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The Direct Mail Marketing Cheat Sheet

Master direct mail marketing effortlessly with Lob’s cheat sheet. Discover advanced audience targeting, automation, personalization, and analytics strategies. Learn more!

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Welcome to the ultimate crib notes for direct mail marketing! In a world where marketing can sometimes feel like an endless pop quiz, we want to help you ace the real test – creating direct mail campaigns that not only get a gold star but also prompt stellar responses, drive action, and leave a lasting impression. 

This isn't your average crib notes situation; this Direct Mail Marketing Cheat Sheet is your “you don’t have to worry about getting caught using it” guide to crushing your direct mail marketing goals. So, grab your pencils because direct mail marketing class is in session.

Audience Targeting / Segmentation

The first step in direct mail success is knowing your audience inside and out. By building highly targeted audiences, you increase the chances of getting responses and conversions. You can target ready-to-buy consumers, append existing data with USPS-verified postal addresses and demographic information, and identify new prospects and leads to expand your reach. 

Use prospect and customer attributes to segment campaigns based on behavior, purchase history, engagement level, interests, preferences, and demographics. Doing so can help your direct mail pieces hit the bullseye with your prospects and customers every time. 🎯


Say goodbye to long lead times and hello to efficiency. Direct mail automation is your key to success in executing direct mail campaigns. Over half of marketers are already using technology platforms to streamline their efforts. With automation, you can execute campaigns at any frequency and scale, from one to millions, create and send campaigns in days (not weeks or months), and even schedule ahead, send last-minute, or trigger campaigns based on customer behaviors or events. 🚀

Predicting costs becomes a breeze with flat-rate pricing, and you can mitigate delays and issues using a nationwide Print Delivery Network. Plus, you can track every step of your direct mail piece's journey from print to delivery, ensuring that every piece of mail is delivered where and when you expect it to be.


Data is your secret weapon for crafting personalized and effective direct mail campaigns. Most marketers are satisfied with their data, but integrations can take your efforts to the next level. Use custom triggers for events (such as making a purchase or subscribing to a newsletter), dates (e.g., birthdays, anniversaries, subscription renewals), and segments (like inactive users or those at risk of churning). This allows you to personalize your campaigns to maximize conversion, segment your audience for more targeted messaging, track and attribute revenue from your direct mail campaigns, and analyze results and ROI. 📈


Supercharge your direct mail campaigns by leveraging the power of integrations with your favorite marketing tools. Just like pieces of a puzzle, these integrations come together to give you more bang for your marketing bucks. Integrations can seamlessly enhance your campaigns, making them more effective and efficient. 🧩


Consumers crave personalization, and you can't afford to ignore their needs. Go beyond simply using the recipient's name by personalizing your direct mail campaigns based on behaviors, demographics, and geolocation. When your recipients feel like you're speaking directly to them, they're more likely to engage with your brand's message.

Get extra credit points 💯: Read our Modern Marketer’s Guide to Personalization


Over three-quarters of marketers agree that direct mail delivers the best ROI, response, and conversion rates. To ensure your campaigns are performing at their best, consider A/B, cohort, and multivariate testing. You can continuously improve your direct mail marketing strategy by iterating as you go and applying what you've learned to future campaigns.

Earn a gold star ⭐ : Get the Optimizing Direct Mail for Maximum Results guide

Tracking / Attribution

Tracking your campaign's success is essential. Nearly half of marketers measure conversion using customer activity within a time period and the use of QR codes. Implementing tactics like QR codes, PURLs, and UTM parameters for tracking and campaign attribution will give you invaluable insights into what's working and what needs improvement.

Security and Compliance

Protecting your direct mail data is paramount. Choose a direct mail automation provider with industry-leading security trusted by Fortune 500 companies. Ensure it provides SOC 2 Type 2 and HIPAA compliance and adheres to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Then, you can rest easy knowing your data is in safe hands.


Consumers are increasingly conscious of sustainability, and your direct mail campaigns can be earth-friendly, too. 🌱

Send more sustainable mail by reducing waste and errors, minimizing environmental impact, ensuring your campaigns are carbon neutral, and building environmental, social, and governance (ESG) accountability into every campaign. Using responsibly sourced raw materials and paper stock that contains post-consumer waste (PCW) pulp fiber can further minimize your environmental footprint. 

Wrap up

Direct mail marketing remains a valuable and effective tool in every marketer's channel strategy. By following the tips and strategies in this direct mail marketing cheat sheet, you'll be on your way to crafting compelling, personalized, and efficient direct mail campaigns that get outstanding results. 

About Lob

Lob is the only direct mail automation platform for the digital age. Lob's platform automates the direct mail execution process for enterprises at any scale - from creation, printing, postage, delivery, and sustainability with end-to-end analytics and campaign attribution. Over 12,000 businesses trust Lob to transform their direct mail into intelligent mail.

Find out more about Lob’s automated direct mail marketing at https://lob.com.

Sources: 2023 State of Direct MailState of Direct Mail Consumer Insights 2023

Ready to see Lob in action? 

Our best-in-class automation, audience and analytics platform coupled with our expansive print delivery network enables you to execute direct mail campaigns at any frequency and scale, from one to millions.

Direct mail automation resources add to power your success

The 2023 State of Direct Mail

The 2023 State of Direct Mail

The 2023 State of Direct Mail report reveals how marketers use direct mail to drive growth, how they measure the impact, and how marketing budgets are changing.

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2022 State of Direct Mail

2022 State of Direct Mail

Our 2022 survey of 150+ marketing leaders across the US sheds new light on the approach, effectiveness and best practices of modern direct mail marketers.

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Modernizing Direct Mail Communications: A Fireside Chat With Oscar Health

Modernizing Direct Mail Communications: A Fireside Chat With Oscar Health

Gain insight into how Oscar Health implements technology in a way that best serves their organization’s needs, not just immediately, but in the long term.

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