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 Source Publicationsort descending Marketing Channel
3/2016 Consumer adoption of No Junk Mail stickers: An extended planned behavior model assessing the respective role of store flyer attachment and perceived intrusiveness Research Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services Direct Mail
11/2016 Direct Mail: Email is fast but letter is better Research Market Leader Direct Mail
9/2016 CHOOSING THE RIGHT MAIL ADVERTISING FOR YOUR SHOP Research Motor Age 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
11/2014 Spam or ham? Assessing the value of direct mail Research Postal and Delivery Innovation in the Digital Economy Direct Mail
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
7/2019 Mail Innovation Research RARC Report Direct Mail
9/2015 Using Doordrops to Build Your Business Research Royal Mail Direct Mail
6/2016 The Life Stages of Mail Research Royal Mail Direct Mail
5/2014 It’s all about Mail and Email Research Royal Mail Digital / Social Media, Direct Mail
7/2016 The Future of Mail: Fresh Thinking from Britain's Best Business Minds Research Royal Mail Direct Mail
2/2015 The Private Life of Mail: Mail in the Home, Heart and Head. Research Royal Mail Direct Mail
9/2015 Fresh Thinking on Door Drops from the Best Minds in the Business Research Royal Mail Direct Mail
1/2011 CREATING INNOVATIVE CUSTOMER INNOVATIVE CUSTOMER INTERCEPT THROUGH DIRECT MAIL CD/ROM CAMPAIGN FOR AN ENTREPRENEURIAL SMALL FIRM Research Small Business Institute Research Review 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
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
4/2017 Getting Direct With Direct Mail Research United States Postal Service Direct Mail
7/2019 10 Creative Direct Mail Examples Research Urban River Direct Mail
6/2016 Political Mail and Millennials Research US Postal Service Direct Mail
6/2015 Enhancing the Value of Mail: The Human Response Research USPS OIG Digital / Social Media, Direct Mail
9/2014 Mail Innovations Research USPS OIG Digital / Social Media, Direct Mail, Mobile
11/2013 Enhancing Mail for Digital Natives Research USPS OIG Digital / Social Media, Direct Mail
5/2016 Advertising Mail Future Prospects in Five Scenarios Research USPS OIG Direct Mail
3/2016 Advertising Mail: Past and Present Research USPS OIG Direct Mail
9/2016 Advertising Mail Innovations Research USPS OIG Digital / Social Media, Direct Mail, Mobile

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