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4 Ways Digital Marketing Can Boost Your Direct Mail Results

image (1)Despite the rumor that direct mail marketing will disappear in the coming years, it still has many effective components. First and foremost, it's interactive and personal, which is appealing to many consumers. Not to mention research shows that 70% of consumers feel more valued with direct mail. Digital marketing, on the other hand, has the (deserved) reputation for having a host of benefits and is known to deliver positive results. It's cost-effective, personal, and has global reach and measurable results. To top it off, 83% of businesses believe their digital marketing efforts are working. 

The key is to combine your digital marketing and direct mail efforts to boost your overall results. The two are powerful ingredients for marketing as individual efforts, but together — you get incredible results. Research shows that combining digital and direct mail efforts can lead to 40% conversion rates, and 68% of marketers say combining digital and direct mail increases website visits. 

Here are four ways digital marketing can boost your direct mail results.  

Targeted Display Ads

The benefit of using digital marketing for targeted display is all in the name. You can target prospects based on their behaviors and interests and expand that opportunity into more specific and valuable insights like online habits, interests, demographics, behaviors, and more. At best, direct mail can target based on geography. 

Addressable targeted display takes the physical addresses of your mailing list and targets desktops, laptops, and OTT/CTV devices specific to those locations. When used in conjunction with direct mail, it can improve performance by extending reach, providing attribution, and increasing the  frequency that your messages are delivered to that household. 

How you can use display ads in conjunction with direct mail

You can use targeted display ads in conjunction with direct mail by sending personalized messages to consumers that direct them to your website, product, or landing page, depending on your goal. Wherever you choose, make sure it serves a purpose. If your direct mail or display ad is showcasing your new product, you'll want to include a personalized URL (or link) that directs them to a place on your webpage where they can reach the product.

The advantage of display advertising

The advantage of display advertising is that it can reach people at every stage of the marketing funnel: 

  • Awareness - bring attention to your company, brand, products, value, and more. 
  • Consideration - customers may know of you, but display ads can encourage them to learn more.
  • Decision- they're ready to take action, and display ads can lead them where they need to be.

The effectiveness of display ads + direct mail

The effectiveness of display ads and direct mail relies solely on the ability to personalize and speak directly to your target audience. For instance, 70% of Americans say mail is more personal than the internet, and 91% of people agree digital ads are more intrusive today than two to three years ago. With ad-blockers and online ad clutter, it is more effective now to combine direct mail efforts with targeted display ads to gain your target audience's attention with relevant messaging.  


Drive Email Campaigns

Coordinating email and direct mail efforts can keep your marketing fresh and reminds prospective customers to respond. It is a great way to stay in front of your consumer long enough to nudge them to take action. Maybe you emailed them about your product, and they opened it but got distracted and walked away. A direct mail reminder with an extra incentive can re-incite that interest and motivate them to act. 

Consider these statistics:

With that in mind, you can strategically use the two together. You can send a welcome email to get consumers familiar with your brand. Then, you can send them direct mail exclusively promoting your new products. Together, direct mail and email build trust and create greater brand awareness and recognition.

Another option to consider is aiming your direct mail efforts toward consumers on your email 'non-responder' list. Taking what you've learned from email marketing and applying it to your direct mail efforts can enhance reach. 

Overall, direct mail can be a bit tougher to execute, and email marketing doesn't take much effort. But when you put them together — consumers spend an average of 25% more when direct mail is used in combination with email marketing.

Increase Reach

Digital marketing can reach prospects with similar characteristics to previous customers using "lookalike" or "custom" audiences and retargeting. On the other hand, direct mail cannot, as increasing reach often involves buying lists of varying quality. However, when used together, you can increase reach in multiple ways.


Use digital marketing to pinpoint your target audience and gain insight into more personalized data. This can enhance your direct mail efforts with more engaging content, including: 

  • Adding relevant and personalized information - Make sure your content is specifically directed to the individual receiving it. Avoid labels like "or current resident" when possible.
  • One CTA that directs them to a digital channel - Include a call to action to your social media, website, or other digital channels to encourage prospects to take action.
  • A small taste of what they'll get at the place you're directing them - There's not enough room on printed mail to go in-depth on your product, but a snippet can encourage them to learn more. For instance, you could put a quality picture of your product with its most valuable benefits. Then they can follow the link you provided to see your product page for more technical and important information.

Recognition and Recall

A strategic mix of digital and direct mail is the key to getting consumers to buy. Seeing your campaign in digital form and print can work together to enhance recognition and recall - and most importantly, influence them to take action. You could use a mix of digital efforts (social media, website, email, etc.) to correspond with the same message in direct mail ads like showcasing products and directing consumers to your goal.

Psychologists have found that communication leads to familiarity, which builds trust. They've found that consumers respond more favorably to ads they have seen regularly, repetition is the key, and effectiveness was maximized at 10 to 20 exposures. 

Create Brand Awareness

Direct mail has limited opportunities for raising brand awareness when compared to social media and search ads. This is why integrating digital tactics into your direct mail efforts can boost your results. 

An integrated campaign can amplify your message by working together to increase brand awareness. The key is to keep the message simple and consistent through both types of media. This works because digital marketing brings awareness of your brand to a significant portion of your target market. Direct mail is then better received by your target audience because they are familiar with your brand from digital media. 

Digital and direct mail improve brand awareness in the following ways:

  • Drives sales - Direct mail combined with digital ads yields a 28% higher conversion rate.
  • Encourages more responses - Marketing campaigns that used direct mail and one or more digital media tactics experienced a 118% lift in response rate than direct mail only.
  • More touchpoints - It can take up to 18-20 touchpoints to reach a customer for the first time.

Individually, direct mail and digital advertising have their advantages, but marketing is evolving to include strategies that make use of both powerful components. Relying only on your direct mail efforts is a mistake in the digital age. However, an integrated campaign can bring you the best of both worlds. 

When you're ready to boost your direct mail efforts with digital marketing, remember that working with a media partner can take out the guesswork so that you can focus on other important matters. 

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Bonneville Bay Area
Bonneville Bay Area
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