How to create Successful Direct Mail Letter Campaigns



Direct mail letter campaigns can be an effective way to engage your audience for marketing, customer appreciation, or special announcements.

Additionally, letters provide a longer format, ideal for securing personal details or communicating in a formal tone.

If sending direct mail postcards to your audience isn’t enough or is not the right fit for your messaging, here’s why direct mail letter campaigns may be the answer.

Direct Mail Letters infographic

Who Benefits from Sending Letters as Direct Mail?

Direct mail letters are a versatile marketing tool that can benefit a variety of businesses, especially businesses needing to establish a more formal and private connection with their audience.

Direct mail letters boast a healthy response rate of 4.3% when sent in letter-sized envelopes, so whether you’re in professional services, healthcare, education, finance, or a B2B business, leveraging direct mail letters can enhance your communication strategy and build stronger relationships with your clients and customers.


Professional and Formal Presentation

Letters are perceived as more formal and serious compared to postcards. They are ideal for business communications where a professional tone is crucial.

They can be printed on branded stationery, enhancing the professional presentation and reinforcing brand identity. Letters also provide ample space to convey detailed information, making them suitable for complex messages, personalized offers, and in-depth explanations.


Personalization and Customization

Letters can be personalized with the recipient’s name, address, and tailored content, which can create a stronger personal connection.

You can easily customize a letter’s greeting, details in the message, and targeted offers based on recipient data. For example, you can include recipients name, account number, and previous order in a letter instructing them to renew or restock your product or service.


Privacy and Perceived Value

Receiving a letter often feels more significant than receiving a postcard. The effort of opening an envelope can make the recipient feel valued and special.

The envelope also offers privacy and security for sensitive or confidential information, making them ideal for legal, financial, and healthcare communications.

Direct mail letters are invaluable for non-profits organizations and businesses that need to handle confidential or sensitive information. For non-profits, letters provide a secure way to share personalized donation requests, including information on the donation amount, account number, customer identity, and other donor-specific details. Direct Mail letters provide a secure way for businesses to communicate about confidential services. For example, a government assistance programs sending letters to low-income families can communicate discretely through letters to inform eligible households about their services.


How to Leverage Variable Data in Letters

All direct mail can leverage variable data, including letters and postcards. Variable data is an effective technique used in direct mail marketing that allows for the customization and personalization of printed materials on a large scale.

This approach involves changing elements such as text, graphics, and images from one printed piece to the next without stopping or slowing down the printing process.

You can even customize the offer as studies have shown that when receiving a personalized direct mail piece, 73% of consumers took action because it included multiple offers or promos.

Example of a Personalized Direct Mail letter and envelope

Examples and benefits of variable data



Variable data printing allows you to customize each letter with the recipient’s name, address, and other personal details. Personalized direct mail are more likely to resonate with recipients and encourage a response.


Targeted Messaging

Use variable data to tailor the message based on the recipient’s preferences, purchase history, or demographics. This targeted approach increases the relevance and effectiveness of your direct mail campaign.


Dynamic Content

Incorporate variable data to change parts of the letter’s content dynamically. This can include personalized offers, product recommendations, or special event invitations, making each letter unique and relevant to the recipient.



How to choose the right Envelope for Direct Mail Letters


Paper Quality

Choose high-quality paper for your letters. The tactile experience of good paper can leave a lasting impression and convey professionalism.

At Sharpdots, we offer our customers #70 Offset paper and #24 white wove envelopes (#10) by default for our direct mail letters and envelopes. You can also customize your paper and envelope choice further through the direct mail quote link on the right of product page.


Design Elements

Incorporate your brand’s colors, logos, and design elements in the letterhead and envelope. A cohesive and visually appealing design reinforces brand recognition and enhances the overall presentation.

By customizing these design elements, you can make a lasting impression on your audience!


Envelope Selection

Select envelopes that match the quality and style of your letters. Consider options like window envelopes for added convenience or colored envelopes to stand out in the mailbox. Ensure the size and shape are appropriate for your letter content.


Here is a template you can use to design your direct mail letter envelope.



Customized Direct Mail Letter Campaigns

If you need to send more than a letter in your envelope, then you can expand your letter into a kit!

Here are examples of what you can create:


Product Samples

Enhance your letter with a sample of your product. This allows recipients to experience your product firsthand, increasing the likelihood of purchase.


Brochures and Flyers

Include additional informational materials that complement your letter. Brochures and flyers can provide more details about your offerings, special promotions, or upcoming events.

This approach allows you to present your message through the letter while the brochure or flyer can serve as a keepsake or reminder the recipient can keep around.


Promotional Items

Consider adding small promotional items like pens, stickers, or magnets. These items not only provide value but also serve as a constant reminder of your brand!

For more elaborate direct mail kits, you can view and request a quote for our sample mailers here.



How to Get Started

If you’ve determined at this point that sending letters over postcards is for you, then here are some steps to help you get started…


1 | Define Your Goals

Determine the objective of your direct mail campaign. Are you looking to generate leads, drive sales, or enhance customer loyalty? Clear goals will guide your strategy and content.


2 | Build or Purchase Your Mailing List

Compile a list of recipients based on your target audience. Ensure your mailing list is up-to-date and segmented for personalized messaging.

If you’re purchasing a mailing list, ensure the data points you’ll use to customize your letter are includes, especially the first and last names of each recipient.


3 | Create Compelling Content

Write a persuasive letter that speaks directly to your audience. Highlight the benefits of your product or service, include a clear call-to-action, and keep the tone friendly and engaging.

Personalize the letter to the recipient by using variable data fields, like first name, last name, company name, order history, or custom offers.


4 | Design and Print

Include your branding on both the letter and envelope. Use quality paper and materials to increase the perceived value of your direct mail piece.

It’s also important to use a reliable printer, like Sharpdots, that offers quality paper and variable data printing to personalize each letter.


5 | Track and Analyze

After sending your letters, track the results of your campaign. Monitor response rates, conversions, and overall engagement to measure the effectiveness and make improvements for future campaigns.

At Sharpdots, we offer a campaign dashboard to track performance through our Omni Mail service.


Beautiful woman reading a direct mail letter at home, close-up. Focus on the foreground, on the hands holding letter.

Successful Direct Mail Letter Campaigns

Ultimately, sending letters in envelopes as direct mail is a powerful way to connect with your audience on a personal level.

By leveraging variable data, choosing the right materials, and enhancing your letters with additional content, you can create effective direct mail campaigns that make a lasting impression.


Get started today and experience the benefits of this timeless marketing strategy.



What is a direct mail letter?

A direct mail letter is a personalized letter sent to potential customers or clients as part of a marketing campaign. These letters often contain persuasive content, a compelling offer, and a clear call to action, encouraging the recipient to respond, make a purchase, or take another desired action.

How do you write a direct mail letter?

When writing a direct mail letter the most important factors to consider are your audience and your offer. These two factors will influence the tone of your letter. The format of your letter can vary, but we recommend you start with this basic structure: a compelling headline to grab attention, followed by a personalized salutation to make the recipient feel valued. Then, clearly state the purpose of the letter, highlight the benefits of your offer, and include a strong call to action, directing the recipient to take the next step.

How long should a direct mail letter be?

A direct mail letter should be concise yet comprehensive enough to convey your message effectively. Ideally one to two pages long. The length should be sufficient to introduce your offer, explain its benefits, and include a strong call to action without overwhelming the reader. Aim for clarity and brevity, ensuring every sentence adds value and keeps the recipient engaged.

Do you need consent for direct mail?

No, you do not typically need explicit consent for direct mail since it involves sending physical mail to recipients' addresses rather than using electronic communication methods. However, it's crucial to follow best practices and legal guidelines, such as respecting requests to be removed from mailing lists and adhering to data protection regulations regarding the collection and use of personal information.



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