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Direct Mail Comeback

Jun 27, 2018

An article entitled “7 Tips for Better Direct Mail” by Beth Negus Viveiros appeared in a recent edition of the National Postal Forum’s Mailing Industry Update.  The article supports SMRI’s findings that direct mail is undergoing a resurgence as the most productive marketing medium.  Some excerpts from the article:

Marketers who are utilizing direct mail are getting more clever about who they mail to,” says John Sisson, president, HBT Marketing, Inc. “Acquisition is happening more effectively, because data has gotten better - marketers are building models based on their own best clients and overlaying data to create segments of the folks who are the best fit based on response or lifetime value.”

“As we become more and more addicted to smart phones, it can be a nice departure to look at mail,” says Grant Johnson, chief measurable marketing officer, at Responsory, a direct marketing firm in the Chicago area.  Johnson also noted that etailers like Amazon are turning to direct mail to create awareness and response around key times like the holidays.  “With the oversaturation of electronic channels, better production capabilities and rise in automation, everyone is getting back on the direct mail bandwagon and trying it in different ways,” says Johnson.

Here are some tips for getting noticed in the mailbox:

Make it multichannel:  Direct mail works well when it’s tied to other triggers, such as an email alerting recipients to watch their physical mailbox, and then another email after the direct mail piece drops, all with alignment in the call to action to drive people to the same place.

 “Sending one direct mail piece is not a campaign - you want to have multiple touches to engage [prospects,] because you know your audience isn’t paying attention to just one channel,” says Sisson.

It’s about the customer:  Your creative should be about the customer and not the company. Customers want the focus on communications to be on them and not what you’re selling, says Sisson.

To read the entire article, go to

Since 1980, School Market Research Institute, Inc. (SMRI) has studied the art of selling to schools with a focus on marketing to PK-12 schools and districts. We help our clients plan their education marketing strategies, create promotion materials, and target school administrators and teachers through a unique approach to list selection.

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