Direct mail has a long, proven history as a successful advertising medium. Its strength is based on its ability to communicate one-on-one with a targeted audience, as well as the tactile experience readers get when they interact with a mailpiece. Direct mail encompasses a variety of marketing materials, including advertising circulars, coupon envelopes, brochures, catalogs, postcards, newsletters and sales letters, billing statements, sample-sized products, and other commercial merchandising materials all delivered to homes and businesses. Today, with less competition in the mailbox, direct mail is being recognized as having a better chance than other mediums for being noticed. The “Mail Moment” continues to thrive as a daily ritual in which consumers bring in, sort, open and engage with their mail.

This page contains direct mail case studies and research about the value of direct mail, how it contributes to the customer journey, and recent innovations in physical communications.

Direct Mail Research and Case Studies

Datesort descending Title Document Source Publication Marketing Channel
9/2011 Direct-Response Bookselling: How it Died, Why it is Alive Again, and Why it will Become Even More Important in the Future Research Publishing Research Quarterly Direct Mail
3/2012 Is An Advertisement Worth The Paper It's Printed on? The Impact of Premium Print Advertising On Consumer Perceptions Research Journal of Advertising Research Direct Mail, Print
12/2012 Comparing Two Direct Mail Strategies to Sell Native Plants in a Campaign to Promote Natural Lake Shorelines Research Social Marketing Quarterly Direct Mail
6/2013 The effects of mailing design characteristics on direct mail campaign performance Research International Journal of Research in Marketing Direct Mail
7/2013 How To Figure Out If Your Mailing Will Make Money BEFORE Mailing it Research Inventors' Digest Direct Mail
10/2013 Building behavioral intentions in automotive industry: Brand experience, satisfaction, trust, direct mail communication and attitudes toward advertising Research Business Management Dynamics Direct Mail
11/2013 Enhancing Mail for Digital Natives Research USPS OIG Digital / Social Media, Direct Mail
4/2014 The Effect of Effectiveness: Donor Response to Aid Effectiveness in a Direct Mail Fundraising Experiment Research National Bureau of Economic Research Direct Mail
5/2014 It’s all about Mail and Email Research Royal Mail Digital / Social Media, Direct Mail
9/2014 Mail Innovations Research USPS OIG Digital / Social Media, Direct Mail, Mobile
11/2014 Spam or ham? Assessing the value of direct mail Research Postal and Delivery Innovation in the Digital Economy Direct Mail
1/2015 UNUM: Inaugural direct-to-consumer campaign Research DMA International ECHO Awards, 2015 Direct Mail
2/2015 Managing Customer Acquisition Risk Using Co-operative Databases Research Journal of Interactive Marketing Direct Mail
2/2015 The Private Life of Mail: Mail in the Home, Heart and Head. Research Royal Mail Direct Mail
3/2015 To retain? To upgrade? The effects of direct mail on regular donation behavior Research International Journal of Research in Marketing Direct Mail
3/2015 ‘The solid gold mailbox': direct mail and the changing nature of buying and selling in the postwar United States Research History of Retailing and Consumption Direct Mail
6/2015 Enhancing the Value of Mail: The Human Response Research USPS OIG Digital / Social Media, Direct Mail
7/2015 A Bias For Action Research Canada Post Direct Mail
8/2015 Gone are the days of mass-media marketing plans and short term customer relationships: tobacco industry direct mail Research Tobacco Control Direct Mail
8/2015 The influence of direct mail marketing on buyer purchasing decisions: A qualitative analysis of perceptions by age group Research Journal of Research Studies in Business & Management Direct Mail
9/2015 Using Doordrops to Build Your Business Research Royal Mail Direct Mail
9/2015 Fresh Thinking on Door Drops from the Best Minds in the Business Research Royal Mail Direct Mail
10/2015 What is marketing automation? Research Journal of Direct, Data and Digital Marketing Practice Direct Mail, Emerging Channels
12/2015 Scent in Mail: The Effect of Scented Direct Mailings Research Journal of Economics and Behavioral Studies Direct Mail