Direct mail campaigns are targeted promotional activities that get right to your customer. But sending mail to a database of customers is does not guarantee success.

Like other promotional campaigns, it needs to be well thought out and designed. This needs to be backed by a strategy that clearly shows what return on investment you expect.

A Great Opportunity

There are excellent examples of direct mail campaigns that have exploited the opportunity, grabbing customers and reeling them in.

Up to 8 in 10 marketing emails remained unopen but direct mail has a better ‘open’ rate, especially those that entice customers to take a closer look.

But we think the best thing about direct mail campaigns is the scope for creativity they present. What follows are five examples we have come across that we think really hit the mark when it comes to enticing customers to look at a product, business or event further.

But, we also understand that many companies are on a budget and so some of these ideas may look great but may be outside of your budget.

And this is what you need to know – a well-designed leaflet that fits with your brand, communicates your message well and is delivered to the right people can be just as effective as any of these ideas.


1.    The ‘Moving Van’ Campaign

As far as budgets go, this is probably within most companies marketing budget.

This European car importer created an interactive direct mail campaign with the outline of a van printed on a postcard. The outline of the van could be pressed out and following the instructions, you could build your own 3-D ‘moving van’. Great for getting an effective sales message across.

2.    Land Rover

Grand openings and launches are great for any business, providing you draw a crowd. If you have a launch or opening coming up, you will be amazed at just how much planning and hard work goes into the event!

You need to start with a guest list, inviting key people and potential customers to take a closer look at your new business, new product, premises and so on.

Land Rover on the opening of their new Liverpool showroom sent out helium, heart-shaped balloons in boxes. When opened, the balloon slowly lifted from the box with tags attached to the balloon string inviting the recipient to the launch.

Truly memorable. Clearly, a campaign that worked as their launch was full of customers and interested people.

3.    Earth Hour’s Candle Box

Earth Hour is an annual event that usually happens towards the end of March. Everyone across the globe is encouraged to switch off their lights from 8.30pm to 9.30pm, a reminder of the fragility of our planet and our impact on it.

Earth Hour has created amazing campaigns, none better than the candle in a box. Instead of switching on electric lights, light the candle instead. The box was shaped as a tower block, the

candle yellow and of course, when the candle was removed from the box, the cardboard tower block switched to blackness – exactly what Earth Hour is all about!

4.    The Not-So-Standard Menu


Possibly the most common direct mail we are accustomed too are local takeaway menus landing on the doormat. Whilst some make it to the pin board for future reference, the majority find their way to the recycling…

… unless they are offering something different, and in a fun way. One take away created a foldable leaflet that could be made into a minuscule dining table, complete with a photo of a perfectly laid out table, awash with the fantastic fresh food they had on offer.

Similar to the first example, this ‘folded leaflet’ could be within budget.

5.    World Water Day

Another great idea from a charity that got the message across.

Their postcard letters were sent out to interested recipients, as well as press but there was a twist. The blank postcard only revealed its words when run under water.

The message was clear. In the UK and other developed countries, we are blessed with safe drinking water, something that 663 million across the world don’t share with us.

This direct mail campaign hit right at the heart of the message it was trying to convey.


Have you come across any great direct mail ideas?

There are many other examples of fantastic direct mail campaigns that effectively deliver their marketing message. Share with us the ones you have enjoyed!