Direct mail marketing is as relevant as ever. In fact, according to PM Newswire, the global market is expected to reach a value of 66.28 billion by 2025, at a compound annual growth rate of 2%.
This steady growth can be attributed to several factors, including the strategy’s increasing novelty, better integration with digital tactics, technological innovations, and the use of data analytics
Its many advantages enhance the popularity of direct mail marketing, including personalisation, memorableness, measurability, and increased reach.
Simply employing any direct mail marketing strategy for your business may not be enough. Fortunately, the medium lends itself well to ingenuity. This article will show you 11 brilliant examples of direct mail marketing.
Examples include anything from simple tactics that you can do right away to more complex approaches that may require you more resources and planning to pull off. Either way, these will give you ideas on how to make direct mail marketing work for you.
World Water Day Letter by Green Belgium
To celebrate World Water Day, companies and the press received a letter from Green Belgium. However, the paper appeared blank at first glance, apart from instructions to place it underwater. Once wet, the piece of paper reveals its true message.
This is an excellent example of the potential of direct mail marketing. The letter demands the participation of the recipient, but it also highlights the importance of water. To no one’s surprise, this innovative use of direct mail became a resounding success.
KitKat Chunky by Nestlé
Asking people to come by for a freebie is not exactly a new concept. Nestlé added a twist to this already effective strategy. To raise interest, they sent a personalised card apologising for a parcel that could not be delivered. As the recipient reads on, they discover that they are entitled to a free chocolate bar that is just too chunky to be placed in the mail.
The combination of tactics in this one direct mail strategy engages the customer in a way that cannot be done in the digital realm. Plus, the fact that they only give out KitKat Chunky bars to people who actually show up makes the entire campaign cost-efficient as well.
The campaign was so effective that it won the prestigious Design and Art Direction or D&AD Awards.
Mail Helmet by Smart
As a provider of e-bikes to cyclists, Smart has a pretty good idea of how its audience views sustainability. They masterfully showed this when they sent out a recycled cardboard sheet with a cut-out pattern in the shape of a bike helmet. Recipients can then assemble their own eco-friendly helmets.
This campaign promotes both sustainability. and bike safety – arguably two of the most essential things for cyclists. They managed to do this with minimal investment and a lot of creativity. They indeed exhibited their understanding of the target audience, and the campaign succeeded. It received an enormous positive reaction on social media platforms.
Stadium in a Box by Nike
Nike knows that their brand is directly related to athletics. The shoemaker used their packaging for a creative campaign to promote sports to younger audiences. Their shoeboxes showcased a stadium print inside.
The top lid showed the sky, the four walls showed rows upon rows of bleachers, and the bottom panel showed a football field. The box even had embedded sound chips, so the children opening them were greeted with roaring crowds.
This campaign piqued kids' imagination and pulled them closer to sports participation. They also strengthened the association of their brand to athletic performance in a subtle but effective way.
Intruder Box by ADT
ADT is a Chilean security company that offers security systems and other related services. To emphasise the importance and urgency of their services, they slipped in cardboard sheets under apartment doors in Chile. The cardboard sheet then popped up and turned into a 3D box. The following is written on the side of the box, “BREAKING INTO YOUR APARTMENT IS EASIER THAN YOU THINK.”
Imagine seeing this inside your home. It will undeniably stir a degree of fright. In fact, some people thought there were real intruders inside their homes.
While this campaign did not necessarily elicit positive reactions, it made an impression. It highlighted the need for better security, which had always been the goal of ADT.
Puzzles by Heinz
While all of the items on this list feature direct mail marketing strategies tailored to their business or industry, they are not the only option. Heinz came up with puzzle sets for their target audiences. These sets had 570 all red pieces.
Although you would probably not immediately associate the ketchup brand with jigsaw puzzles, they still made the strategy work. They provided their audiences with a tactile and interactive reminder of their name and products. They made the most of one of the most impactful advantages of direct mail marketing over email or digital counterparts.
Heinz took the campaign a step further by donating proceeds to a charity.
Tiny Cards from The Shop
Businesses do not have to spend a lot of resources to come up with memorable direct mail marketing strategies. Small advertising agency, The Shop, proves this with its unique holiday cards.
To stand out from all the other businesses that send their audiences holiday greetings, The Shop opted for tiny holiday cards. These palm-sized cards automatically made an impression on recipients. The small card size also relates to the agency’s size.
The best part of this campaign is that The Shop did not need complex printing techniques. They even saved resources because of the small size. Despite essentially taking the more cost-effective approach, they still managed to outdo the competition – brilliant.
Ant-Sized Press Releases by Marvel
Marvel takes the idea of the previous item on this list to the next level. When they announced the inclusion of Ant-Man and the Wasp in their Contest of Champions, they made tiny press releases. These PRs are so small that you would need tweezers and a magnifying glass to handle and read them.
This campaign was brilliant because of the apparent association with the sizes of Ant-Man and the Wasp. Additionally, the sheer novelty of the package made everyone excited about it and the upcoming contest. Again, this shows that enormous ideas and results can come in the smallest of packages.
Hand Puppets by Planet Kids
Playschool chain Planet Kids came up with another campaign that does not require special or costly packaging considerations. To invite parents to their Annual Day celebrations, they sent out invitations that folded into cute hand puppet monsters.
These invitations were given to the students, who were more than happy to play with them and share them with their parents. This simple yet creative campaign was successful because it encouraged playful interaction with children. It is, no doubt, a great example of direct mail marketing done right.
Personalised Maps by Patient First
This next example creatively combines direct mail marketing with data and automation. Patient First generated personalised maps for their audiences using their information on hand. These maps showed paths from each recipient’s home to the nearest Patient First urgent care centre. The map also included estimated travel times and the operating hours of each site.
This campaign takes full advantage of data-driven personalisation, providing the recipients with a precious and even life-saving item. Patient First used the printing technology called Variable Data Printing or VDP to develop these straightforward but brilliant maps.
Free Dinner Coupons by Bite Squad
Speaking of automation, why not create a trigger-based campaign that will consistently run by itself? That is precisely what Bite Squad did. This web-based restaurant delivery service started giving out free dinner coupons to previous customers who have not interacted with them in the last two months.
Instead of a one-time event, the automated campaign continued to keep track of customers and send out coupons when necessary. The coupons also help measure the success of the strategy.
With this campaign, Bite Squad can engage with its audiences regularly. The recipients of the coupons get free dinners. It’s a brilliant, win-win direct mail marketing example.
Direct mail marketing will continue as a contender in the advertising space because of its many benefits. To make sure your business capitalises on these advantages, you will have to be creative in planning and implementing your strategies.
While not every item may apply to your specific business or industry, the examples of direct mail marketing included in this article should give you some inspiration on how to make your campaigns work.
For more information about direct mail marketing strategies or other advertising approaches that utilise printing technologies, visit our other blogs on this page. You can also fill out the form on our contact page so we can get in touch with you.
Duplo International is a trusted provider of efficient, high-precision, and automated print technologies to businesses around the globe.