Pinterest has an entire 369-pin hashtag dedicated to creative direct mail marketing, and for good reason. While e-mail can often have a one-dimensional feel, direct-mail marketing is something clients can feel, see and touch, which holds many opportunities for the right company that’s feeling an outside-the-box approach.

The initial objections to going beyond the standard direct mail postcard or other mailer (which definitely still have their place in the Atlanta direct mail marketing world) are often concerns about costs and then on return on investment (ROI).


The cautious direct mail marketer should take these facts into account, however, that were revealed in a February 2015 article from the Advertising Specialty Institute: One, that people prefer to receive direct mail over any other advertising medium and two, that direct mail costs per lead are roughly the same as e-mail and pay-per-click advertising.

Fun With Folds

Folding a direct mail piece in an intricate and eye-catching manner is one way companies call attention to their direct mailers. One company utilized a uniquely folded annual report that could be opened up from different aspects to review the company’s growth and projections for the year.

From accordion-style to origami-like folding, there are many techniques businesses can utilize to make folds work for them.

Activity Mailers

Sometimes giving a recipient a creative task to complete can more fully draw him or her into an advertiser’s mailer. One example is a mailer that is an envelope whose contents include a baggie full of puzzle pieces. When the puzzle is assembled, the recipient can read the advertiser’s message.

Another advertiser sent along a mailer envelope with a seemingly blank poster inside and a carbon-copy-like sheet material on the opposite side. When the user ran his or her hands up and down the poster, imprinted words appeared, reading “The Future Belongs to The Few Of Us Still Willing to Get Our Hands Dirty.” When directed to the right customer, this makes for pretty powerful messaging.

Sending along stickers or even flipbooks are two additional activity-driven mailers. Some advertisers also send along a pair of 3-D glasses the recipient has to put on in order to see the message contained within the mailer.

Gift-Giving Galore

While companies may not wish to spend their precious advertising dollars on an unknown customer or new lead, they may want to retain a customer using a gift, giving strategy. One company sent its clients Christmas-Teas, a pop-up box that appeared to have small Christmas trees sticking out of it. When the recipient lifts up the box, it is revealed that the Christmas trees are actually Christmas teas or tea bags.

Another gift-like direct mailer is a magnifying glass the user can continue to use, but that also enlarges the advertiser’s mini-message for easier reading.

Additional useful items can include matchbooks and even the standard coffee mug. Each of these gifts has lasting advertising capacity because ideally the recipient will keep the item and show it off to co-workers or family for some time to come.

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Data from the research company Competiscan found that direct mail has shown increases in custom acquisition rates, particularly within the financial services sector.

The millennial generation represents those born between the years 1980 and 1999. They currently represent consumers in a highly sought after target demographic market of between the ages of 20 and 39. This news may come as a surprise to some Atlanta advertisers, as the millennial generation is often considered one that prefers to communicate or view advertisements via e-mail and on the computer only.

The study found that companies in the financial services sector, such as banks, credit card companies and investment firms, are also increasing the amount of direct mail sent to millenials. In 2014,financial service businesses sent an estimated 10 percent more direct mail to millenials than they had in 2010. Financial companies are seeing the growth opportunities for this market as an estimated 40 percent of their direct mail efforts are directed at this key age group.


Not Just Business as Usual

One of the reasons why the financial sector is increasingly utilizing direct mail marketing efforts is they have found ways to integrate e-mail and online marketing campaigns more seamlessly with direct mail marketing opportunities. The messages are also directed at an audience that may not download an app, but instead prefers to conduct their financial business in a face-to-face environment. For example, many advertisers opt to give clients a unique computer link to information about a particular special offer. This allows the advertiser to track just how many customers are paying attention to the mailer and acting on it.

Other companies use direct mail to highlight all of the different ways a person can complete a credit card application. This includes via phone, smartphone or in person to apply for a credit card.

Direct mail serves as the key that unlocks the door to a potential customer acquisition. The direct mail advertisement introduces a particular theme, product or development, then gives the recipient the opportunity to explore other more common and comfortable methods of communication, such as e-mail. Even if a recipient does not make immediate use of a particular offer, they have started to familiarize themselves with a company’s branding and product. The next time they see this logo or offer, they are more likely to recall the company and its purpose.

A Generation of Influence

Millenials’ and advertisers’ utilization of direct mail has shown that sometimes the oldest methods of advertising remain the best. Even for a technology-friendly generation, direct mail still has power and usefulness in getting media messages through.

Millenials also have a relationship to direct mail that they may not feel with e-mails or digital advertising communications. Millenials find direct mail to be more reliable and less intrusive than an e-mail clogging their inbox. According to a 2012 study from the research firm ExactTarget, people of all ages said that direct mail does not seem as improper as a cold call or other unsolicited message.


If you have approached your 2015 direct mail marketing strategy the same way you did 2014, 2013 and beyond, it’s time to think differently. Here are four new strategies to take in 2015 that will greatly benefit your direct mail marketing campaigns — and your profits.

1. Segment Your Messages by Researching Your Customers

If you were speaking directly to a repeat customer and a new customer, you would likely use different messages for each. One needs education about your business to gain their interest while the other needs to know what’s new or innovative they can take advantage of. You have to view your direct-mail marketing approaches the same way. This begins with how you make and manage your list.


For 2015, improve your messages by dividing your list into three segments:current, past and future customers. You must then direct your mail messages accordingly.

2. Integrate Your Marketing Messages

When it comes to direct mail, e-mail and other advertising forms, it’s easy to take an “us versus them” approach where only one approach will do. The truth is, that integrating these techniques will strengthen your message overall. Even if it’s colors, a tagline or a special offer, you can use direct mail as a multiple-touch opportunity to reinforce or introduce a message.

3. Test Your Offers

While a direct mail coupon or special offer may seem compelling to you, how do you know the direct mail is compelling to your audience? The answer is that you ask them. This principle can easily tie back in with the integration concept. Perhaps you launch your e-mail campaign first. You can come back a few days later and poll your subscribers on if they received your first message and how they may have responded to it. Or you can simply use click-through’s and purchasing responses to help gauge its efficacy.

Now you have information at your fingertips. If the message was effective, great. You can continue your direct mail campaign. If not, consider re-tooling your messaging. Perhaps you can make it more focused on a certain segment or consider a slightly different offer that has proven effective in the past. Another approach is to move up your call to action or make it more prominent in a direct-mail piece. Learning from your audience and using them to guide your direct mail is much more likely to equal success.

4. Take a Good Assessment of Your Direct Mail

Direct mail is an investment — do your mailers reflect this? One of the worst things an advertiser can do is send out a piece of direct mail that looks inexpensive or cheap. While your goal may be to save your customers money, scrimping on the advertisement that will get them in the door is not the way to accomplish this. There are many ways to create a stand-out direct mail piece that makes an impression — and just as many ways not to. Evaluate your approach and consider other options available to you, such as switching up a postcard for a direct mail package with a letter.

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Contact Better Letter: 678-565-9388

Without a clear call to action, your direct mail campaign is unlikely to be successful. You must explain to recipients what they are expected to do if they are interested in your product or service. They may have to telephone to make an appointment, access your website, or visit your store. No matter what you want them to do, you must be sure to be explicit in your direct mail advertisement.

Don’t Be Coy

You know what steps you want your audience to take after reading your advertisement, so don’t be coy about asking them to take action. It is not enough simply to list your website address or telephone number in the communication. That will do little more than raise brand awareness. If you want to generate new business, you must clearly state the steps that your prospective customers must take next.


Create a Sense of Urgency

Ideally, you want your prospective customers to act immediately on reading your advertisement. The longer they wait, the less likely they are to call you, visit your website or come to your store. You can create a sense of urgency in your call to action by asking recipients to “call today.” Alternatively, you can include an offer or discount that has to be redeemed within a specific timeframe.

The Ideal Location

You can include a call to action at several points in your direct mail. It can be stated in the opening or closing paragraphs of your letter, as a P.S. at the end of the communication, in a highlighted box inserted beside the main body of text, or in bold text in the body of the letter. You should take some time to consider which locations will work best in the context of your advertising copy.

State Your Call to Action Often

You may want to include several calls to action in different locations. In reality, few recipients will read the entire communication. Including a call to action at the beginning of the communication can be vital to attract the attention of prospective customers who merely glance at the first few paragraphs. Including a call to action at the end can be useful as customers may skip there to find out what to do if they are interested in your offer.


Having a clearly stated call to action will increase the response rate from your direct mail campaign. It is worth spending time crafting an explicit, unambiguous call to action to ensure that customers know what is expected of them and are compelled to take action.

Contact Better Letter for all of your direct mail needs!

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Contact Better Letter: 678-565-9388


The personal level of service that every customer receives is what really sets Better Letter Mailing Services apart from other direct mailing companies. Their quality of service, their understanding of USPS rules and regulations, and their understanding of the direct mail industry is second to none. Better Letter holds themselves to the highest level of proficiency. And that level of proficiency stays high, no matter how large or how small the direct mail campaign is.



Mistakes are not an option at Better Letter. Better Letter processes each and every job with extreme caution and carefulness. When it comes to creating and managing direct mail campaigns, Better Letter meticulously ensures that everything is done right the first time, and every time.


Better Letter knows that every direct mail campaign is time sensitive. Whether or not the mail piece is promoting a special dated event or has an expiration date on the offer, it is still imperative that the mail piece hit at the correct time. Therefore every mail processing job is “Priority One: Mission Critical” as soon as it hits the production floor. Better Letter is known throughout the Atlanta business community for getting all of their direct mail marketing jobs done quickly, and done on-time… every time. Timeliness is always critical in the direct mail industry. No one knows this better than Better Letter.


Better Letter is also known for being able to handle urgent mail projects that have to be processed quickly and with little or no advance notice… RUSH JOBS. Also, if you started processing a direct mail campaign at another mail house and the job has gotten messed up and behind schedule, give Better Letter a call. They can usually take mail jobs that have been derailed somewhere else and fix them so that they can now be entered into the U.S. Postal Service mail stream. In fact, anytime you’ve got a mailing emergency, call Better Letter. Calling Better Letter is like calling 911. Better Letter’s expert consultants are available every day to make sure that your mail campaign is processed properly, expertly, and in compliance with all of the USPS standard mail preparation requirements.


Better Letter’s CASS Certified and PAVE Certified software systems and their USPS bulk mail processing expertise, ensures that your mailings receive the maximum presorted postage discounts on every mailing. Those discounts belong to you.


There are many advantages to letting Better Letter handle all of your graphic and printing services, in addition to handling your mailing services. The biggest advantage this gives you is that we have a full-time mail piece design analyst on staff in our graphic arts department. He can make sure that all of your mail pieces are designed and printed to meet all of the mail piece design criteria imposed by the U.S. Postal Service. Because we are a mailing service, many of our customers send us mailing projects that have been printed elsewhere. We are happy to process all of your mailing projects, regardless of where they were printed. However, sometimes those mail pieces show up unexpectedly on our dock, and once we inspect them it is clear to see that they violate one of more of the U.S. Postal Service’s Bulk Mail acceptance criteria. When that happens, the customer usually ends up having to pay more in postage. When your mail piece is not designed and printed properly, it may not qualify for the lower discounted rates, or worse yet, it may be deemed “un-mailable” and have to be reprinted. If we design and print your mail piece, then you know it will be correct every time.


We pride ourselves on providing you excellent mailing services. But as a full service lettershop, Better Letter also has the capability to handle all of your printing needs as well. Our full-service print shop can handle everything from letters, envelopes, and postcards, all the way up to full color brochures and catalogs. If you have any questions about mail piece design, or if you would like us to bid on your next printing job, please do not hesitate to give us a call. We will help you any way we can.


If you have an idea for a direct mailing project that you are considering, and you would like to get some idea as what it may cost to print and process, do not hesitate to call Better Letter. We would be delighted to put together a cost estimation for you at no charge. If some of the variables change, just let us know and we are happy to update your price quote to the most current mailing scenario at No Charge. We work for you.


We serve the entire Metro Atlanta area. If you have mailing materials thatyou need dropped off or picked up at your location, that is no problem. Justgive us a call and one of our friendly drivers will be out immediately to assist you.


Instead of giving up your precious office space to warehouse mounds of mailing material. Just keep it here at Better Letter. In fact, if you areusing an outside vendor for printing, just have your materials ship directlyto Better Letter. We will warehouse it here for you until you are ready to mail. No problem whatsoever. Just let us know what it is coming our way, and we will receive it, inventory it, and warehouse it.


Chuck Ekstedt is the owner, founder, and President of Better Letter Mailing Services, Inc. He holds office hours every day in the main production facility. He is available everyday M-F if you need to talk to an accountable person in the company. He is personally aware of every job that enters and leaves his company. If you ever need to speak to someone in a position of higher authority at the company, he is always available. His direct line is 678-565-9388 Ext 102 His direct email is: His door is always open. Feel free to contact him anytime you have a concern.

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