5 Smart Direct Marketing Ideas for your Next Campaign

Direct marketing is not easy; people have developed a good ‘self-defense mechanism’ to thwart direct marketing materials that companies throw at them. You need to be ultra-creative in getting your marketing message across, and you need to make sure that the message grabs the recipients’ attention.

Unfortunately, not many companies understand how to do direct marketing – usually in the form of direct mails – properly. Most of those mails are poorly designed, and they don’t convey messages that can spark the interest of the recipients (read: their message sucks!) No wonder most of those end up in trash bins.

Indeed, it’s not easy; we understand how hard it is to do proper direct marketing these days, so we got lucky that our friends at Envoprint offer us some ideas – five, in fact – to help you in brainstorming for ideas. Without further adieu, here they are:

1. Green Belgium / World Water Day: Letter

Green Belgium / World Water Day direct mail campaign
Via http://www.adeevee.com/2009/04/green-belgium-world-water-day-letter-direct-marketing/

In raising awareness on the importance of water during the World Water Day back in 2009, Green Belgium launch a direct mailing campaign that features a bluish letter, which message can only be read when you pour water on it. The message of the World Water Day is “Without Water, Knowledge can’t Flow”; the letter conveys the message in a great way – literally.

2. Lavonline “Tomato Splat”

Interactivity works, whether it’s online or offline marketing campaign. This also holds true with interactive direct mail campaigns. Here’s one great example for you: Lavonline. It’s an online laundry service in Italy. Their target market is busy professionals who simply can’t find laundry shops that open late at night due to their long hours. Lavaonline wants to position themselves as a professional service that takes out the hassles for them. But they need something special to attract their time-strapped target market.

So how does Lavonline promote their service? They send over a box. With a tomato. A fake one. The one that splats and return to the original form. The packaging has a target printed on it – so the recipient can have fun splatting the tomato over and over again – great for stress relief. The message: Splat as much as you like, and Lavonline will take care of it. A nice, engaging campaign that gives Lavonline 32 percent new registered members, 8 percent new clients, and 15 percent more traffic to their website.

3. ADT Security System: Box

ADT Security System: Box - direct mail campaign in Chile
Via http://www.envoprint.co.uk/clever-direct-marketing/

Is there a better way to grab attention than give your recipients a shock – and a fright? ADT’s direct marketing campaign in Chile did exactly just that: Targeting the apartment building residents, ADT wanted to encourage them to hire ADT for securing their homes. How? They slid a cardboard under their front doors, which can automatically pop up forming a box. The message printed on the box: Breaking into your apartment is easier than you think.

‘Nuff said.

4. Fairways Moving Card

Fairways moving direct mail campaign
Via https://www.behance.net/gallery/672476/Were-moving

How do you tell your customers that your showrooms move to new locations? Calling them is not ideal – so there is a more cost-effective way to do it: Using your creativity.

Fairways, the Cyprus-based importers of Renault, Jeep and Mitsubishi cars, were moving showrooms – so they need to let their customers know about the new addresses via direct mail. How did they do it? They send over DM cards that contain cutout pattern from which you can create a moving van with the Fairways logo printed on it. Very creative, indeed.

5. Ikea Flat Pack Direct Mailer

Ikea Flat Pack direct mail campaign
Via https://www.behance.net/gallery/Ikea-Flat-Pack-Direct-Mailer/1589985

I love Ikea – for the simple, good-looking and cost-effective design. Their pop-up direct mailer for the Flat Pack design shows you how easy it is to create a great interior with fantastic ambience using their products.

Please note that every single item in the direct mail – the bed, the bookshelves, the end tables – are in 3D. Neat!


I could go on and on with the ideas – but you get the point: Imagination is your only limit. What you need to do is to focus on interactivity and add a bit of the element of surprise and/or wow-factor – those are effective in grabbing your DM campaign’s target market’s attention – and minimize the possibility for your DM to end up in the junk mail piles and trash bins.

Budget-wise, those creative DMs may cost you more, but considering the ROI, they worth every penny that you invest in the campaign.

What do you think? Are such premium direct marketing materials worth your marketing budget? Please share what you think via the comment section below.