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Direct Mail
August 8, 2023

Best Direct Mail Campaigns: Direct Mail and Email Marketing Combined

Stephanie Donelson

Each month we feature some pieces from our best direct mail campaigns collection that inspire our own direct mail marketing efforts, and we hope they inspire yours as well. 

Today, we’re showing off some exemplary brands that are combining two powerful marketing channels: direct mail and email!

We know that 72% of marketers use direct mail with email and these featured brands are showing us how it’s done. Let’s take a closer look at how these three brands are using direct mail and email to drive action, retain customers, and increase their overall campaign ROI.

Two-page letter from San Francisco Zoo
An email from San Francisco Zoo

San Francisco Zoo

The San Francisco Zoo is pairing a letter campaign with an email to encourage recipients to renew their membership. Let’s see how their two channels work well together :

  • Copy: Come on, you know this copy used by the San Francisco Zoo is adorable. “Don’t leave us hanging” next to a picture of a lemur or some penguins asking, “Waddle we do without you?” It’s cute and it humanizes the brand. 
  • CTA: The San Francisco Zoo understand the formats they’re using and move their CTA around appropriately. In the email, it’s a simple button that lives above the fold. In the letter, the recipient can send their response back by mail or they go online or call the zoo to renew their membership. The focus on “Renew Today” is used frequently in the two-page letter, but only used as a last call-to-action in the email campaign. 
  • USP: An interesting thing to note here is the different tone and structure between the two channels. The letter focuses more on how the membership supports the zoo and then the second page outlines the benefits for the member; whereas the email is focused more on the member’s benefits and pricing. 
  • Branding: It’s also interesting to see how the San Francisco Zoo changes up its branding depending on the marketing channel. While the orange and green coloring is a part of its branding, it’s neat to see which channel gets which color. The orange is bright and attention-grabbing when printed but might be a bit overwhelming if used in digital communications. 
A postcard from Valvoline
An email from Valvoline


Valvoline, an automotive services company, is pairing direct and digital marketing to drive appointments. Let’s take a closer look at its campaign: 

  • Offer: The offers featured in these marketing messages are stated front and center. The recipient knows exactly how much they’ll save during their service. 
  • Copy: Both the email and direct mail piece reinforce the message that the recipient can get their oil changed in just 15 minutes - and can even stay in the car during the service. Their copy really focuses on the benefits of bringing the vehicle to Valvoline as they know the recipient’s time is valuable and Valvoline wants to be seen as a trusted partner. 
  • Local business info: It is somewhat surprising to see Valvoline include hours, store locations, and a link for directions in the email version and not also on the mailer. This would have been a great place to include dynamic content, such as a map, on the mailer to show how close the store is to the recipient - as well as hours so they can quickly figure out when to book their appointment. 
A postcard from VCA Animal Hospitals
An email from VCA Animal Hospitals

VCA Animal Hospitals

VCA Animal Hospitals, a family of hometown animal hospitals, is making sure customers stay on top of their pets’ health and wellness by reaching out via direct mail and email.  Let’s take a closer look at what elements are working out for VCA Animal Hospitals’ marketing campaign:

  • Personalization: Both the direct mail piece and email reference the pet’s name to personalize the piece. It’s time for Moko’s appointment. Not only does this make the campaign more personable to the pet’s owners, it also makes sure owners are booking appointments for the right pet in case they have other pets in the household. 
  • Images: We cannot ignore the cute imagery featured in this campaign!  Any pet owner would stop and see what this communication is about. We have to assume VCA Animal Hospitals is also personalizing the imagery based on the pet, such as a dog for this example and then using an image of a cat for cat owners. 
  • Copy: The tone of this campaign is friendly but also professional. VCA Animal Hospitals wants the owner to have peace of mind regarding the health of their pet, and the best way to do that is by scheduling timely services. VCA Animal Hospitals makes sure to repeat the message of “Regular vetinerary visits give you peace of mind knowing you’re taking the best possible care of your pet,” on both the mailpiece and email message. 
  • CTA: The CTAs on both the email and mailer are straightforward, you can call the phone number on the postcard, or you can call or book online via the email communication. 

Recommended resources

2023 State of Direct Mail Consumer Insights

The Modern Marketer’s Guide to Omnichannel Marketing

The Modern Marketer’s Guide to Customer Retention Using Direct Mail

Lobcast Podcast: Marketing Mail & Mulled Wine

Increased ROI is always in fashion: How thredUP increased ROI 128%

Meet your marketing goals one direct mail campaign at a time

When it comes to creating a great direct mail campaign, you don’t have to start from scratch. Explore our best direct mail collection to find ideas of what you can incorporate into your next mailpiece or what elements you should be testing to further optimize your own marketing campaigns.

Curious to learn more about using direct mail alongside email marketing in your organization? Talk to one of our direct mail experts to see how easy it is to get started with Lob’s direct mail automation software. 

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