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October 10, 2022

Best Holiday Direct Mail Campaigns

by 
Stephanie Donelson

It’s the most spooktacular time of the year right now, which means the winter holidays are just around the corner. Today we’re featuring festive examples of direct mail campaigns that bring cheer and deliver results, so fire up some hot chocolate and get ready to be inspired.  

Last month we took a closer look at letter-based campaigns to identify why those campaigns are high performers based on their design elements, copywriting, personalization, and CTAs; and in this month’s breakdown of our best-of direct mail collection we’re analyzing what elements make these holiday campaigns a success. 

Have a holly, jolly direct mail campaign

We expect a rise in marketing campaigns around the holiday season but these campaigns still need to be well-coordinated and planned out. Just because people are in shopping mode doesn’t mean they’ll act on every ad or marketing message they see.

Let’s examine three brands that are sending effective holiday direct mail campaigns.

Bath & Body Works

We can practically smell this mailer through the internet! This piece from Bath & Body Works has the holidays written all over it, both figuratively and literally. The elements making this mailer work include:

  • Offer: This mailer has three offers on it but they don’t distract from each other. You can see the free gift offer and then two additional offers inside - compelling people to open the mail to find out what the other offers are.
  • CTA: The CTA is straightforward: Find your perfect Christmas gifts. They even spell out the three ways you can shop with them, visit a store, shop online and pick up, or shop online and have it delivered.
  • Design: The colors are representative of the holiday season with a mix of red, gold, wintry blues, and snowscapes. The colors make you want to get cozy and light up some of their holiday candles and wear their signature scents. There are also several smiling elements, like the cozy socks and the little snowmen, which draws people’s attention and makes them want to reciprocate the smile. One other thing to note on the design is that there is a lot of text, but it all serves a purpose to name the products for easier shopping. 

Ulta

Ulta is known for their print marketing that beautifully displays their beauty products. This direct mail holiday campaign has some winning elements:

  • Copy: Ulta puts all of its text in area but it serves a purpose: keep the front cover uncluttered with words. If any of the products on the front caught your attention, you can find the product listing near the address label. The copy is also to the point as this is the holiday gift guide.
  • Offer: Ulta is straight the point again with its offer by telling recipients to find a 20% off coupon inside the gift guide. 
  • Branding: This mailer feels festive for the holidays but also features the brand’s signature pink coloring for immediate brand recognition. 
  • Sustainability feature: One other thing that Ulta added is the recycling symbol so recipients know how to properly and responsibly dispose of this mailer after they’ve flipped through and cut out their 20% off coupon.

USPS

This marketing mailer from the USPS is both informational and engaging. It offers a great mix of product-related information but also invites recipients in with the promise of a heartwarming holiday video.  Let’s examine what’s working in this direct mail piece from the pros who handle direct mail every single day:

  • Copy: USPS is doing a fantastic job of weaving in holiday-themed words into this campaign to evoke certain emotions and trigger nostalgia. We all want our holidays to be magical and have lots of sparkle, now we just have to find out how the USPS is involved in that! The postal service also does a good job of keeping the copy to a minimum, with most messages being delivered in two lines of text.
  • CTA choices: The USPS makes it super easy for recipients to learn more about the services and products available by offering two choices: scan a QR code or type out a very short URL. 
  • Imagery: All of the imagery used in this mailer is holiday-focused and features people in some capacity. The one use of an icon, the person holding their phone to scan a QR code, works well with the design and isn’t distracting.
  • Branding: Like the Ulta example, the USPS is applying its signature blue and white colors to this mailer and it only works in its favor for a wintertime campaign. 

Holiday marketing campaigns can be a staple of any yearly strategy to encourage repeat purchases, acquire new customers when they’re primed to shop, or simply remind customers about your line of products or services. Like you saw in the examples above, it’s good to have fun with your campaigns, make them cheery and bright, and always be straightforward about the offer that’s inside. 

Recommended reading:

21 Festive Holiday Marketing Ideas That Drive Revenue

Your Guide to Holiday Direct Mail: 7 Tips for Successful Campaigns

Best Practices for Direct Mail Copywriting

Instant inspiration for your next direct mail campaign

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 campaigns.

This blog provides general information and discussion about direct mail marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.

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