The Big Comeback of Direct Mailing: Unlocking Effective Marketing Channels

Delivery man scanning a letter with smart phone

Once regarded as an outdated marketing method, direct mail is experiencing a resurgence in 2023 due to its unique ability to cut through the noise and deliver tangible results. As per The Mail Shark, the primary share of local advertising spend in the US alone is allocated towards direct mail, amounting to $38.5 billion.

In this article, we will explore why this is proving to be an effective marketing channel, its applications across various industries, the potential for a high return on investment (ROI), direct mailing fulfillment, and the importance of finding the right third-party logistics (3PL) partner to organize successful campaigns.

What Is Direct Mailing Fulfillment?

This type of fulfillment is the organized way of putting together and sending out direct mail efforts to specific people. Direct mail marketing is the whole process of making and sending advertising materials like brochures, catalogues, postcards, or letters to a specific group of people or businesses.

Here’s a quick rundown of how the process works:

  • Database management: An email list is made or collected with the names and addresses of the people who are supposed to get it. The list can be gotten in several ways, like through opt-in subscriptions, bought lists, or clients’ files.
  • Design and Printing: The content and design of direct mail pieces are made based on business goals. This can include pictures, text, special features, offers, and calls to action. Once the design is finalized, the materials are printed.
  • Personalization: Depending on the campaign goals, the direct mail pieces may be personalised with recipient-specific information, such as names, addresses, or tailored offers. This personalization adds a customized touch and can improve response rates.
  • Assembly and Packaging: The printed materials are assembled, folded, collated, and prepared for distribution. This step involves organizing and packaging the individual pieces according to the campaign requirements.
  • Postage and Mailing: The direct mail pieces are sorted, and appropriate postage is applied. This can involve presorting based on postal regulations to ensure optimal mailing rates. After the packages are ready, they are usually sent to the post office or a third-party mail house to ensure they arrive quickly and reliably.
  • Tracking and Delivery Confirmation: These are important features that some direct mailing fulfillment services can offer to make it easier to monitor the sending process. With this feature, businesses can check on the progress of their mailings and see how well they are doing.
  • Post-campaign Analysis: Businesses need a follow-up analysis to determine how well their direct mail campaign worked. Usually, key performance indicators (KPIs) like reaction rates, conversions, and return on investment (ROI) are used to measure the success of a campaign. This analytical assessment is crucial in gauging the marketing campaign’s efficacy and offers valuable insights for enhancing future performance.

With many disadvantages of electronic mail like spam, design issues, and general noise in the space, this could be the perfect way to deliver the message about your product, promotion, or special offer to your customer. And we mean direct! Use physical mail as another channel for an effective marketing campaign.

The Old/New Effective Marketing Channel

With the advent of email, social media, and other digital platforms, it seemed like direct mail had lost its relevance. However, as consumers are bombarded with digital advertisements daily, the physicality of direct mail stands out. Receiving well-crafted and personalized mail creates a tangible connection that engages recipients in a way that digital ads cannot replicate.

Here are just a few benefits of this marketing medium:

Versatile Applications of Direct Mailing Across Industries

Direct mail is a versatile marketing tool that various industries can effectively utilise. Retailers can send out catalogues or personalized product samples to entice potential customers. Real estate companies can use it to advertise available properties and draw potential buyers. Nonprofit organizations can rely on it to raise money and awareness for their causes. There are countless options, and direct mail is most effective when it can be customised to meet the demands of a particular industry.


Good Return on Investment (ROI)

The return on investment is one of the main issues when using any marketing channel.

Surprisingly, direct mail has consistently demonstrated an impressive ROI, often outperforming digital marketing efforts. According to a study by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), the average response rate for direct mail campaigns is 4.4%, compared to email’s response rate of just 0.12%. This higher response rate translates into increased customer engagement, conversion rates, and revenue generation.

Easy Organization with the Right 3PL Partner

While direct mail campaigns may seem daunting, partnering with the right third-party logistics (3PL) provider can significantly simplify the process. A 3PL partner specializing in direct mail can handle the entire campaign lifecycle, from design and printing to fulfillment and delivery. This allows businesses to focus on their core competencies while leveraging the expertise and infrastructure of the 3PL provider.

The Role of a 3PL Partner in Direct Mailing

A reliable 3PL partner covers various aspects of direct mailing, ensuring a smooth and successful campaign. They have the knowledge and resources to assist in creating eye-catching designs that capture the recipients’ attention. Additionally, 3PL companies can handle the printing and personalization of the mail pieces, ensuring each is tailored to the target audience.

The 3PL partner handles the logistics, including addressing, sorting, and arranging postage, which can be complex and time-consuming. Furthermore, they provide tracking and reporting capabilities, allowing businesses to monitor the progress and effectiveness of their direct mail campaigns.


Once considered a marketing relic, direct mailing has made a remarkable comeback in the digital era. With its ability to create a tangible and personalized connection with recipients, direct mail has proven to be an effective marketing channel across various industries. Its higher response rates and impressive ROI make it valuable to any comprehensive marketing strategy. By partnering with a reliable 3PL provider, businesses can streamline the organization of direct mail campaigns, from design to fulfillment, maximizing their chances.


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