Does unsolicited mail advertising have a spot in immediately’s digital world?


At the moment’s entrepreneurs are virtually as spoiled for selection as our shoppers, with a variety of selling channels, ways, and codecs accessible.

E mail, on-line show advertisements, social media, PPC, and content material advertising all symbolize viable alternatives for firms to develop their viewers and backside line.

However what about unsolicited mail?

Does unsolicited mail advertising nonetheless have a spot in immediately’s more and more digital world? And if that’s the case, what does that place appear to be precisely?

This text will discover the case for (and in opposition to) unsolicited mail advertising and talk about how one can take advantage of this usually underestimated channel in case you deem it to be an acceptable choice on your firm.

Use the hyperlinks under to leap to the part that pursuits you most:

What’s unsolicited mail advertising? 

Unsolicited mail advertising is surprisingly self-explanatory. You ship mail (whether or not a letter or a bodily product) on to the shoppers you’d wish to market to.

Whereas it seems like an outdated tactic (can’t you simply ship an e mail?), unsolicited mail remains to be broadly practiced.

Energy firms ship out “To the householder” letters to seize their enterprise, big-box retailers distribute mailers weekly, and even B2B firms focusing on enterprise clients use this distinctive tactic.

The most typical types of unsolicited mail are as follows:

  • Postcards
  • Self-mailers
  • Letters
  • Catalogs
  • Dimensional mailers (just like the one above)

Nonetheless, sending out customized swag is one other widespread type of unsolicited mail promoting, notably in B2B circles.

What’s the distinction between unsolicited mail and direct advertising? 

Unsolicited mail and direct advertising are sometimes used as synonyms. It’s simple to see why — they sound fairly related — however that is truly incorrect. Additionally, simply to throw an additional spanner within the works, you may additionally hear the time period “unsolicited mail advertising.”

Direct advertising is a broad strategy the place entrepreneurs goal communications to particular people utilizing a wide range of ways — resembling e mail outreach and social media direct messaging. 

Unsolicited mail is one such tactic that matches beneath the direct advertising umbrella, however it’s removed from the be-all and end-all of direct advertising.

Direct mail vs. direct marketing
Unsolicited mail vs. direct advertising

A direct marketer can construct a multi-channel advertising marketing campaign that leverages unsolicited mail as one touchpoint however helps that bodily mail-out with different communications (for instance, emails or social media messages).

Does unsolicited mail advertising nonetheless work in 2022? 

In brief, sure, unsolicited mail advertising can nonetheless work in 2022. Nonetheless, unsolicited mail efforts should be extremely focused and a part of a multi-touch, multi-channel strategy.

We’ll present you precisely how to do that additional on on this information. For now, let’s discover why direct mailing works and a number of the conditions through which it won’t.

The return on funding is important 

First, let’s discuss concerning the numbers.

The return on funding for unsolicited mail advertising may be fairly spectacular, with some entrepreneurs boasting ROIs as excessive as 112%!

Evaluate this to SMS and e mail, which created ROIs of 102% and 93%, respectively, and it’s clear that unsolicited mail could be a actual cash maker.

Unsolicited mail lets you leverage interactivity

Unsolicited mail is, by nature, interactive.

Even the simplest piece of unsolicited mail (a postcard, say) is bodily within the fingers of the receiver. Take into consideration how in a different way you understand the money in your hand and the steadiness in your bank card.

Bodily communication creates a extra noticeable impression than digital types of communication (resembling e mail).

However we will get a complete lot extra interactive than that. Try this instance for Hell Pizza.

Easy advertising ways like this may create an enduring influence and assist solidify your model within the minds of your clients.

It’s an underutilized medium 

Standing out out of your opponents may be robust in immediately’s highly-saturated environments.

Each marketer and their canine is working a complete content material technique, publishing persistently on a number of social media platforms, driving lead era, then following up with e mail nurture sequences.

As a result of unsolicited mail is so underutilized, it represents a superb alternative to make your model stand out.

Entrepreneur, CEO, and public speaker Gary Vaynerchuk usually talks about “underpriced consideration.”

The idea?

Establish alternatives the place it’s simple to realize consideration (i.e., the place competitors is low) and the price of doing so is relatively low.

Contemplating the ROI some entrepreneurs are producing, and unsolicited mail could possibly be an instance of an underpriced consideration alternative.

Unsolicited mail response charges are excessive 

Sending out emails and LinkedIn InMails is straightforward. Getting your potential clients to reply? Not a lot.

The most effective issues about unsolicited mail advertising is the response charges may be by the roof.

The common response fee for unsolicited mail advertising is round 9%. That may appear low, however in contrast with e mail, paid search, and social media response charges, every averaging about 1%, it’s a lot greater.

Not so dangerous, huh?

Direct mail marketing response rates
Unsolicited mail advertising response charges

That mentioned, response charges shouldn’t be seen in a vacuum.

Whereas unsolicited mail has 9x higher response charges than e mail, we have to contemplate the relative value. 

Does unsolicited mail value lower than 9x extra per buyer than emails, or does it value much more? If that’s the case, the relative outcomes often is the identical or worse for unsolicited mail.

Efficacy depends upon your audience profile 

Unsolicited mail advertising could be a highly effective channel in case you’re making an attempt to succeed in individuals who aren’t energetic on-line.

For instance, in case you serve an older B2C viewers (let’s say you’re an aged care firm), unsolicited mail could be one of the simplest ways to succeed in your present clients.

Nonetheless, the other can also be true.

Youthful audiences would possibly contemplate it unusual that you just’re speaking by way of conventional mail (why couldn’t you simply ship a textual content?), as the one mail they’re used to receiving is deliveries from on-line orders. On this case, it could be greatest to limit your unsolicited mail efforts to bodily merchandise (items, for instance).

Within the B2B world, it may be difficult to succeed in the proper individual with unsolicited mail, notably when focusing on massive organizations or ones with distant employees.

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Unsolicited mail advertising may be costly 

Good issues not often come low-cost, and unsolicited mail is not any exception.

Establishing an e mail advertising marketing campaign is straightforward and cost-effective; all you want is an e mail automation platform and a little bit of copywriting know-how.

Unsolicited mail requires much more funding upfront. You’ll have to pay for ideation, design, printing, and manufacturing (if doing any bodily swag), and that’s earlier than you even get a single bundle out the door.

Then, you’ve received the price of postage, which may be fairly pricey once you’re sending massive packages (even an outsized direct mailer can value as a lot as $10 apiece).

This won’t matter if the ROI works out since you’ll be making adequate income on each greenback invested.

Nonetheless, the excessive prices concerned do create a big barrier to entry on your first unsolicited mail advertising try, and if money circulation is proscribed, it could be unfeasible to take a position on this tactic.

It may be harder to measure outcomes 

Whereas metrics like response charges and lead-to-sale conversion charges can nonetheless be calculated to know unsolicited mail’s influence, most engagement metrics can’t.

With e mail advertising, you may observe issues like open and ahead charges very simply. That helps you perceive how recipients are partaking together with your communications.

ActiveCampaign Email Campaign Metrics Summary
Instance of ActiveCampaign’s e mail metrics

With unsolicited mail, there’s no telling who has truly acquired your bundle or opened it or what they did with it as soon as they acquired it (until they contact you and let you know).

Unsolicited mail provides much less agility than digital promoting 

Digital promoting is agile.

When you launch an advert after which later determine to alter the inventive (possibly you observed a mistake, or maybe you had a last-minute thought to enhance the copy), you may, and you are able to do it shortly.

With unsolicited mail advertising, as soon as your objects are printed and despatched, there’s no Management-Z.

This additionally makes A/B testing harder.

With a digital advert, you may run an A/B check for the primary week of a four-week marketing campaign and change to the higher-performing inventive on the finish of the check interval. 

Taking an analogous strategy with unsolicited mail is way more time and labor-intensive. You’ll must run the 2 choices concurrently, then look forward to the outcomes earlier than making use of any modifications to the subsequent unsolicited mail advertising marketing campaign.

nail unsolicited mail advertising in a digital world 

Unsolicited mail advertising isn’t lifeless regardless of what the haters may need you consider.

Nonetheless, unsolicited mail ought to solely be one half of your communications technique, which must be primarily digital normally.

Right here’s how you can nail unsolicited mail advertising in that context.

Make your unsolicited mail inventive and interactive 

Unsolicited mail ought to by no means be a printed model of one thing you can ship in an e mail. This may fail to capitalize on the influence that bodily mail could make.

As a substitute, embrace your inventive facet and ship a enjoyable and interactive expertise.

For instance, when Mercedes Benz Good launched its new e-bike (yep, additionally they make bikes), the advertising crew got here up with a inventive thought to advertise cycle security, mailing out a flatpack cardboard helmet to boost consciousness.

Apparently, it is a legit helmet, although whether or not you’ve received the type to tug it off is one other story.

Begin small and check completely different approaches 

Unsolicited mail advertising is cost-intensive, and transport prices for giant unsolicited mail campaigns can rack up tens of 1000’s of {dollars}.

Think about beginning small in case you’re placing collectively your first unsolicited mail advertising technique.

Begin with a small mailing record with a selected phase of your audience (and even current clients), and A/B check just a few several types of unsolicited mail (postcards, mailers, samples, and so on.) to see how they carry out earlier than diving into the deep finish.

It might be sensible to allocate some price range to experimentation, with no expectation of producing leads or income at first.

Use unsolicited mail advertising to help ABM campaigns 

ABM (account-based advertising) is a novel strategy that has turn out to be widespread in enterprise gross sales circles.

ABM brings the advertising and gross sales departments collectively to draw and convert high-value goal accounts. It requires a excessive diploma of personalization, as ABM entrepreneurs and gross sales reps search to speak with particular people inside goal organizations.

Unsolicited mail advertising could be a highly effective instrument within the account-based marketer’s belt.

Try Intercom’s firm swag mail-out, for instance.

Word the customized card — Intercom held a seminar (maybe as a lead era gadget) and took the time to thank every participant personally.

The private thank-you be aware is a stable strategy to make an enduring influence, however the branded gear may even function a steady reminder of Intercom’s dedication.

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Make unsolicited mail a part of a sequence 

Sending out a single unsolicited mail piece and anticipating to see epic outcomes is unrealistic.

As a substitute, unsolicited mail shouldn’t be a standalone tactic however used as a part of a multi-channel direct advertising sequence. 

For instance, your first touchpoint could possibly be a sequence of emails and social media interactions, adopted by a unsolicited mail ship and a subsequent telephone name from a gross sales rep (“Hey, did you get that factor we despatched you?”).

Direct mail outreach sequence flowchart
Unsolicited mail outreach sequence flowchart

Keep in mind: unsolicited mail advertising may be costly. Maximize the influence of each letter by growing an automatic follow-up sequence.

Develop a way for measuring ROI 

Being a non-digital format, it’s not at all times simple to measure ROI from unsolicited mail spend.

The place digital advertising and social media automation platforms can observe acquisition paths and attribute gross sales and lead era to particular campaigns, unsolicited mail is a bit trickier.

Earlier than you ship out that first piece of mail, make investments a while in determining how precisely you’re going to measure the efficacy of your efforts.

First, decide what your supposed result’s. Is it a response from the prospect? A closed sale? A booked demonstration?

When you’re clear in your aim, decide the way you’ll observe this. 

Will you create a brand new subject or label on accounts in your CRM to trace which offers got here from unsolicited mail and which didn’t? Will you determine this info in a post-sale survey, or will your gross sales reps ask about it in the course of the preliminary discovery name?

Prime unsolicited mail advertising firms 

There are a selection of nice firms round that make creating, printing, and sending unsolicited mail simple. A number of even combine immediately with ActiveCampaign to allow unsolicited mail automation


Sendoso is a gift-sending platform that integrates with ActiveCampaign.

With Sendoso, you may create guide unsolicited mail sends (both bulk or one-off) and even automate direct mailings into your lead nurture campaigns.

Our integration additionally makes it simple to trace engagement and measure return on funding,


Poplar is one other unsolicited mail service that integrates with ActiveCampaign.

With Poplar, it’s easy to create and distribute dynamic, customized mail. You possibly can set off particular person mailings based mostly on particular occasions or factors within the buyer lifecycle, resembling sending out an deserted cart reminder or mailing a thank-you reward after 12 months.


Wish to ship customized postcards to your clients (firm Christmas card, anybody?)

Postcardmania provides a bunch of pre-designed templates for this very goal and handily integrates with ActiveCampaign, so you may pull buyer information immediately out of your CRM to ship personalized messages by way of mail.


SaaSMQL is a advertising company that focuses on account-based advertising methods. One of many methods they assist clients activate their ABM campaigns is thru unsolicited mail. 

SaaSMQL will show you how to construct personalized reward packing containers and customized postcards and measure conversions and ROI utilizing the company’s proprietary information.


Reachdesk is a company gifting platform, perfect for B2B firms who need to ship out branded promotional materials or ship a considerate reward in the course of the vacation interval.

Reachdesk integrates with all your favourite CRMs, making it simple to automate unsolicited mail sends and personalize your messages.


Unsolicited mail advertising is a novel strategy to direct advertising which may, if achieved nicely, drive important outcomes.

The outlay may be costly, notably in case you’re sending massive objects. Nonetheless, it may also be a robust strategy to stand out from the competitors and ship a personalised model expertise that actually creates an influence.
Be taught extra about utilizing unsolicited mail in your buyer lifecycle advertising technique right here. Or create an omnichannel expertise by combining one of many above firms together with your subsequent ActiveCampaign e mail advertising marketing campaign.


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