In spite of the numerous ways companies can now market materials, direct mail marketing still provides a high-quality method of advertising that sees a return on investment. For those who are not clear about what direct mail entails, mailers of various kinds that are sent from businesses through the postal service to customers that have not specifically requested fall under the category of direct mail. In short, any unsolicited advertising materials fall under this category. In certain demographics, mail is still the easiest and most reliable method of delivering information to a customer. In other demographics, direct mail can be used in conjunction with other marketing methods to create the maximum impact. Either way, direct mail methods, from brochure printing to catalogs, are ways to market your product or company that are not going away any time soon.

Types of Direct Mail Marketing

Your business or product type is one of the driving factors toward the type of direct mail you want your customers to receive. It is important that your mail stands out from others of similar types and businesses in a similar industry. Another consideration for marketing material type is the response you expect from your customers. Do you want them to bring the mail into your business for a discount? A direct mail flyer may be your best bet. Do you want your customer to be able to peruse your inventory and then either mail in an order or go online to place an order? If so, online catalog printing and distribution maybe your direct mail method of choice. If you want a response through the postal service, you will need to look into online envelope printing/direct mail envelopes to include with your marketing distribution. A variety of mailers fall under the direct mail umbrella.
  • Advertisement circulars
  • Promotional postcards
  • Free samples
  • Unsolicited credit card offers
  • Promotional letters
  • Self-mailers

Customer Targeting

Some of the most successful marketing campaigns focus on customers in a targeted group. If you choose this route, the data gathering process can be an important part of your marketing design. Individuals in some demographics are more likely to read advertising mail than in other groups. Potential customers that are older or who have limited internet access still rely on mailers for information and shopping purposes. Although the amount of advertising mail tends to increase with the level of income, lower-income households tend to actually read and interact with more of the marketing materials as they are received. The type of business matters as well, since recipients tend to utilize unsolicited resources such as coupons, discounts, or other offers that are perceived as a prize or bonus over materials that are purposed for information only.

Customization Trends

One major trend that has been increasing and is expected to continue to expand into 2020 is the customization of direct mail. In the past, unsolicited mailings typically were addressed to the generic household or current resident. In recent years, mailers have become customized to the specific resident. The success of the use of customization and personalization in direct mail marketing depends on the marketing budget and the projected return on investment since there is an added time commitment and therefore, an added expense involved. Another trend in customization involves the actual mailer design. Although stock images and designs are more affordable options for volume mailing, a design that is customized specifically for your business can help your mailers stand out among the sea of information the potential customer receives in the mail.


Perhaps the most popular trend in direct mail marketing over the past few years has been a turn toward cross-media marketing. The combination of various sources of information can help ensure your bases are covered whether your information reaches individuals who prefer hard copy sources of marketing or digital means. A simple answer is to include a link to a website so the user can choose to obtain more information if interested. This route should involve enough information in the mailer itself to keep a customer interested and informed even if no digital follow-up is taken. In addition to or instead of a website, some marketing materials include a QR code or a pURL, which leads the recipient to additional material. The cross-media combination marketing model makes sense because it reaches both the tech-savvy and the strict hard copy readers.

Trendy Design Ideas

The direct mail marketing goal is to reach the right customer with the right material to lead to a product purchase, application, or visit to a business. Even if you get the material in the right hands, it is important that the recipient decides to actually look at the mailer instead of just tossing it in the trash. For this reason, good quality and eye-catching design can make a difference. Certain design trends have emerged in the past few years and are expected to continue into 2020.

For the best exposure, consider trying to include one or more of these ideas in your direct mail marketing design plan:

  • Minimalization

Everyone has heard the idea that less is more, and it is often true with flyer design. Making a design burdensome to read with too many colors, too much information, or a crowded design can reduce the chance that it gets read by the recipient.

  • Mood-Based Colors

Interior designers know that paint colors influence mood, and this idea can carry over to the design of your direct mail materials. Different colors can be the main theme depending on whether you want your customers to become relaxed, get excited, or feel sophisticated.

  • Weave a Story

Instead of a stereotypical sales pitch, try to find a way to connect with your customers by telling the story of your company or product. That connection may help the consumer remember your business when it comes time to make a purchase or plan a visit.

  • Surprising Sizes

Flyers, catalogs, or brochures usually come in a few standard sizes, and these are the most inexpensive options when it comes to postage. Weigh out the idea that it may cost a bit more to ship but could be more likely to be read if the material is larger, smaller, or an interesting shape. This can also reduce the chances that it will get lost in a pile of other marketing mailers.

  • Customer Interaction

An interesting way to connect with your customers is through interactive pieces of direct mail. This can come in many different forms that entice the recipient to manipulate or spend more time with the flyer. Interesting ideas include flyers that have been folded in a way that presents information as each section is unfolded, textures that call to mind a specific theme, stickers that can be removed or fit into a puzzle, and using scents to call a particular image to mind.

Your Source for Direct Mail Marketing Although customer interaction has changed with advances in technology, direct mail marketing programs are still viable sources of information for customers. Some customers use written materials as a primary source of shopping information, while others prefer online information. For those who prefer online information, providing a cross-media mailer can drive the recipient to a website. If you are ready to get started on your marketing materials, contact Rush Flyers today to see which products are right for your marketing campaig