How To Start & Grow Your Business

How Snail Mail Gives you the Marketing Edge

From the Editor's Desk
Mar 18th, 2015
  • Estimated reading time: 2 min read
  • Hummy's

    1A piece of physical mail gets attention and stands out. 2It's great for introducing yourself for the first time. 3Direct mail lists target demographics precisely.
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Marketing Strategy

Businessman Standing Holding an Umbrella Photo Credit: Rawpixel

Email communications have taken over to the point that receiving a handwritten note is something quaint and extraordinary. As the daily influx of hundreds of emails into our work and personal junk mail boxes increases, the number of envelopes that arrive in our physical mailboxes continues to dwindle.

This means if you choose to advertise using the traditional snail mail, you will get noticed. An article in by Minda Zetlin highlights many ways in which direct mail marketing can be superior to its digital counterpart.

Comparing the numbers

The article quotes marketing expert Mark Satterfield, who explains why this is the case. Let’s start with the response rate for unsolicited messages. “‘Direct mail responses vary, but anything from 0.5 to 2 percent is considered good,’ Satterfield says.”

“‘For unsolicited email marketing, a good response rate is 0.01 percent.’ Not only that, research shows that paper letters, postcards and flyers leave a greater impression on the brain than electronic media. ‘So you have a higher chance that your promotion will be acted on.'”

When snail mail is more effective:

  • Approaching “high-level decision makers
  • Introducing oneself
  • Targeting your demographic by zipcode, etc.
  • Advertising a holiday or event-based promotion
  • Leading people to visit your webpage

Getting opened

Satterfield says that high-level decision makers have spam filters so sensitive that your unsolicited email will never reach them. Whereas a physical piece of mail that appears to be business correspondence may actually get opened, due to the perception that it could be something important.

Generating inbound

He recommends that a very effective approach is to use your piece of direct mail to direct recipients to your website for a promotion or free download of some kind. Then they are led to register their email addresses to obtain the digital materials they wish to receive. This is a powerful turning point, because at that point you have permission to email them, and it is no longer a cold lead.

“Opt-in email lists are very effective for marketing, so the combination of the direct mail piece and the website were very effective, Satterfield says.”

“‘If you view the objective of your direct mail campaign as getting people to express interest in you, then it’s very powerful,’ he adds.”

To view the original article in its entirety, please visit

About the Author

From the Editor's Desk

This article was written by a bizHUMM Staff Writer. We aim to provide practical tips that help solve your burning small business questions. If you have any suggestions or ideas for articles, please email them to: