Is direct mail dead? Hardly, according to Target Marketing Magazine, Marketers spent $45 billion to send 87 billion pieces of mail in 2013. Why is that? Why would marketers invest so much money, time, and effort in an old school advertising technique that dates back more than a century? Could it be because it works?

The Top Fifty Know it Works

In the cover story from 2014, Top Fifty Direct Mailers, they list some of the largest and most recognized companies in America as the top mailers. Here are a few from the list.

  • Financial institutes – American Express, Chase Bank, and Capitol One
  • Communications – ATT, Comcast, and Verizon
  • Insurance – Geico, State Farm, and Allstate
  • Retail – Macy’s, JC Penny, and Kohl’s
  • Charity – Salvation Army, St Jude’s Hospital for Children, and the Wounded Warrior Project

Impressive list, isn’t it? Do you think these industry leaders know what they’re doing or just send mailers because? Another interesting company in the top 50 is Dell, the computer people. They not only advertise online but through snail mail as well.

Direct Mail Allows Creativity

When I say direct mail what do you imagine? Is it a post card?  Creating an Effective Direct Mail Post Card. It can be, and it can be a lot more. Direct mail isn’t limited to post cards, letters, and flyers. It includes catalogues, promotional products, and all sorts of creative pieces such as this pop up mailer from Ikea IKEA’s Pop-Up Direct Mail Piece. Here are a few more creative ideas, 12 Brilliant Direct Marketing Pieces You Have to See.

Super Segmentation

This morning I opened a direct marketing piece from Kroger’s Grocery. It was an attractive, brightly colored envelop with a letter from the president on the inside flap thanking us for our patronage. The envelope held 14 coupons for products we purchased frequently. It wasn’t a one size fits all weekly special. It was brands we use, kitty litter, coffee, and chips.


At least once a week I receive a direct mail piece form AARP. Collectively the pieces build brand. AARP has positioned itself as a helpful resource, and part of this effective branding has been accomplished by direct mail. I could say the same thing for Triple A. Maybe it’s the letter A?

Should Direct Mail be a Part of Your Next Marketing Campaign?

Direct mail, at its best, isn’t a standalone marketing effort. At its best it’s part of a comprehensive advertising plan. The top fifty direct mailers didn’t only use direct mail to advertise their products and services, they used multiple mediums including, TV, radio, print, and social media.

Direct mail can be an integral part of any marketing effort, sharing the message, reinforcing the brand, and reaching a demographic that might not be reached by other forms of advertising.

Is it time for you to go old school on you next campaign?

If you’d like some creative direct mail ideas we’d be happy to help, Contact Us.

Or drop us a post card at:

TKO Marketing Solutions

2751 Stafford Road

Plainfield, IN 46168