3 Out-of-the-Box Ideas for Your Next Direct Mail Campaign

You’ve got mail.

In fact, you probably have far too much of it.

Even with more and more marketing communications taking place digitally, there’s seemingly more mail than ever.

And that makes sense! In some ways, direct mail is harder to ignore than email. It’s physical, and it reaches demographics that email, social media, and other digital ads simply can’t crack effectively.

With that said, traditional mail is tired.

How tired is it, Green Candy Media?

Traditional mail is so tired that your ROI has probably been slowly but surely declining over the past few years! (Don’t worry; we won’t start a career in standup comedy. We know our gifts lie elsewhere.)

But seriously. Unless you’re intentionally innovating and trying to break the mold with your direct mail campaigns, your mailer is likely to end up right where you don’t want it to: the trash.

How can you switch things up, think differently, turn your direct mail strategy on its head, connect with your target audience, and improve your numbers across the board?

We’ve sorted out a few different ways for you to start thinking creatively and mixing up your mailers. It’s easier than you think.

3 Out-of-the-Box Direct Mail Ideas

Full disclosure, we’re not going to feed you idea after idea in this article. We’ve all read those blogs—so we’ve all tried the ideas. If you want to create something completely fresh and unique to your business, you’re better served instead by thinking differently.

1. Customize

The more you can tailor a piece of mail to your business or to a recipient, the better.

But you may not be taking advantage of all the ways in which you can customize your direct mail to ensure it stands out from the rest. One way to customize a mail piece is by thinking about how you can tap into your industry better.

This thought process is responsible for all those credit card and lending company mailers sending you checks and cardboard credit cards. Yes, you may be tired of them. But they get opened!

What is your industry, and how can you incorporate it into your mail design and message? If you’re a company that specializes in energy-efficient home renovations, even a simple light bulb design might get more attention than a letter!

Sure, some industries lend themselves to a bit more creativity than others. However, you can always do something to customize your direct mail to your industry. Even with the same text, you’ll probably see a difference.

2. Swing Big

Boring mail is, well, boring. And part of innovating your mail strategy is taking big risks.

While your budget may dictate the bat you’re wielding, you can still swing big. If you’re willing to swing big, you can create truly unforgettable campaigns that will stand out to just about anyone who finds them in the mailbox.

Let’s say you’re the owner of a recording studio. Try ditching the usual postcard and replacing it with something a bit more exciting, like a cardboard CD sleeve with a circular card designed to look like a vinyl. Now, that’s swinging for the fences!

Swinging big will usually require a bit more financial investment, but it will certainly leave an impression. And with direct mail, that’s one of the hardest things to do.

3. Reimagine Your Greatest Hits

This isn’t your first rodeo, and we know that. If you’ve been doing direct mail for a while, you’ve probably had some great successes—and you shouldn’t throw them out entirely.

For example, if you have a letter or postcard that has been a smash hit for you in the past, you’ve probably unpacked why by now. Was the language personal and engaging? Did it have a killer CTA? Was the layout perfectly organized?

Take these strengths and focus entirely on what you could do to make the mailer stand out more. Perhaps you’ve been printing in black and white. Adding color to the phone number or the CTA might help them stand out even more.

Sometimes, creating memorable mailer campaigns is as simple as taking what has worked well from your strongest campaigns and reimagining the rest.

Direct Mail Is Boring. It Doesn’t Have to Be.

As a direct mail marketer, the last thing you want is for your campaign to be considered junk—but it’s likelier than ever to be the case. We all know this conversation too well:

“Anything good in the mail today?”

“No, just junk.”

Fortunately, with some creative thinking, you can bypass the junk pile and ensure your next mail campaign is not only read, but also engaged with. By customizing your campaigns, swinging big, and reimagining your own greatest hits, you’ll stand out when your customers check the mail. And that’s exactly the point.

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