7 Direct Mail Examples to Inspire Your Next Campaign

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Like the combination of digital channels in use today, there once was a time when direct mail was the primary advertising channel for many small and mid-sized companies. Companies would move to new channels in an effort to stand out. Today, we find that the opposite is true. With everyone using digital channels to reach their target audiences, companies small and large alike are turning toward direct mail to stand out from their competition and capture attention from their target market with creative campaigns.

In this article, we’ll go over innovative direct mail examples and the results they were able to deliver to the companies that launched them. Being able to grab a prospect’s attention with a creative mailer that touches on their most important needs is a difficult but extremely lucrative endeavor. The companies in this article do a great job of thinking outside the box and using the channel to their benefit.

Before you begin your next campaign, take a look at these direct mail examples for inspiration:

7 Direct Mail Examples & Inspiration

Creating a direct mail campaign is easy, with many tools like Postalytics to assist you. But how do you create campaigns that bring results? Which best practices should you adhere to? 

Here are 7 examples that will help you get started.

#1 Workfront Targets the Competition’s Customers

WorkFront (@workfront) is a management software company that recently launched a very innovative direct mail campaign that produced huge results. The idea came to their marketing team after a company competitor announced that it would no longer invest in their competing product and would allow it to exist as-is. They issued a press release stating that they would no longer support the software and were exploring opportunities to sell the business software side of their business.

WorkFront jumped at the opportunity. They started by using a telemarketing company to find users of the competitor’s product. During this stage, they asked a series of questions about what the users liked and disliked about the product and then used that information to tailor the messaging in their direct mail campaign.

Eventually, the marketing team landed on messaging surrounding the customer’s inevitable “break up” with the competitor’s product. They sent a bouquet of flowers to all of the top 500 prospects they identified through their research, along with a handwritten card with a personalized URL. They also sent over 1,500 Valentine’s cards to the prospects’ work, directing them toward the personalized landing page.

The response was amazing. The campaign generated more than 465 responses, seven qualified sales opportunities, and more than $370,000 in new business for the company.

#2 RCI Uses Personalization to Grow Their User Base

RCI Financial Services (@RCIBS) is a partner finance company of brands like Renault, Nissan, and Infiniti. They rolled out a recent direct mail campaign to grow their number of online users. They had recently launched an online portal containing valuable information like FAQs and wanted to ensure that their customers used the solution to their advantage.

RCI enlisted the help of an integrated marketing agency named JJ Marketing. The goal was to help give their existing customers a clear understanding of the online portal and why activating their online account would benefit them.

JJ Marketing and RCI worked together to design an eye-popping four-page brochure sent directly to the customers. They pulled a lot of customer data to deliver deep personalization, including customer names, where they lived, and vehicle make. The brochure directed customers to the online portal and explained how it could help them.

The campaign was a huge success. It was sent to over 70,000 of the company’s existing customers and achieved a click-through rate of 9.67%. In total, the company was able to activate nearly 7,000 new users.

#3 Tetra Pack Wins Customers by Showing off their Packaging

Another great example of an innovative direct mail campaign comes from Tetra Pack (@tetrapak), a food packaging company responsible for the packaging on some of the world’s largest beverage brands. They identified a simple but effective way to show customers how great their packaging could look if they opted to work with them — by directly mailing their new packaging to prospects.

The company wanted to show off its new carton packaging for beverages, known as its Prisma Aseptic line. The line featured cartons that allowed companies to print packaging on the complete surface of the outside of the carton, giving companies the ability to upgrade their packaging to something new and eye-catching. Check out these amazing direct mail examples.

The campaign was a huge success and generated a 53% response rate for the company, resulting in hundreds of thousands in new business. The simple tactic of mailing their new packaging directly to prospects proved to be a great way to raise awareness.

#4 O2’s Digital Dave Hologram Wows Recipients

O2 (@O2) had a problem. Their customers were frustrated because many felt they didn’t have a consistent point of contact within their organization whenever they had questions, feedback, or complaints. With their average revenue per user declining, the company needed a new campaign to awe their customers and get them back on the right track.

They started by identifying the top 50 key accounts they wanted to improve relationships with. They created personalized messages for each account to open up conversations with and secure more sales meetings.

This is where things get creative — O2 created a personalized digital hologram adviser called “Digital Dave” to catch their attention and kick off those conversations. They sent a package to those 50 accounts, including a box that produced a hologram that spoke directly to prospects and delivered the case for switching providers.

The campaign achieved an 18% response rate in the first week and won many awards for its creativity and uniqueness.

#5 Nestle KitKat’s Chunky Mail

This campaign by Nestle is one of the most unique direct mail campaigns we’ve encountered. They created a mailer that looked like the card the mail carrier leaves behind when they cannot deliver mail.

The real card often says, “The package could not be delivered because it was too big for your letterbox.” Instead, the KitKat mailer said, “Because it’s too chunky for your letterbox.”

This is what the mailer looked like:

The card prompted the recipients to collect their free KitKat chunky by taking it to their local newsagent.

When Nestle created this campaign, they wanted people to try their new product and realize the difference. The results were astounding! 87% of recipients went to their newsagent to collect their new chocolate.

The combo of personalization and the feeling of excitement on getting something new and free paid off.

#6 Earth Hour Candle Box

Every year, the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) organizes Earth Hour, where everyone is called out to show their collective support for the planet. This support is usually shown by turning off the lights for one hour. Everyone from individuals, businesses, to communities can participate in this event.

Advertising agency Leo Burnett devised an effective direct marketing campaign to get more corporations involved in this campaign. They designed a nice box with candles inside that created a cool effect. One of the sides of the box looked like a building where people were working.

This was sent to organizations and businesses. The box’s top had a black background with a simple yet hard-hitting text, “Switch off your lights to help reduce global warming.”

The most unique part? Taking out the candle would make it look like the building’s lights were switched off.

The result was an increase in corporate support by 260% from the previous year. This also helped make the Philippines the top participant of Earth Hour 2009, with 650 cities and towns switching off their lights.

#7 LavOnline’s Tomato Splat

Italian online laundry service LavOnline wanted to target young managers and professionals who couldn’t find a laundry service after working late hours at the office. LavOnline could be the perfect solution as they let people choose the date, time, and address of pickup and delivery of garments, all online. 

To spread awareness, they launched the “Tomato Splat” campaign. It was sent to 1000 people and consisted of a package that, on opening, took the form of a t-shirt, and in the middle was a squishy tomato toy you could throw at the t-shirt. The toy would then again take the form of a tomato and showed how effective LavOnline’s laundry services could be.

Within four weeks of the campaign, 32% of the recipients registered on their site, and 8% tried their service. The overall site traffic also increased by 15%. 

Build a Free Postcard!

Do these direct mail examples inspire you? Would you like to try some ideas with a free direct mail postcard maker? Postalytics has a no-registration required postcard builder for you to get creative with!