4 Tips to Get People to Actually Open Your Direct Mail Marketing Pieces

How much junk mail pops up in your mailbox each week?

I’m not talking about the carefully edited pile of mail your secretary lays on your desk every morning. Or the pile that mysteriously pops up from the mailroom the minute your back is turned.

I’m talking about the growing mountain of paper that you deal with every night when you get home, after the day is done, when you’re so tired you can barely see straight and your to-do list stretches long into the night.

It has long been my belief that the people who traditionally design direct mail campaigns are under the impression that people read their mail the way dedicated employees scan the morning blogs at work. They carefully wade through the muck to find the pearls buried beneath the swine.

What they forget is that when you’re a B2C company, consumers are looking at your direct mail on their own time. They’re not getting paid for this, so they’re under no obligation to give you the consideration you deserve.

Time to ramp up your A-game, ladies and gentlemen. Your direct mail marketing campaign isn’t doing you any good if it’s going straight into the recycling bin. With that in mind, here are a few ideas to make your direct mail pieces interesting enough to rescue them from a life of anonymity:

1)      Make them colorful. White envelopes fade into the background. Don’t be afraid to go with green, or yellow, or red-something that’s going to catch their eye and bring them in for a second look.


2)      Handwrite their address. Nobody takes the time for a personal touch anymore. My vehicular repair specialist always addresses their envelopes by hand. Not one of their mailings has ever gone unopened.


3)      Don’t buy into tricks like “highly confidential” or “open ASAP or else…”. This strategy worked great 15 years ago. Nowadays, if an envelope shows up marked highly confidential that didn’t come from my bank, my loan manager or my doctor’s office, it goes in the trash before another word gets read. I know I’m not the only one.


4)      Put your value proposition right on the front. “Annual Halloween Sale Starts 10/15!” “New Cars Are Finally Here!” Most people don’t launch a direct mail marketing campaign because they want to remind people they’re still alive. They’ve got something going on, something fresh, something new, and they want to make sure their customers know about it. Put that information front and center.


What are your best tips for getting your customers involved through direct mail marketing?