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

Date Title Document Sourcesort descending Publication Marketing Channel
7/2019 12 dazzling examples of direct mail design Research Creative Bloq Direct Mail
5/2014 It’s all about Mail and Email Research Royal Mail Digital / Social Media, Direct Mail
6/2013 The effects of mailing design characteristics on direct mail campaign performance Research International Journal of Research in Marketing Direct Mail
2/2017 Tuned In: The Brain’s Response to Ad Sequencing Research USPS OIG Digital / Social Media, Direct Mail
7/2016 The Future of Mail: Fresh Thinking from Britain's Best Business Minds 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
4/2017 Getting Direct With Direct Mail Research United States Postal Service Direct Mail
2/2015 The Private Life of Mail: Mail in the Home, Heart and Head. Research Royal Mail Direct Mail
12/2015 Improving direct mail targeting through customer response modeling Research Expert Systems with Applications Direct Mail
5/2017 How Direct Mail Is Winning in the Age of the Internet Research Experian Data Quality group 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
9/2015 Fresh Thinking on Door Drops from the Best Minds in the Business Research Royal Mail Direct Mail
2/2016 Making sense of metaphor: The impact of target-group-specific headlines in direct mail Research Journal of Marketing Communications Direct Mail
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
6/2015 Enhancing the Value of Mail: The Human Response Research USPS OIG Digital / Social Media, 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
9/2014 Mail Innovations Research USPS OIG Digital / Social Media, Direct Mail, Mobile
5/2016 Preventative Cancer Screening Direct Mail Program Response and Diagnosis Rates Research Value in Health Journal Direct Mail
11/2013 Enhancing Mail for Digital Natives Research USPS OIG Digital / Social Media, Direct Mail
10/2015 What is marketing automation? Research Journal of Direct, Data and Digital Marketing Practice Direct Mail, Emerging Channels
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
5/2016 Advertising Mail Future Prospects in Five Scenarios Research USPS OIG Direct Mail
3/2016 Paper and pixels: Putting a digital stamp on direct mail Research ANA Magazine 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