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Thinking Inside the Mailbox: Creative Direct Mail Campaign Ideas
Direct Mail
February 21, 2023

Thinking Inside the Mailbox: Creative Direct Mail Campaign Ideas

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Stephanie Donelson

Direct mail is a valuable part of any omnichannel marketing strategy. Our own research in the 2023 State of Direct Mail shows that in an omnichannel marketing strategy 72% of marketers said they pair direct mail with email, 46% pair it with paid social, 45% pair it with SMS/MMS, 25% pair direct mail with a podcast, and 21% pair it with organic social media. Direct mail works wonderfully alongside digital marketing channels.

But, like any marketing tactic it takes some creativity behind it to get consumers to act. In this blog, we're sharing five creative direct mail campaign ideas that can increase ROI and work in tandem with digital tactics for the same campaign.

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Source: Who's Mailing What!

1. Meet the experts

There's a reason talk shows and podcasts feature celebrities, influencers, and experts. People like tuning in to hear what they have to say! If you have guest speakers or industry influencers on your webinars, podcasts, or co-authoring eBooks, tell people about it by sending out a piece of direct mail to encourage them to attend the webinar or download your eBook. You could also send out direct mail to announce keynote speakers at upcoming conferences, like the Craft Brewers Conference example above.

Think about the sequencing of messaging and mediums that could be used here. For example, you could send a postcard three months in advance to kick-off registration, follow it with an email a week later featuring other speakers, and then a message from the keynote speaker on social media. When it gets closer, another mailer could land two weeks before the event, an email two days before, and social media posts counting down to the big event and live streaming from it.

Naked Wines is a great example. The DTC wine brand sent mailings with quotes from winemakers to highlight the benefits of purchasing wines from them and creating a creator-to-customer connection.

Recommended reading: How to use direct mail for customer acquisition

2. The sneak peek

Tease upcoming product releases with a piece of direct mail. You could blur an image of the product and have them scan a QR code to see the real image or watch a video about the new product. Or, you could send out a postcard featuring quotes from beta testers or customers who got early access that shares what they love or how features have evolved and solved customer challenges. The mailer could also feature a discount code or early access offer by joining a waitlist to generate buzz and pre-sell your new product or service. Let your customers feel in the loop by sending out a sneak peek every time your business is about to launch a new service or product.

Beauty company Ulta used a mailer to create excitement and buzz around its holiday collection and to prep customers for the busy buying season.

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thredUP tested a message from the CEO.

3. A letter from the CEO

We often see the letter from the CEO in an email format and often when the brand has made a mistake. Flip the script and have the CEO send out a letter thanking customers for their business, talking about what they love about working for the brand, and maybe sharing the vision for the brand's future. These types of mailers are also fantastic when the brand is making significant changes that should be explained from the head honcho. This would be an excellent candidate for an A/B test, seeing if a message from the CEO boosts sales when sent alongside a promo code.

In fact, read how thredUP A/B tested that specific thing and increased ROI 128%! Read the thredUP case study.

Of course, it is important to send out these kinds of mailings sparingly. Still, occasional letters direct from the CEO can create a stronger connection between the brand and customers.

Recommended reading: How to use direct mail for customer retention

4. Hyper-personalized mail

Research shows that 80 percent of customers are more likely to purchase products or services from brands that provide personalized experiences and 79 percent of customers only engage with offers that have been personalized.

Not all direct mail is B2C, B2B companies can get in on sending hyper-personalized mail! For example, iExit sent personalized direct mail to businesses listed in its database of the best stops on U.S. interstates. The mailings let businesses know how to claim their listings and advertise on nearby interstate exits. This is an excellent example of using customer information to offer them products and services that could be useful to them.

Recommended reading: How to use trigger-based direct mail marketing

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5. Interactive direct mail

Direct mail can be so much more than a simple message written on a piece of paper. An example of excellent use of interactive direct mailing is Eyebobs, an eyeglasses company offering stylish eyewear on a budget. Eyebobs includes an eye chart in their direct mail so that customers can test their eyes right then and there. This kind of interactive direct mail is a fantastic way to engage both new and existing customers in a fun way.

Slide into your customers' DMs

Well, their direct mail messages, that is! Learn how to get started with direct mail marketing on episode 7 of the Lobcast Podcast:

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