constant feed of physical and digital mail will start to lose its impact – something you see frequently is easy to ignore, while something exceptional and unusual is far more likely to catch your attention.

Deliver your campaign when you know it will have maximum impact and produce maximum return on investment. When is your target consumer going to be most likely to buy, or be most in need of your product or service?

4. Stand out from the crowd

You’re always competing with other brands for consumers’ attention, so you better shout the loudest.

While emails rely on the art of creating a powerful subject line, direct mail provides an opportunity to get creative and get noticed. Your brand should be instantly recognisable without having to read the content, while the nature of the communication should be obvious at a glance: if it’s to promote an offer, make it big, make it bold, make it noticeable.

As mentioned above, an email has to work a lot harder to get noticed. The subject line should catch the reader’s attention and say in the punchiest way possible what to expect from the communication. You have to give them a reason to click through and not just to consign it to the trash.

5. But don’t be annoying…

Contemporary consumers have got used to the traditional marketing strategies brands use to grab their attention – they’re not so easily won over.

Cheap attention grabbing tricks, an overly-pushy or excessively promotional style can put people off and look like spam. Consumers want to feel they are choosing to buy a product or service that they know will benefit them, not being forced to buy something they don’t need.

6. Be concise and compelling

Keep it simple and make the most relevant content the most noticeable. The longer your audience is forced to read through waffle the more likely they are to become disinterested and not take action.

Create short, punchy and engaging copy that compels the reader to go online, make that call or go out and visit your premises to redeem a limited time offer – create a sense of urgency.

And at the end of your communication or in an obvious place on physical mail you need to provide a CALL TO ACTION! Include a website link, phone number or form and encourage them act.

7. Vary your output

This goes for style and the nature of your marketing – sending out the same type of marketing again and again will grow tiresome and be easy for your audience to ignore.

You don’t need to create a whole new campaign every time, but a range of templates that you can use cyclically will keep your communication looking fresh and noticeable. Likewise, the content or aim of your marketing shouldn’t always be the same. Always trying to sell can come across as desperate – informative content such as newsletters can help build a relationship with your customers and create an engaging narrative around your brand. This could be in the form of updates on new store openings, new product launches or information about causes you support.

Ultimately, whatever you do needs to be driven by delivering genuine value for customers. Don’t just send more stuff; make sure your communications could make a real difference.

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