The term Direct Mail Marketing has been used interchangeably with various definitions. So answering the question, “What is direct mail marketing?”, seems like it should have numerous answers. However, the concept is really quite simple.  Direct Mail Marketing is marketing materials that are sent directly to the customer’s personal space.


The term mail in the phrase is often overlooked.  In today’s technology driven age, many have come to believe that Direct Mail Marketing is no longer limited to advertising done strictly through using the post office. Many think that by using the technology, marketing can be done through text messages sent to cell phones, letters or postcards mailed to the customer, email or even website ads.

The thing to remember though, is that all forms of marketing are not the same.  They often have the same purpose (to get the customer to act).  However, some may solicit a customer to buy the product, others might want to them to send off for an informational packet, while others may entice the customer to click on the contact link.  

Marketers today believe it’s vital to focus on their target audience, and they’re right. With the creation of popular online social hangouts like Facebook, world-wide opportunity opened up to marketers.  Within these social medias, a whole new way of engaging with customers was created.   

However, this isn’t Direct Mail Marketing in its truest form. Marketing directly to the customer involves sending the advertisement straight to his or her residence.  There is no middleman other than the post office representative.

Retail stores engage in this form of marketing all the time.  So do companies wanting customers to apply for credit with them. This type of mail is a solicitation for business where marketers send out postcards (the least expensive route to take) or letters. They also use ads - some printed up as flyers and placed in envelopes. Using this strategy is one of the most cost effective ways you can advertise your products and services.

To have a successful campaign, marketers don’t simply send out random mailings hoping for a response. Instead, they aim for a specific group of people, sometimes referred to as a demographic, or target audience. While people will ignore unwanted text messages, delete unread email ads, and ignore website advertisements, they will read their mail.  Or at the very least hold it in their hands and scan it before tossing it.

What medium used in this type of marketing has been proven to have the largest number or responses leading to the most successful campaigns? Easy, postcards sent to the customer.

Postcards are cheap to buy (or to create yourself), cheap to send, and can be sent at a discount using bulk or standard mail.  Another perk is that there is no envelope to open, so the customer doesn’t have to take any further steps to get your information in front of their eyes. Because space is limited, postcards require marketers to get straight to the meat of the message and this results in a much stronger message and a larger response rates.