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  • Writer's pictureJessica Lovejoy

Creating an Effective Direct Mail Campaign

Throughout the past two years, our world has gone more digitally focused than ever before as a result of the pandemic. In August 2021, a direct mail advertising industry report by IBISWorld, mentions the direct mail industry has achieved significant advancements in this time by aligning itself as an evolving marketing practice.

With the rise of social media, online shopping, and other digital channels, it has become more challenging for businesses to find effective ways to reach their audience. Digital fatigue has become a real issue for many. This has positioned direct mail campaigns to stand out more than ever before.

Direct mail refers to advertising mailed directly to homes or businesses. It's a powerful way for companies to promote their brand with a tangible message that can't be missed.

The primary goal of an effective direct mail campaign is to get the attention of your target audience to increase awareness and generate leads. This guide will go over how to design an effective direct mail campaign, what printing options there are, and how you can track the effectiveness of your campaign.

Our Six Guided Steps:

1. Know Your Audience. Before you start designing your mailer, it's important to know exactly who you're designing for. Your audience can be divided into two types: a general audience and a narrow, target audience. A general audience is a large group of people who you won't be targeting specifically. They will have similar habits and interests, so your message should continue to resonate with them regardless of their demographic. You want to make sure that no matter how many times your ad is seen, it's as effective as the first time. On the other hand, a narrow target audience is a smaller group of people to who you will be sending more targeted mail. These are people that you will know more about, and therefore be able to speak to better. See more about Key Dynamic’s process in our Step 1 - Priority Selection blog that explains how our team narrows the search and believes data is one of the most imperative parts of a campaign.

2. Conduct Competitive Research. Once you know who your target audience is, research similar businesses in your field. What are they offering? How are they offering to make your target audience’s life better? Look at their brand, mailers, websites, social media pages and identify what business tactics they are using so that you may also employ them to keep pace with a competitive and dynamic marketing landscape.

Don’t only focus on your competitors' strengths, however. Take note of their mistakes so that you can also avoid similar setbacks. A proper analysis will not only give you a competitive advantage but will also help you better understand your target audience.

3. Develop a Strategy. Now that you know who your audience is and what they want to see, it's time to develop a strategy for your direct mail campaign. The goal of every direct mail campaign is to get the attention of your audience, which means that you will need to be targeting them with relevant content for their needs. A good way to keep these two things in mind is by keeping true to your brand values; after all, this campaign is supposed to reflect what you stand for and offer as a company.

4. Choose Your Mailing Pieces. Now that you know who your audience is and what they want, it's time to choose the right piece of mail to send. If you're sending general mail to all of your customers, you'll want to consider an envelope that can hold multiple pieces of mail (think catalogs or magazines). On the other hand, if you're targeting a smaller audience with more personalized information, then a single self-mailer piece will work best.

Here is where you decide mailing frequency and amount of touchpoints to the prospective client. This will depend on the audience and how targeted your mailings are. If you know that the individual needs your services immediately, then timely outreach with detailed content will make all the difference. If you're targeting a wider audience, then multiple connections will create stronger brand awareness for a longer time.

5. Design Your Piece(s). The design process is all about crafting your message in the best possible way to appeal to your audience. It's important to remember that you are designing for people, not computers. If it looks good, it will feel good, and if it feels good, then they're more likely to open your mailer. You can see how our team crafts mailers for our clients in our Step 2 - Creative Focus blog.

6. Test Your Designs. While you want your message to look great, remember that not all of your viewers will connect with a more design-forward message. Once your campaign begins, you should research to confirm your decisions up to this point were the correct ones.

When beginning a direct mail campaign with our clients, we take several steps to ensure a campaign will be successful. Beginning with conducting an initial assessment of your geographic area and confirming exclusivity of your campaign to ensure the highest response rate possible. At Key Dynamics, we only work with one industry per area. For example, working with multiple law firms in the same district and jurisdiction will only hinder our client's results.

After the campaign begins, we then continue to monitor their progress through multiple metrics, including A/B testing templates between direct mail advertisements as well as across additional multi-functional marketing platforms. Check out our latest blog, Testing Your Direct Mail Campaign, to see more details on how we keep our client's ROI at the highest possible rate.


Are you ready to take your direct mail marketing to the next level? Reach out and receive a sample of our campaigns, along with an estimated prospect database that your company could expect to reach on a monthly basis. On average, our direct mail campaigns bring a 3-5% call return rate.

At Key Dynamics, we welcome any feedback, advice, or business consultation our clients may have. Our dedicated team is always available to answer any questions you may have. Drop us a line: or give us a call today at (888) 855-0402.

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