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Everything Small Businesses Need to Know about Direct Mail: A Beginner-Friendly Guide

Everything small businesses need to know about direct mail: A beginner-friendly guide

Effective marketing is crucial to the success of your small business. You can’t rely solely on word of mouth or foot traffic. Advertising is how to reach new customers, keep current customers engaged with your brand, and draw attention to new products and services.

Nowadays, many business owners associate marketing purely with digital advertising. However, traditional mail advertising is still just as vital. Direct mail should be part of your multi-channel marketing strategy, with simple, impactful touchpoints.

If you’re new to direct mail advertising, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this beginner-friendly guide, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know about direct mail and how to make your first campaign a success.

What is direct mail advertising?

Direct mail involves physical marketing material sent directly to current or prospective customers via the postal service. Your business can acquire new customers, convert sales, build an email subscription list, deepen your connection with existing customers, and more with direct mail.

It’s an example of outbound marketing that has been around for decades. However, technological advancements in today’s market have expanded the analytic and personalization potential of direct mail media.

Does direct mail advertising work?

Yes! Direct mail campaigns are an extremely effective marketing strategy, especially if developed and run to their full potential. The direct mail experts at Troi Mailing Services can help you get the most out of your next campaign.

Even in today’s digital world, traditional mail is still a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes. Direct mail performs very well, particularly when integrated into your multi-channel marketing strategy. Not only does it foster high response rates, but it can also be highly cost-effective, providing a solid return on investment (ROI).

Advantages of Direct Mail Advertising

  • High Response Rates: Studies have found that direct mail can have a response rate of 10 to 30 times greater than email marketing campaigns. Successful direct mail campaigns have a response rate of 1% – 3%, although it can be as high as 6% – 10%, depending on the industry.
  • High Return on Investment (ROI): Direct mail has one of the highest rates of return in the marketing world. With expert advice from Troi Mailing Services, you can keep your costs low while achieving the desired results.
  • Less Marketing Competition: Short-sighted companies focus on digital channels instead of traditional mail, meaning that there is less and less competition in consumer’s mailboxes. It’s easier than ever to stand out with eye-catching and targeted direct mail.
  • Access Wide Demographics: Businesses can reach various ages and groups with direct mail. However, older demographics may not be on social media. It makes connecting with them impossible by using digital ads. Conversely, you can reach anyone with a physical address through direct mail.
  • It’s Memorable: Direct mail is memorable, especially since consumers receive less mail. As consumers are scrolling past online ads and deleting emails automatically, they’re paying more attention to their mail. Consequently, you can use direct mail to create connections, spark an emotional response, and make a lasting impression.

Different Types of Direct Mail

At Troi Mailing Services, we offer a wide variety of digital mail print products. If you are uncertain what format is best for your next mail advertising campaign, we can help you choose.

  • Envelopes
  • Letters
  • Postcards
  • Greeting cards
  • Flyers
  • Brochures
  • Magazines
  • Catalogues
  • Newsletters

Direct Mail Advertising Costs

Every campaign is unique, so the price varies depending on the project. Troi Mailing Services provides a customized proposal based on the specifications of your campaign.

Here is a breakdown of the costs of a direct mail advertising campaign.

  • Mailing list: If you don’t have a mailing list, you may need to buy one.
  • Design: We recommend that you work with a professional designer (like Troi Mailing Services) to create the design for your mailer. DIY designs are usually not effective or print-ready.
  • Printing: Troi Mailing Services works closely with Timeline Printing, which has over 35 years of experience. That’s why it’s more cost-effective to print with us in bulk.
  • Personalization: Personalization improves the effectiveness of your campaign, like customized names, images, etc.
  • Quantity: The size of your campaign (how many pieces need to be printed and mailed) is a crucial cost factor.
  • Postage: The postage category and the quantity of pieces determine the cost.

How to Develop Your First Direct Mail Campaign

  1. Define Your Goals: If you don’t have a clear plan, you will wander aimlessly. Consequently, determine what you want to achieve through your campaign. Lead generation? Customer acquisition? Is it to advertise a new product or service?
  2. Know Your Audience: Targeting plays a vital role in the success of direct mail campaigns. You need to segment your audience as much as possible. Get specific about their characteristics so you know how to reach them.
  3. Decide on the Format: Different formats work best for different messages (and various audiences). They also come with varying costs.
  4. Design Your Direct Mail Piece: Effective design is crucial. Troi Mailing Services can help you design an eye-catching, engaging, and memorable direct mailer.
  5. Track Your Results: Once your campaign is underway, it’s essential to track results. That way, you can determine if it’s a success or not. You can also run A/B Testing to evaluate the effectiveness of different messaging and designs.

3 Tips for Successful Direct Mail Advertising

Multi-Channel Marketing

This is the ultimate strategy for marketing success in 2024. Direct mail campaigns, emails, and online/social media ads are most effective when used together.

When you integrate multiple channels into your advertising strategy, you increase your chances of success.


Highly targeted direct mail campaigns are more likely to be successful.

Refine your mailing list by identifying common characteristics between groups and focusing on reaching those specific demographics. The response rate is low if the mailer feels irrelevant to its recipients.

Offer a Deal

Coupons, discounts, and freebies improve response rates and generate leads. Plus, the results are easily trackable with custom coupons or discount codes.

Need Help? Contact the Direct Mail Advertising Experts at Troi Mailing Services

A lot goes into a successful direct mail campaign. Expertise is essential in segmenting your mailing list, designing your mail piece, and mailing it. That’s where the experts at Troi Mailing Services come in. As your one-stop shop for direct mail advertising, we can help with every step of your next campaign.

To learn more about printing and direct mailing advertising in Toronto, call Troi Mailing Services at 1-866-486-9350 or contact us online.

About: Seamus Barton
Seamus Barton - Author
Seamus Barton joined Troi Mailing Services in 2014 after graduating from York University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Writing. As a manager of print and direct mail solutions, he sees how words play an important role in personalizing any experience. Seamus’ passion for writing motivates him to provide frequent direct marketing content that supports each Client’s individual needs. Please chat with Seamus about commercial printing and direct mailing campaigns, or about how to marry digital and physical strategies for optimal Smartmail Marketing success.

You can connect with Seamus on LinkedIn or by calling Troi Mailing Services at 1-866-486-0423 or via email at Read his latest article featured in Direct Marketing Magazine on “Dimensional Mail: Marketing’s Buffet Lobster

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