Add a New Dimension to Your Direct Mail


When was the last time you received “junk mail?”

Chances are, it’s been recent.  By now, discarding junk mail without a second thought is part of a routine.

Postcards, advertising, gym membership discounts you won’t use, catalogs from stores you haven’t shopped at in years, envelopes shouting, “You’re Approved!” for a new credit card you don’t need—when was the last time you actually gave them any more than a cursory glance before heading to the recycling bin?

Well, you’re not alone: it’s estimated that 44% of junk mail is thrown away without ever being opened[1].


If your business sends mailers to customers, recognizing this common behavior is critical.


Your customers may already be overwhelmed by piles of junk mail, and adding one more underwhelming advertisement to their mailbox does neither your business nor your customers any good.

This is not to say that direct mail campaigns don’t work: Compu-Mail reported in 2014 that 40% of customers try a new business after receiving a mailer, and that direct mail campaigns give businesses a 13 to 1 return on investment[2].  The trick is getting your customers to actually read your mailers.

Designers and printers are constantly coming up with new ways to break away from the monotony of average junk mail and make opening mail more rewarding.  It’s easier than you may think to apply these ideas to your own brand strategy!

Here are just a few ways to step up your mailer game, and get them out of the junk pile.


#1: Make it pop

Pop-ups aren’t just annoying internet ads or cheesy birthday cards.  They’re actually a fun way to add interest and dimension to a folded mailer.  Some take a traditional pop-up card route, like this IKEA mailer.

Others go the extra mile and literally leap off the page when you open them.  Talk about attention grabbing!


#2: Tear it up

Carefully planned perforations can add interactivity to a simple design.  Customers tear up a perforated strip to open the piece or uncover the image beneath.  Because who doesn’t enjoy a little destruction now and again?

Designers at BMW used this technique to bring driving through snow to life, and cleverly promote their line of cold weather tires.


#3: Slide to view

Moving parts—pull tabs, sliders, spinners, you name it—encourage your customer to spend a little more time with your mailer as they uncover the hidden pieces and enjoy watching the images transform.

The number of ways that you can use this technique is only limited by your imagination.

This “magic card” style mailer hides part of the image until you pull it out of the window.


#4: Texturize it

Letterpress, a technique of debossing text on paper, is all the rage these days.

It’s often used because it adds an instant sense of luxury and “going the extra mile.” However, embossing and debossing aren’t just for type.  They also add a subtle tactile effect to simple, clean illustrations.

The embossed gold beetle of LA jewelry store Gold Bug is a great example of how this printing technique can create that luxury feel.


#5: Send something unexpected

Mailers don’t have to be limited to just ink on paper.  Depending on your industry, you may find including small product samples useful.  Or, include a simple gift relating to your business that your customers might enjoy.

The important thing is that this gift is something your customer would want to keep or interact with; yet another fridge magnet with your business’ name and phone number on it isn’t high on the gift list.

The Milwaukee Brewers mailed a simple 35-piece jigsaw puzzle to fans that hadn’t renewed their season tickets. The catch?  One piece of the puzzle was missing, and customers were given a number to call to request that missing piece.  While they were on the phone, they may have had a discussion about renewing their season tickets for another year.





These are just a few of the ways that businesses are making their mailers stand out, and they’re not just for giant corporations with massive advertising budgets.

While it’s true that these mailers will cost more per piece than your average postcard, the options are so vast and versatile that they can be worked into almost any budget.  The impact they make on your customer is invaluable.


Mailing something your customers find worth reading, keeping, and even sharing with others will drive more business your way.



Now that you know more about your options for direct mail campaigns, it’s time to get creative!  

The designers at Brasco /// can help your business develop more innovative mailings and make your customers actually look forward to getting mail from you.  Take a look here to see one of the 3D cards we have made for our own clients.