Creating a print mailer can be a big investment. Not only do you have to design the mailer, but have to pay for printing, possibly a mailing list and postage. You obviously want to create a mailer that the consumer will keep around for a while and not just toss in a trash can. Here are seven key ways to create an un-tossable mailer.

1. Know Your Target Audience The first thing you need to do is to determine who your target audience is.

For example, let’s say your target audience is between the ages of 20-24. Millennials, or those born in America between 1982 and 2000, outnumber baby boomers with 83.1 million compared to 75.4 million baby boomers. With such a large number of young people in the population, you might think that paper mailers would not be effective, especially if you are targeting millennials as part of your target audience. However, paper mail can actually be quite effective in this group. 84% of millennials spend the time it takes to thoroughly look through their mail and 64% of them prefer looking for info on paper mail instead of email.

Take the time to research your target audience and you’ll know not only if the paper mailer will be effective, but you’ll also understand the type of statements, colors, and tools that will attract those people to your business.

2. Keep It Simple Don’t try to include everything under the sun in one direct mail piece.

The consumer doesn’t need to know the history of your company to know they want to try out a product that solves a problem for them. Leave some white space on the page and include short, easy to read phrasing that can grab the reader’s interest at a glance. The goal is to get the message across to your reader before she tosses your mailer.

3. Add a Coupon Send a physical copy of a coupon out through the mail.

About 66% of millennials will use a coupon if they have a physical copy of the coupon in hand. This can bring new customers into your brick and mortar business. A coupon can target any type of need you want. You can offer a discount on any product or service. You can also offer a free consultation. The key is to make the coupon enticing enough that the consumer will want to become your customer.

4. Solve a Problem Think about what problem your product or service solves.

For example, if you run a solar panel company, you might start with a question such as:

Tired of high heating and cooling bills?

The high bills are the problem. You can then quickly present how your product solves this problem for the typical homeowner. If you can solve a problem, you stand a much better chance of reaching your reader.

SourceLink takes a look at a piece of direct mail advertising a home security system. This mailer presents the problem (those who would break into your house) and the solution (their security system).

5. Invest in Quality Paper

If you’re going to invest in direct mail pieces, spend a little extra to create a high-quality piece that will survive the rough treatment mail sometimes gets.

Print your mailer on glossy card stock instead of 20-pound paper, for example. If you had two ad copies side by side, and one was ripped a bit and cheap and one was pretty, glossy and heavy, which one would you be more likely to keep? If the customer sees your mailer as having value, it will be more un-tossable. Although it is sent directly via a magazine, IKEA’s direct mail piece of a tiny table that pops up when the magazine opens is an example of a high-quality piece of direct mail.

6. Create a Custom Offer Customize your mailer for the customer you are trying to reach out to.

This does require a bit more research and a more targeted mailing list but can make all the difference in whether the customer keeps your mailer or not. For example, you might purchase a list that shows the age of the home in a neighborhood and the owner’s name. You could then create a mailer that is addressed specifically to that person and that has the age of the house.

7. Share Current News.

One way to get consumers to hold onto your mailer is to offer information they’ll want to keep handy. For example, you could put local events for the coming months on the back side of your mailer.

One example of such a mailer can be seen on the Kopywriting Kourse website in the mailer for Realty Austin. On the front, they have some key information about the local real estate market and some homes for sales. On the back is a list of local events for February, March, and April.

Although there used to be more pieces of direct mail sent out, have you noticed that you get fewer pieces of advertising mail these days? Many people have turned to email marketing efforts. That means that a piece of direct mail has a better chance of being seen once the customer carries your mailer into his home. Direct mail is worth adding to your advertising efforts.


Guess Blogger Lexie LuLexie Lu is a freelance designer, writer, and marketing enthusiast. She constantly researches the latest marketing and design news and always has some coffee in arm’s reach. She owns Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.