Consumers are bombarded with pop-up advertisements, offers, giveaways, banner ads, emails, commercials…often to the point that these sensory attacks can result in consumer indifference—or even frustration. Of course, each of these techniques can be effective if implemented correctly, but is there another option that might complement them whilst supporting your brand marketing strategy?

In order to build a brand and to implement your carefully planned brand marketing strategy, you need to make contact with the consumers who matter the most to your cause. But how, when they’re tuning out electronic messages by the thousands every day? What’s the best way to get your brand noticed and to be the difference that will abolish their indifference?

There’s no single answer that’s the perfect fit for every brand marketing strategy, but one that has been on the rise is direct mail.

What is direct mail? It consists of catalogues, brochures, postcards, sales letters, and newsletters, etc. that are mailed the old-fashioned way—by Royal Mail. If you’re shocked, we’re not surprised. With all the movement toward digital and wireless communication, it can be challenging to appreciate this retrograde strategy.

Hang in there for another few hundred words. You might leave convinced.

Direct Mail, for your Brand Marketing Strategy

A 2012 study conducted by Nielsen, a “global leader in measurement and information,” proved that carefully designed direct mail does, indeed, grasp the attention of consumers by shining through the digital chaos.

Nielsen fabricated a tourism firm for the purpose of the study, and here’s what they found:

  1. Direct mailings contained within real envelopes are more likely to be opened and read. Postcards and self-contained correspondence are the most likely to hit the dust bin.
  2. Envelopes that are printed with colour, logos, etc. are more likely to be opened than plain, unadorned envelopes. In fact, the opening of printed envelopes beat the opening of emails by 4.5 per cent. Additionally, unknowing participants were 6.4 per cent more likely to pass along a branded envelope (including its contents) to a friend than they were to forward an email that contained the same information.
  3. Nielsen also found that customising direct mail greatly contributes to its branding power. For instance, internet users were 7.5 per cent more likely to head to the web to get more information about a direct-mailed offer if the envelope was printed and the correspondence (both inside and outside of the envelope) was personalised to the recipient. Furthermore, they were 4 per cent more likely to then spread the word to acquaintances and loved ones.

In summary, it seems that direct mail makes the biggest positive impression (and is more likely to be read) when the recipient is able to determine, quickly, that the mail is both worthwhile (envelope, printing) and relevant (addressed directly to him or her and pertaining to his or her particular lifestyle).


Past studies had shown that email campaigns were stealing the marketing show from direct mail. But for now, it seems that both may be in order. Consumers are looking for breaths of fresh air—like the ones emitted when the rusty letter box door is opened.

Just as a jewel becomes more brilliant each time a gemcutter adds a facet, your brand marketing strategy increases in effectiveness when its components are diverse. No two identical brand strategies will deliver the same result for two different corporations. Likewise, every brand marketing strategy must be flexible enough to evolve alongside communication trends (or to push against them, as with direct mail).

For further brand marketing strategy help or advice, please get in touch with us on [email protected] and get your daily branding tips by subscribing to our YouTube channel at

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