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Neuger CO.LAB Recap: Marketing with Direct Mail

July 17, 2020

On July 15, 2020, we continued the Neuger CO.LAB session schedule with our fifth conversation, this time honing in on the importance of direct mail. We hosted another 30 participants who all contributed to a very fruitful discussion that offered great insight into the various processes and strategies of marketing services through mail campaigns.

Session Five Hosts

Main Discussion Points

  • Being creative with shapes, die cuts, specialty folds, colors and coupons are great options for adding variety to your direct mail pieces and can separate your mail from the more generic pieces.
  • Consumers feel especially isolated right now, and receiving physical mail lifts the consumer’s spirits during social distancing.
  • There are many ways to use variable data in direct mail, ranging from envelopes with a personalized message on the exterior to using the backside of the envelope as a banner or questionnaire. You can tailor your piece to the individual consumer profile, which usually gets a higher response rate.
  • Choosing between envelope packages, letters and postcards: make sure to track your audience’s response. A lot depends on the outside appeal. Envelopes with a personalized exterior or a stamp have more consistent feedback than a generic or automated piece. Additionally, window or clear envelopes that preview main sections of the content inside usually receive high responses.
  • Using direct mail can be a great way to reach all age groups, especially if the audience is an older demographic who may not be using social platforms.
  • We suggest always including a call-to-action so that there’s something immediate the customer can do like using a coupon, filling out a form on your website, donating, etc.
  • Emails are not a great way to reach out to new audiences because consumers won’t open emails from people they don’t recognize. Direct mail can promote awareness for joining an email list or engaging with a company on social media. Having a physical piece is beneficial for getting people to notice your group before deciding to follow with a digital component.
  • Ways to save money with shipping: flat (more than 6.25” tall and 11” long) mail can be cheaper than letter size. Size regulations often fluctuate, so it’s important to check with your provider often.


For the past three sessions, we have presented a poll related to the topic to help break the ice and encourage participation. This week, we wanted to see how our participants have used direct mail in the past for their marketing initiatives.

The categories that received the most responses were postcards, newsletters and annual reports. Other answers included fundraising appeals and catalogs.

Key Discussion Questions

Q: Where are the best places to purchase mailing lists?

We’ve found that it’s best to stick to the big, established providers, like InfoUSA, Hoovers or Experian. The narrower the list, the more expensive it is due to the research that goes into formulating a smaller, more specific audience. If you don’t want to purchase a list with particular parameters, you can use Every Door Direct Mail, which allows you to market to your local community. If you’re having a sale, opening a new location, or offering coupons, Every Door Direct Mail can help you send mail to the right customers by using community addresses instead of individual contacts.

One other option you can explore if you’re B2B focused is if you’re a member of any professional associations, they will often allow you to rent mailing lists.

Q: What are some tips for including multiple translations in your direct mail?

Neuger has included English and Spanish in the same brochure when clients have specified the need. Neuger also works with clients that translate multiple languages for a specific piece (three languages for one piece). It can be challenging to format with varying word counts, so consider limiting the amount of copy in your design and include more visual elements that communicate your message.

Segment your database and know your audience. If you have a notable following that speaks a language besides English, plan to have a separate group list.

Q: Does it make sense to recruit or target age groups for hiring via direct mail?

You can tailor a list to a specific demographic within a location. It costs more money to be more targeted and narrow your list, which is something to keep in mind. The more parameters and details to your list, the more research and work it takes to formulate it. Something to consider is that people are especially excited to check their mailboxes right now considering the circumstances, so if you hit the right audience, the recruiting may be more effective.

In Summary

Thank you for joining us this week and contributing to our collaborative dialogue of the best ways to use direct mail. It is essential to acknowledge that a physical marketing product can serve as a handshake to a prospective client, and introduce your company to a broader audience despite this time of isolation. We appreciate you all for joining our space and sharing your insights.