The Digital Lizard Blog

Increase the Success of Your Direct Mail Campaign

Posted by Janice O'Driscoll on June 13, 2018 at 12:18 PM

Increase success of direct mail campaign

Good things come in small packages. Or big ones. Or unusual ones. When it comes to direct mail, creativity is key. Amidst the plethora of other media competing for your audience's attention, your mailpiece design is as important as its content. Sending something intriguing — or simply just fun — can give your offer the interest and impact it needs to generate new sales.

Fortunately, industry dynamics are favorable. Direct mail volumes have dropped 25% over the past 10 years.* And the seismic shift to digital marketing means that there are fewer great things in the mailstream. But there is irony to this dynamic. Recent studies show that only 20% of recipients even open advertising email,** whereas 77% sort through and consider their printed mail.***

Take advantage of this opportunity with a creative direct marketing campaign. Here are four ideas to improve your direct mail results:

1. Go Big or Go Home — 6 x 9 postcards and #10 envelopes will get stacked between bills, "money mailers," or other boring advertisements. Leverage the size and shape of your mailpiece to command attention. Consider oversized envelopes, diecut postcards, dimensional mailers, or other components with unique physical properties. Getting noticed is the biggest part of the battle.

2. Appeal to Their Senses — The visual appeal of your direct mail is huge. Great design can take your mailpiece to the next level, but remember to keep it cohesive with your offer. Big bold type and high-fidelity color may be good options for exciting products or high-energy services. Exquisite typefaces and adornments might be better for others. Whatever your basis, make it professional. If you don't have in-house graphic design, check out some stock layout sites like or, or look to our creative team at Digital Lizard.

3. Add a Coolness Factor — People often think of direct mail as quick and cheap (or in our business, "down and dirty"). But whether you print conventionally or digitally, you can add a quick splash to your piece economically. If your supplier has a strong in-house finishing lineup like we do, you can get as creative as you want. You can even run some of your pieces with an added extra, and some without to A-B test and see what really pulls. Use something interactive like a scratch-off or pull-tab, upscale your piece with a foil stamp, select a unique substrate, or even opt for scented inks and coatings! A dose of the unusual will ensure your recipient spends time with your offer — or even keeps it.

4. Make It Easy — Finally, while it might sound intuitive, make sure your call to action is very clear. What is your offer? How do they get it (phone, text, email, 2-D barcode scan, website visit)? Why is there urgency? We've seen way too many pieces over the years that look amazing but miss this key element. Print up a comp or two and send it to a few outside reviewers before going into production. Besides ensuring a good means for response, this may help you uncover other issues or ideas to improve your direct mail effectiveness.

Looking to create some buzz with a creative direct mailpiece? Digital Lizard has tons of great samples produced both digitally and conventionally. Contact us today at, call your Digital Lizard rep, or click below.

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* USPS Data, 2008–2016.

** MailChimp, Feb 2017. Average Email Campaign Stats of MailChimp Customers by Industry.

*** Entrepreneur magazine, Feb 2015. 4 Reasons to Use Direct Mail Marketing Instead of Email Marketing,

Topics: Direct Mail, marketing, Graphic design