Direct Marketing vs. Mass Mailing: What You Need to Know


Comparing direct marketing and mass mailing is like comparing apples and oranges: they both come from the same food group, but they look, taste, and smell completely different. While they are both effective marketing tools, they serve different purposes and work in different circumstances. In this article, we explain those differences, and how you can use both to achieve your marketing goals. 


Direct mail marketing vs. mass mailing: The differences

Direct marketing, when done right, is targeted. It is best for situations where you have a specific audience profile to target and/or your own mailing list. Through direct marketing, you speak directly to those individual prospects through specifically crafted, personalized mailers. (For example, if you are targeting working mothers in households with school-aged kids, you might include images of families like that on your mailer. You might use the woman’s name with language that lets her know you ‘know’ her.) 


On the other hand, mass mailing is not targeted. It is best for situations where you have a very tight budget (mass mailing is typically less expensive) and/or if you really aren’t marketing to any demographic in particular. One great mass mailing tool is Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM), which allows you to send your mailers to every household within certain mail carrier routes for as little as 20 cents a postcard (plus the cost of postage).  It is a very efficient and effective way to reach a mass audience.


When to use one or the other 

We just briefly outlined the situations in which you might choose direct marketing over mass mailing, or vice versa. Here are a few more specific examples of when and how Click2Mail customers have used direct marketing or mass mailing.


Mark just opened up a new grocery store in his town and wanted to get the word out to the neighborhood. Because everyone needs groceries, he decided to use mass mailing to send out 6.25” x 11” EDDM postcards to every address in the carrier routes within 5 miles of his store. The postcard included a coupon so that Mark could keep track of how effective the campaign was. He saw tremendous results from the mass mailing and has decided to continue sending monthly EDDM mailers. 


In other cases, Mark has decided that mass mailing is not right for the situation. For example, Mark developed a rewards program for his frequent shoppers. He wanted to send out a special mailer with discounts exclusively for those rewards members. Using his own mailing list, he sent all of his rewards customers a 5” x 8” postcard thanking them for their loyalty. Then he followed up a week later and for only $85 he was decided to mail a special coupon offer to this same list using the Same-as-a-Stamp  3.5” x 5 black & white postcard. This along with his monthly mass mailers, Mark now also sends these targeted direct marketing postcards once a month.


While some businesses – like Mark’s – use mass mailing and direct marketing, some just use one or the other. Stella, for example, has only ever used direct marketing. Stella owns a solar energy company and sends direct mailers quite often. After doing her research and measuring and testing different mail strategies, she learned that her target audience is homeowners aged 25-60, who make a combined household income of more than $50,000. So, Stella uses Click2Mail’s mailing list services to purchase a targeted mailing list to send direct mail to her target audience. Stella has found that for her, direct marketing is less expensive than mass mailing because she is getting her mailers to exactly the people (and only the people) they’re relevant for.


So these are just a few ways that you can do both mass mailing and direct marketing with Click2Mail. No matter what tool you use, we are here to help you get the most from it. For more information or to start mailing, visit or call 866-665-2787 Mon-Fri 9am-8pm EST.