Direct Mail Marketing: Still Effective? | Duplo

Turn print into an experience

There are an estimated 306 billion emails sent and received every day in the world, but many of us still get delighted when we receive tangible items in our mailbox, such as postcards, letters from friends, and even direct mail marketing materials. 

When compared to email response rates, direct mail has a far greater response rate. According to the Data & Marketing Association, there was a five per cent increase in how consumers engaged with direct mail marketing in the second quarter of 2020. It went from 91 per cent in 2019 to 96 per cent. This is valuable insight for most businesses

As a printing business, you can add value to your client’s direct mail marketing strategies by offering high-quality finishes on letters, postcards, brochures, and flyers with various messages, all featuring your client’s logo, promotional offers, and tagline.

These high-quality materials have the potential to be memorable and help businesses stand out and be remembered in a competitive market.

Reasons Why Direct Mail Marketing is Still Effective

This strategy is a way for businesses to reach customers in their everyday lives, and it’s an excellent way to market their products and services. It's a popular option because it's simple to measure the results and allows businesses to:

  • Reach targeted audiences
  • Improve customer trust and loyalty
  • Increase sales to former consumers
  • Create new business opportunities
  • Target their audience with personalised messages
  • Optimise their budget to reach potential buyers

Regardless of the type of business, business owners want to use the most effective strategy and personalise it. The campaign’s response should increase, and revenues should improve due to more engagement with customers.

Printing businesses make it more effective by adding quality finishes such as spot UV, embossed printing, and die-cutting to direct mail as a component of marketing campaigns. This ensures that the message reaches the right people and meets your client’s needs for branding and exposure.

You'll see how well this approach works for businesses as we look at a list of examples that companies have and apply it to connect with their customers.

Die cutting

Classic Direct Mail Marketing Examples for Inspiration

Earth Hour: Candles in Die-Cut Boxes[1] 

The die-cutting process is a popular manufacturing technique within the packaging industry. Custom packaging is now easier and faster to make. You can create complex shapes with multiple cuts and layers.

For example, the people behind Earth Hour created one of the most innovative direct mail campaigns in its history to commemorate Earth Hour. They sent out yellow candles in boxes to CEOs and industry leaders to encourage them to join the cause and turn off their lights.

The box was meant to look like a building, mirrored in the packaging through die-cutting. Pulling the yellow candle out of the box resembled switching off the lights. Company engagement for the "switch off" increased by 260% due to its unique representation of Earth Hour in its packaged candles.

As a commercial printing service, you can use die-cutting to create distinctive edges on paper, perforated areas that can be popped out later and even completely cut out to create, for example, an attractively formed window.

You can apply your customer’s designs to fit their brand specifications. Look into our PFi DI-CUT 310 as your adaptable and highly productive die-cutting system for a quick turnaround to help them achieve this kind of unique packaging.

This compact machine kiss cuts, die cuts, perforates, creases, slits, cuts round corners, and hole punches digital and offset-printed papers all in one process.

LavOnline’s Bespoke Packaging[2] 

Bespoke packaging is premium packaging that is custom-designed for the business’s brand. It's the ideal approach to highlight their product's top features, making it even more appealing than it already is.

Take a page from LavOnline’s tomato “splat” strategy. LavOnline is an Italian laundry company. Their goal was to market to young professionals and managers and show how fast and convenient their services are. They sent out what seemed like normal, though attractively finished, boxes.

When the package was opened, it became a white t-shirt and included a squishy tomato that the customer was instructed to 'splat’ on the target printed on the box. With this kind of strategy, they saw 32% of their targeted customers signing up online, and the website's traffic increased by 15%.

This strategy would not have been possible without their unique packaging.

unique packaging

To provide your clients with the same bespoke cuts and finishes, you can benefit from our PFI Blade B3+ Digital Cutting Table. It can add attractive finishes to oddly shaped products for packaging and label manufacturing, like customised small packages and business cards.

Embellished Cards by Hyundai Genesis[3] 

Spot UV is a technique that involves adding a clear, shiny coating to specific areas of artwork to produce a striking contrast. This is the method of emphasizing a certain design component to stand out from the rest of the design and leave a lasting impression.

Hyundai Genesis saw response rates increase by up to 40% by employing spot UV in their Direct Cards by Hyundai Genesis campaign. It quickly grabbed the attention of their target customer and left a lasting impression.

The shine added by this method creates a dramatic contrast when used on matte material. This is a great example of a technique that can add overall visual interest to a piece or draw attention to specific parts of the material.

Christmas card

This finish can be achieved with our compact Duplo DuSense Sensory Coater, enabling you to provide consumers with a high-end, profitable digital embellishment service.

Our Duplo DuSense allows you to add print embellishment, transforming printed paper into a sensory experience. You can get first-class details that benefit both your customer and the end consumer.

Using the PFI Blade B3 for Pop-up Mailers

This is an excellent example of a clever direct mail marketing approach. This is a simple pop-up flyer with a compelling message at the centre. For example, when you open a flyer from a furniture company, it turns into a wonderful three-dimensional image sofa or a bed. It shows how easy-to-assemble furniture from the brand can be used to quickly decorate the house.

The folding element contributes substantially to the customer's involvement and curiosity. A folded direct mailer has a higher chance of being opened and acted on immediately. Furthermore, 72% of consumers frequently respond to calls to action by engaging further in customised activity and tailored to their interests.

Customised die-cutting can be done by our PFI Blade B3 Digital Cutting Table, which has been previously purchased by the BCA Group.

They’ve expanded their line of products through this digital cutter. The ability to create sustainable custom die-cut packaging supplies blew them away, according to Managing Director Mark Cottee. They had previously utilised a CriCut Maker Hobbycraft Cutter, but seeing the PFI Blade B3 in action showed them how much more they could do.

With a professional-level machine for packaging techniques, they’ve become creative with what they can do with the machine. One of the many ways they could further expand their lines is through customised die-cutting for pop-up mailers, carefully tailored for their clients.

multi sized booklet

Kalmar Kuvert’s Step Booklets

This is one of the functional direct mail marketing strategies because it balances advertising and uniqueness. Step booklets add a lot of style as well as a sense of order to the content that is placed on them. Each page features important information about the business’s products and services.

It can easily attract and engage customers because this style simplifies navigation, allowing them to quickly locate the information they require.

Step booklets are ideal for advertising materials, event promotions, higher-ed and business booklets, brand guides, and other publications that aim to draw attention to a single topic but with categorized information.

Duplo's flagship iSaddle 5.0 system booklet can be used to create this booklet page format. One of Duplo’s clients, Kalmart Kuvert, has used the iSaddle for automatic collating, folding, and offsetting for their booklet and brochure production. Kuvert feels that the shortened setup times, ease of use, has sped up their production and produced high-quality products.

It's a completely automated, highly intelligent booklet-making system that can handle more complex book formats like step booklets, variable-size page booklets, and landscape booklets, providing you more opportunities to give value to your customers.

Stickers and Labels

apple stickers

By Maurizio Pesce from Milan, Italia - Apple Mac Pro stickers, CC BY 2.0,

Stickers and labels are frequently used for marketing and are distributed separately or as part of direct mail marketing. This is an approach of connecting with the target market that they will be glad to show off.

These are long-lasting and boost reach and engagement because customers can peel off the plastic backing and choose where to place the sticker. For example, think about Apple’s ubiquitous white sticker that every iPhone user knows. Your client can replicate something similar with their direct mail marketing materials.

For an impactful presentation of stickers and labels, our compact PFi Blade B2+ digital cutting table offers automation and precision for short-run, high-value print finishing. This machine creates unique stickers and labels in various shapes and sizes to help your clients stand out from the crowd.

Folio is one of the UK’s leading trade finishers, and they had purchased the PFI Blade B2+ not just to create bespoke boxes but also create their own company’s product packaging. This blade is perfectly suited to creating custom company stickers that add a touch of branding to every product package.

Through this machine, Folio is able to elevate their marketing and their clients’, creating forward thinking solutions even through something as simple as a branding sticker.


These amazing direct mail marketing examples are only a few reasons to use innovative and modern direct mail to reach out to customers and elevate an enterprise’s products and services. Most businesses would benefit from adopting these examples above to elevate brochures that might otherwise get lost in a sea of the competitive market.

By adding high-end and unique finishes to direct mail materials, such as print embellishments, folding, and spot UV, you can help make your client’s products stand out by offering unique services. Customers will be impressed, and you'll be able to differentiate yourself from other printing businesses.

Check Duplo International blogs if you’re looking for more different print ideas. We also invite you to browse our extensive selection of cutting-edge machines. You may also get in touch with us, and we can help you find the right one suited for your business.