Direct Mail: A Digital Approach | Why Direct Mail is Thriving

Direct mail allows for an omnichannel approach that incorporates QR codes, analytics, and relationship marketing. Plus, make the most of your budget with shared mail.

Direct mail has seen an exponential rise since the beginning of the pandemic, Studies show that more Canadians are engaging with their direct mail making it a vital part of every marketing plan. 

For example, did you know that 92% of Canadians read their direct mail, 79% of Canadians save their direct mail, and further, 71% of Canadians share their direct mail with someone they know? With consumers spending more time at home, you can count on direct mail to drive response from your target audience because sending them something physical to get your message through is a powerful thing.

Using direct mail as a key part of your marketing plan will help increase awareness and convert potential customers into revenue. Even more, direct mail has advanced and evolved in recent years to meet the growing needs of businesses and consumers. Direct mail now incorporates cutting-edge technology that bridges the physical with the digital.

Direct Mail in the Digital Space


lady holding smart phone scanning a QR code on direct mail flyer

With our email inboxes overflowing and our screens ever glowing, direct mail stands out in our digital age. With this comes the opportunity to make an impact through a personal approach. Personalization has long remained one of the top trends in marketing, and online experiences have shaped our expectations for targeting and personalization. Now, direct mail offers the same relevance and engagement you can get through digital advertising while allowing you to target the right person with the right offer at the right time through digital personalization techniques.

    Ways to Personalize

  • Use the recipient’s name
  • Dynamically insert content blocks that are relevant to the user. If someone is looking for red shoes, provide content about red shoes
  • Serve up offers based on past purchases
  • Show imagery that is relatable to the reader

In marketing, it’s often said that there is print and digital advertising, but in a way, direct mail can be both. And thankfully, creating digital impact with your direct mail has never been easier. Using QR codes (quick response codes), analytics, and relationship marketing can help shape your direct mail campaign and create the biggest impact for your budget.

What’s even more incredible is that direct mail actually achieves a better response rate than email.

It All Starts with Data

Leveraging data for your direct mail campaign can help to achieve the same relevancy and personalization available to digital marketing. By using data to inform your direct mail strategy, you can take advantage of the ability to define your ideal consumer and target them directly. Data allows us to find where they live, target those who want to buy what you’re selling, and message them directly.

A few ways you can target your audience:

  • Household income
  • Neighbourhood
  • Building characteristics
  • Marital status
  • Education
  • And, much, much more

Targeting Your Consumers

6 ways to target your customers: Purchase intent, lifestyle & interests, store visits, past purchases, demographics, coupon redemption

Part of what makes direct mail so effective is our ability to target consumers based on multiple data points. In simple terms, this means you can identify who you want your communications to reach and then target them directly based on characteristics such as location, age, interests, income, education, lifestyle, and more.

If you have an existing customer list, your data partner will be able to use 1st party data to send them your direct mail. So, if you’ve collected information about your existing customers, we can help you retarget them with the right message at the right time. We do this by targeting lookalike audiences based on the customer list you provide.

At Direct Response Media Group, we can target one to one, one to few, or one to many. Here’s a breakdown of what that means:

One to One: Using direct mail postcards, reach individual households that meet particular characteristics – your advertisement is uninterrupted in the mailbox.

One to Few: Reach 20 households per Postal Code with a high tendency to meet specific criteria such as demographics, interests, behaviours, lifestyle, and purchase intent.

One to Many: Reach 500 households that share a similar set of characteristics such as age, income, family status, and homeownership.

Tailoring Your Message


Young Man looking at digital tablet

Once you’ve nailed down who you’re targeting, you can use direct mail to tailor your content based on demographics and personas. It’s up to you how personalized you want to make your communications.

If you want to get more granular, creating audience segments and sending personalized messages to each segment could help amplify your response rates. For example, consumers have expressed an increasing desire to support the local economy during pandemic. So, why not use direct mail to target address each neighbourhood with different, relevant messaging to help show your local and personal approach? You could address each recipient by their name or even direct them to a different store location depending on their neighbourhood.

Another way to tailor your message is by sending different communications to different age groups. For example, you may want to speak in a different tone of voice for millennials compared to boomers. So, you can choose to target different age groups with messaging and imagery that is most relevant and relatable to them.

Take this a step further by working with an experienced data partner and you can even tailor to those who are ready to buy what you’re selling. You could use this opportunity to provide discounts, knowing that 68% of consumers use coupons they get in the mail and 75% of consumers use coupons to plan their shopping trips.

Who you choose to send communications to and how you communicate with them can be tailored on many different levels such as their lifestyle, interests, number of store visits, past purchases and coupon redemptions, and a variety of demographics. 

Relationship Marketing

Once you’ve targeted your audiences and tailored your messaging, consider how you can take advantage of relationship marketing.

You’ve probably heard that it costs more money to gain a new customer than to keep an existing one. That’s why relationship marketing through direct mail can be so important for your brand or business.

Use direct mail as part of your relationship marketing strategy by prioritizing long-term engagement and customer loyalty. This allows you to develop deeper connections with your consumers and aim to gain customers for life.

Types of Direct Mail

Now that you’ve considered targeting, tailoring, and relationship marketing, let’s delve into the different types of direct mail.

There are two main types of direct mail for you to choose from based on your goals, strategy, and budget: solo mail and shared mail. Here are the key differences between the two:

Solo Direct Mail

Solo direct mail is a stand-alone piece of direct mail that is uninterrupted in the mailbox. This allows you to target a unique mailing list based on your advertising goals. Using tons of data points, you can send solo direct mail to your audience based on many different attributes such as location, home type, demographics, personal preferences, and the behaviours of your ideal customer.

Shared Mail

Another option is shared direct mail, which is a piece of direct mail featuring local, regional, and national advertisers who share the cost. It’s a fraction of the price of solo mail, often costing mere pennies per targeted household for design, printing, and mailing combined. Shared direct mail is ideal for businesses seeking to attract customers and drive sales.

Money Saver Magazine is an example of shared direct mail. Here we deliver your messages to Canadian households along with other advertisers. It comes in various sizes and formats depending on your location. Like solo direct mail, you’ll have options to target and track your campaigns.

An Impactful Omnichannel Approach

customer using online coupon from smartphone app at restaurant

Finally, by targeting your audience with tailored messages and taking advantage of relationship marketing through direct mail, you can develop a truly harmonious integrated strategy for your brand. There is the opportunity to produce outstanding results. For example, did you know that 88% of consumers visit a store or go online after receiving a direct mail piece1 and 51% of consumers purchase in-store or online after receiving a direct mail piece?

With direct mail, we can help make it easy for you to combine traditional print media with digital technology to get the best of both worlds. 

Your direct mail can help drive consumers to go online through your website or landing page URL. A truly integrated direct mail campaign will allow your business to capture leads, get customer email addresses, and grow your customer list, allowing for even more direct and digital marketing opportunities. Incorporating QR codes can help your recipients easily take the next step, whether it’s purchasing your product, visiting your website, or getting in contact with you. Your campaign could achieve 500x the responses with the addition of a QR code.

The Analytics Advantage


DRMG Insight dashboard on tablet

Your digital toolkit doesn’t stop there. Use a performance dashboard, such as DRMG Insight, to access important analytics and track your campaign results. This data can be tracked by using QR code mapping, call tracking and coupon redemption address match back.

This helps take the guesswork out of your marketing strategy and allows for constant improvement and retargeting.

So, are you ready to see results with direct mail? Discover how you can produce print and digital harmony in the mailbox with Direct Response Media Group. Get in touch today.



  1. Canada Post, Kantar, SMM Stats Updates 2019
  2. Why Direct Mail Marketing Is Far From Dead, Steven Pulcinella, Forbes, 2017
  3. Inmar HCH 2020 North American coupon analysis, Valassis US 2020 Consumer intelligence report


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