3 Ways to Keep Direct Mail Out of the Trash

Getting someone’s attention with direct mail marketing is one of the greatest challenges businesses face. Your obstacle is making your piece stand out in the middle of a stack of mail when it is removed from the box.

The following is an overview of some of the best ways to create attention-getting mailers to ramp up your direct mail success.

1) Add Dimensions

Traditional letters and postcards often get lost in the clutter. They look like every other piece in a typical box, with one exception; they scream promotion. It is instinctive for a homeowner to discard sales-related pieces from a pile of mail without a second thought.

To get through this initial scan, add dimensions that force the person to ponder what to do. Boxes, kits and other non-standard mailers stick out because they are a different shape than typical mail. People get excited about finding small packages in the mailbox, so give them a positive initial vibe toward your piece. Then, deliver a compelling demonstration of value with a sample, great content or a custom offer.

You could even go high-tech by incorporating some virtual reality technology into your piece. Or, add a brief audio element after people push a button or open your mailer.

2) Infuse Color

Attract attention with color as well. Conventional postcards and letters normally have a white canvas. They get lost in the clutter of other white envelopes and postcards in the mail.

While a colorful mailer may be more expensive than a traditional white mailer, injecting beautiful color into your piece helps distract the subconscious mind of the consumer or business buyer looking for mail to discard. You can often earn that second look with powerful visualization. When you get attention, you need to follow-through with quick demonstrations of value based on the prospect’s identified needs, your solution’s benefits and custom offers.

3) Remember the Touch

Appealing to the human sense of touch is a less common but equally effective way to earn attention with your direct mail marketing. Remember, the goal is to break people out of the subconscious routines that cause them to throw out traditional items.

Firmer and better paper quality is a good place to start. Quality paper feels good in a person’s hands relative to cheap, thin paper. Take things a step further with soft material like cotton or go for a luxury feel with something like silk. As people sift through the stack of mail, they can’t help but notice the distinct feel of quality, comfort, and sophistication that comes from these materials.


Appealing to one’s senses is something that all of these strategies have in common. Each of these direct mail marketing strategies to get attention ties into sense like sight, touch, and hearing. These senses are your battleground for earning attention.

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