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Once Again, Direct Mail Isn’t Dead


Direct mail is still a thing. In fact, it’s a pretty big thing if recent data is any indicator.

Marketers are still dumping a ton of money into direct mail – more than $38.5 billion last time we checked. That makes it the largest portion of local advertising in the U.S., in case you were curious. Nationwide, advertisers spend about $167 per person on average. They also sell an average of $2,095 in goods and services. Not a bad return.

Why are we giving you this friendly reminder? Because direct mail can be a heck of a lot of fun creatively as well. Here at ABC, we tend to think beyond the oversized postcard or sales letter (snooze). Here are some ways to make your direct mail more exciting and effective …

Folds Are Fun

Take your target audience on a journey with a creatively folded piece, where each panel reveals a little more messaging. These types of mailings are more memorable because they contain a story that takes just enough effort to push your brand to top of mind. There is infinite creativity involved here to show just one example, but the point is to think beyond your typical postcard and distribute something that inspires some natural curiosity.

Enter the Third Dimension

3D mailings can take a lot of forms, but basically we’re talking about something cool that fits in a box – and not just the Amazon-grade corrugated paper people are used to. The box itself can be made to stand out with slick visual elements and even messaging. With these, you have to remember the three-dimensional, well-branded prize inside is only half of the attention-grab. The messaging inside and out is more likely to get digested based on the atypical presentation compared to other crap people get in the mail.

Actual Stuff

This is when it’s time to break the bank. When you’ve got a lucrative product or service that just needs just a little conversion to make it profitable, start thinking bigger. Yeti tumblers and Bluetooth speakers are cute, but you can make an even bigger impression with practical, but maybe a little pricey, gifts. Targeting the C-suite? Send them a putter for their next golf outing. Looking to get the attention of local decision-makers? Get them tickets to the next Big Game. Even generous gift cards can be pretty dope.

Recap: Direct mail is a thing and it doesn’t have to be boring. However you choose to run your next direct mail campaign, don’t forget to have some fun with it.

About The Author

A journalist by trade, Shane tells stories that connect brands with target audiences and inspire them to act. He’s a writer, not a copy machine, and that approach brings exceptional content to every print or digital piece he pens.

Shane taps into his past as a reporter and editor to develop clear messages that resonate in every medium, be it blog or brochure, sponsored content or script.

Daily newspapers developed a habit for idea generation, attention to detail and knack for question-asking. His background as a magazine and web editor keeps client communications grammatically sound and effective.

Shane’s word-based deliverables range from long-form features to concise digital copy to persuasive prose. He’s been on both sides of the PR pitch and puts some muscle behind ABC’s media relations.