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Direct mail letterbox vs email inbox

You’ve got (direct) mail

Sixty years ago, The Marvelettes sang Please Mr Postman, the first Motown song that would reach number one on the Hot 100 pop singles chart and then go on to be covered by such greats as The Carpenters and The Beatles.

And who can forget Elvis recording his own homage to the power of letter writing in his hit song Return To Sender.

With the advent of technology, and specifically email, few suspected Direct Mail would survive as long as these hits.

But they were wrong. 

According to Australia Post research, 81 per cent of people read their direct mail immediately, compared to 63 per cent of those who receive an email.

In a world where we’re fatigued by computer pings and dings, Direct Mail is standing the test of time.

For organisations considering Direct Mail campaigns, the message from your clients is loud and clear: Their inbox is full. Their mailbox isn’t.

You have three seconds to get noticed.

So how do you improve Direct Mail response rates? 

Handy direct mail tips and tricks

The data

  • Clean up your database: Ensure that all prospective/current customer information is correct and up-to-date.
  • Define your target audience: Who are they and what’s important to them? Don’t use jargon. Speak to them in their language. 
  • A focused approach: Targeting certain demographics increases the likelihood that the recipient is interested in your product/service, which means a greater 
    return on investment. 

The creative

  • Impactful copy: Use an attention-grabbing headline followed by a clear, simple and concise message that is relevant. Hire a copywriter – it will be worth the investment
  • Bold design: Use bold colours, strong imagery and easy-to-read fonts. 
  • Be personal: Variable data printing lets you personalise your direct mail, so utilise it! If the information is too personal or has an exclusive offer, 
    we can professionally print their details on an envelope
  • Call-to-action: Don’t assume your reader knows what to do next. Call a certain number, visit a website? Make your customers’ next step obvious.

Testing and measuring

Even once best practice is followed, testing is the only way to find out what works best.

Test multiple offers, test various creative executions. Test your solutions no matter what the outcome – positive or negative.  After all, you could make a successful campaign even more powerful.


Who will be measuring the response? How? Get an accurate measurement tool in place before your marketing hits the mailboxes.

Australia Post commissioned Accenture to produce a research report Mail’s Role in the Digital Age which found mail can help you build your brand and improve customer engagement.

The survey of 2015 Australian consumers found that Direct Mail:

  • Creates a connection: Companies that take the time to send mail can make customers
    feel valued. Mail gets your brand in the hands of your customers, engaging all 5 senses: sight,
    sound, smell, touch and taste, to create an emotional connection.
  • Builds trust: Mail is preferred for important information, and deemed more trustworthy than emails.
    Help gain an advantage over your competition by using mail to reinforce your trusted status.
  • Mail is personalised: You can personalise your message to make it more appealing.
    For example: include the recipient’s closest store location.
  • Mail is targeted: You can target specific audiences within your local market with tailored messages for greater impact.
  • Mail is measurable: You can track the response rate, effectiveness and the return on investment of your direct mail campaigns.

Surprisingly, the Australia Post survey revealed even digital natives – those brought up during the age of digital technology – appreciate
the value of direct mail even more than those older than them.

When it comes to new ways to get noticed, sometimes old ways, like old songs, resonate.

In the words of The Marvelettes: Oh yes, wait a minute Mr Postman.

Worldwide is much more than print. Request a quote or contact your local Worldwide Centres today to discuss our passion for Direct Mail.

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