Direct Response Marketing through Direct Mail

The purpose of marketing is to expand your brand and drive action, but not every marketing effort provides the same result. Before getting into what’s the best marketing you can do for your brand let’s identify what goals you have for your marketing. Time for a quick marketing exercise!


  • Does your business need quick turnover of business for immediate cash flow?
  • Is there an event or limited time offer that needs to be shared? Weekend sale, holiday special, seminar, or the like?
  • Are you looking to drive traffic to your website?

If any of these are a “yes” then it's time for some direct response marketing!



Direct Response Marketing -  marketing efforts designed to generate an immediate response and compel prospects to take action, such as opting into your email list, calling in, visiting your location, or performing an action on your website.


Types of Direct Response Marketing

Direct Mail - a postcard, flyer, letter in an envelope, catalog or any type of mail piece that offers a product or service or solicitation. This is a guaranteed touch to the targeted address. If your audiences checks the mail they will see this piece. This can also tie in coupons, specials, special codes to link to your website for a more direct call to action.


Digital Ads - This targets a variety of demographics through various online websites and social media. The more known about your audience the more the campaign can connect to the targeted audience.


Coupon services - This can range from online discount aggregates like Groupon or Living Social, coupons on a mail piece you send out, or even physically handing out coupons. This method pushes an action to the audience for  a limited time offer…. The audience has to take action before the time expires!


Email - Pushing this out to your own list or even a prospect list gets your message into the audience’s inbox. This can still include coupons or announcements that encourage your audience to follow through directly to your website.


The goal for all of these is to drive action by your audience. To get the most responses, however,  the message needs to focus in on relating to the audience itself.


  • Who is being targeted in the campaign? Is there a specific list of targets?

  • Make it fun - marketing needs to stand out to grab attention and drive action from the get-go.

  • Be informative - get to the point to convert an impression into an action

  • Offer - what benefit are you bringing to your audience? The offer has to be relevant to the audience to drive the desired action. For example, you don’t want to send senior citizen discounts to millennials.


Example of a campaign


A roofing company wants to increase sales as soon as possible


Goal: drive more business


Audience: targeted homeowners based on the age of the house, median home value, and location.


Offer: Schedule your Free Roof inspection


Method: Direct mail and digital ads


  1. Who will you mail to?. Perform research to determine your relevant names/addresses for the targeted audience. For this example, you would target median home value and average income. You would also want to filter out renters and multifamily units. The same traits can be targeted online for your digital ads as well​

  2. Design the pieces. For the mail piece, you would want to be very creative to have it stand out in the mailbox. If you are targeting higher income households you want to mail a larger size piece so it stands out.  You want to make your offer as enticing as possible, with an “act now” date. A piece that is stands out enough to grab attention, and branded enough to empower trust from the audience to the brand. The digital ad design needs to have a consistent look & feel to the mail piece to ensure a type stickiness to this campaign. You want the mail piece and the digital ads to have a consistent design. The audience first sees the mail piece then recognizes your brand online to further encourage action.

  3. Action - With both the mail piece and the digital piece you are pushing the audience to an action. Each piece sets a call to action to encourage your audience to call in and/or go to the provided website.


Cost of Direct Response Marketing


Now let's get into budgets to figure out if this is the right campaign for your brand. What are the minimum costs for a direct response marketing campaign?


List Acquisition costs - It all depends on what you are offering as to how you should go about determining who to mail to.  If you want all the people within an area, for example a pizza  place would want to market to anyone close to their location.  A roofing company on the other hand might want to target age of home, and household income. List costs vary from a few hundred dollars to thousands depending on how large of an area, how long you wish to use the list, and how many attributes targeted. For digital ads, targeting costs are tied into the overall campaign cost.


Print and Mailing Services - Working with a great commercial printing partner like AMi Marketing gives our clients the confidence to know that we are identifying the best avenues to get their marketing materials printed in a manner that saves them money. Print costs breakdown to what kind of paper, how many pieces, and the printer’s methodology. With dynamic print, you are able to print multiple versions of a piece that can differ greatly as print process can programmatically print various names, addresses, images and so on to get the right message to the right person. Add that to our mailing services where we focus on presorting our direct marketing campaigns to ensure we get the lowest postage possible means our clients get to enjoy great savings!


Postage costs - as a direct mail marketing house, it is our responsibility to find the best rates and programs to lower your postage cost. Postage rates may seem high at times, but the response rate for direct mail is significantly higher than email marketing.  The old adage - you get what you pay for applies here. Here at AMi Marketing we are constantly looking for ways in which to help you lower postage costs.


Design costs - this is always a case by case basis. Investing into the design and message of the piece increases the connection to the customers. A big part of that success is how the message is received which is directly tied to how the message is presented. Good design takes time. Great design partners will utilize their expertise & experience to know the best way to tackle this to get the most out of your design in the least amount of time.


Ad buys for Digital Ads - Depending on the platform there are some minimum spends that range from a few hundred dollars to upwards of thousands of dollars just to use the platform. That said, some platforms don't require any minimum spend, such as social media. Important factors for this type of advertisement buy is ensuring you have enough budget to gather multiple touches to the audience while still focusing on connecting to the right audience with a relatable message.


Let's Get Started today looking at setting up your brand’s direct response marketing campaign!