The Small Business Guide to Direct Mail Marketing

A woman works on a direct mailing campaign on her computer.

Direct mail marketing can be a powerful tool for small businesses looking to reach their target audience in a tangible, personal way. In the digital age we live and work in, direct mail can stand out and create meaningful connections with customers, creating well-thought-out and targeted campaigns that can be more effective and engaging to today’s consumers.

According to the US Post Office (1), direct mail has the highest ROI for 67% of marketers, with a 66% engagement rate from consumers. Direct mail can be a low-cost, high-yield marketing option for small businesses like yours.

What is direct mail marketing for small businesses?

Direct mail marketing is physical correspondence, as opposed to digital interaction, with customers and prospects designed to engage them to take action. Direct mail is a strategy of sending advertising mail, such as pre-approved credit card applications or nonprofit fundraising letters, directly to potential consumers based on demographic information.

While direct mail is often dismissed as junk mail, it remains a significant and effective marketing strategy for small businesses targeting older generations, such as Baby Boomers and Gen X.

What are the benefits of direct mail?

Direct mail offers small businesses the distinctive advantage of physical interaction with customers and prospects, creating a memorable and tangible connection that digital media cannot replicate. Direct mailings using variable print allow for highly targeted marketing campaigns, enabling businesses to reach specific demographics with personalized messages that increase engagement and conversion rates. Here are some key advantages to incorporating direct mail into your marketing strategy:


While the cost of direct mail can vary based on the weight of what your business sense, sending direct mail in bulk helps you spend less than you would on individual mail. These savings will positively impact the ROI for direct mail.

Creative & customizable

Direct mail has the ability to be creative and highly customizable. By sending your customers a physical item or coupon in the mail, you can encourage them to do something with the mail, such as bring it into your store, making the customer more likely to hold onto the mail and read it. Additionally, with variable printing, you can customize individual direct mailings based on your customer segments. For example, you can insert a personal touch, like the customer’s name or handwritten text. Direct mail allows you to explore endless options for combining digital and analog advertising to expand your target audience and attract new customers.

Larger reach

Direct mail often has a more extensive reach than digital marketing, especially if your target audience is difficult to reach through social media or email. With direct mail, you can reach many more customers that you may have otherwise missed.

Less competitive

With the rise of social media and email marketing, more and more companies are abandoning their physical marketing strategies. This has resulted in a smaller playing field and a much larger chance for your business to stand out. With direct mail that is designed to stand out, you have a more significant chance of receiving a higher ROI.

Types of direct mail

The possibilities are endless! Direct mail campaigns can be everything from postcards to mailing a dollar bill as an incentive to take the survey. Here are a few of the most popular ideas for direct mail campaigns:

  • Promo items that can easily be mailed, such as sticky notes, calendars, and refrigerator magnets, can engage the recipient long after they open the mailer.
  • Catalogs and coupons can be specifically addressed using variable print, increasing response rates and engagement.
  • You can announce the opening of a new retail location, a new product, or any change to the business that entices customers to learn more, visit your business, and maybe share their experiences on social media.
  • Seasonal businesses such as snow removal services, landscapers, and outdoor summer dining venues can target consumers with coupons and event announcements.

Personalized direct mailing with variable print

Take your direct mail campaign to the next level using variable print. Variable printing, sometimes called variable data printing (VDP), is a form of digital printing that allows text, graphics, and images to be changed from one printed piece to the next without pausing the printing process. Variable print is coordinated with an external data file, which allows you to generate customized individual pieces within one single print job.

Your direct mail campaign addresses the recipient by name and can include custom imagery and curated text. Increase open rates and run multiple campaigns with variations in copy to better meet your customers’ needs. Build custom landing page experiences and offer a targeted barcode to recipients.

Let Velocity Direct Mail Services be your partner.

Velocity Direct Mail Services is all about making your small business direct mail campaign easy and effective. From the initial review and analysis of your mailing list to ensure compliance with frequently changing USPS regulations through the automated assembly and addressing of each piece to the final delivery to the post office, your direct mail project is handled with precision.

Velocity is a northeast-based corporate print solution and direct mail service company with representatives in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Florida. Our commitment to acquiring the best-in-class digital print equipment and technology makes your direct mail campaign efficient and delivered within budget. Contact us to speak with a team member and talk about your direct mail projects.


  1. USPS: Evergreen Search Mail

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