In a world increasingly filled with electronic media and social media profiles, it may seem unlikely to target and build a customer base through an old-fashioned, paper-based letter.  However, a letter can be more personal and more appealing than any social media campaign; providing you approach it correctly. It can be the best way to gain more customers for your business.

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Have a target audience in mind

Before you can send any letter you must understand your customer base. This starts by understanding the age range, sex and family commitments of your intended customer base. If possible, you should also aim to understand their shopping habits and their attitudes towards the latest trends. This will enable you to build a list of people who are likely to respond to your direct mail campaign. The list does not need to be huge; you are focusing on quality not quantity.

Deliver the right message

The most effective direct mail campaigns open with exactly what you are offering or want from your potential customer. There is a huge amount of paper-based marketing going through everyone’s door daily. This means you will have a large amount of competition and people will not waste time studying a document to find out what it is offering. Start with your proposition and, if you have done your research properly, you will already have their attention. An additional tactic is to send them something that they will find useful; a calendar or schedule of upcoming events is likely to be kept. Add your details to this and you will be constantly remembered by them!


When your letter arrives on their doormat they may have several other direct marketing campaigns, the one that will be opened first will be the one that is most interesting. Research has shown that a lumpy envelope will be opened before anything else as the consumer’s curiosity is aroused. This lumpiness is best created by adding a small product sample. Everyone likes to get something for nothing and they will be inclined to try the product. Providing they like it you will have a sale and potentially repeat business for years to come; all as a result of a simple letter.

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Put your creativity to good use

There are many different ways to attract the attention of your prospective customer. A letter does not need to be a plain white or brown envelope! Use your imagination to create something distinctive. Anything which sticks in the mind of the receiver has served its purpose. An association will be formed and they are likely to buy your product when they need it.

Letter writing

You cannot physically hand write every letter which needs to go out. This means you need to settle for either a mass produced letter, signed by yourself or you can purchase one of the many software products available which will allow you to create a letter on the computer and print it as though it has been handwritten. This tactic can create an extra connection with your customer.

Partnering with the right people

No matter which way you look at it and how careful you are to choose the right people for your marketing campaign, it can and will be an expensive exercise. To help reduce the costs and add more attractiveness and creativity to your direct mailing, you may find it beneficially to partner with a complementary company and direct mail together. Choose a firm which offers a product which can comfortably be bought alongside yours to enhance both products and then share the design and costs of your marketing campaign. This approach can even increase the respectability of you and your business.

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It is quicker and easier to send your direct mail with a franking stamp on it. However, the majority of your efforts so far have been to convince your customer that this is a personal approach. It may take more time but use stamps on your letters; they are more likely to be opened by the recipient.

Let’s not forget that we live in a society ruled by advanced technology. Average mails sent in the mail box are rare. Use that to your advantage, and take your business to new heights with smart direct mail marketing strategies.

By Denny Averill and!