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The Influential Role Direct Mail Plays in Inbound Marketing


What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is a way of attracting your ideal prospects, so they want to develop a strong relationship with your brand. It's sometimes also called "magnetic marketing" because of its powerful effect. Basically, inbound marketing is about attracting, converting, and keeping your preferred customers. When you do inbound marketing right, your customers see you as their primary source for specific goods and services.

Inbound differs from traditional, outbound marketing which targets as many potential buyers as possible. Essentially, inbound is a focused, strategic process that encourages the people you contact to:

  • Stay engaged (because you have attracted and piqued their interest)
  • Explore and learn (because they love your unique solutions to their challenges)
  • Convert from "explore and learn" to satisfied clients (because you have nurtured the relationship with focused, two-way communications)
  • Keep buying (because the total experience you provide inspires trust and respect for your brand)

Consumers Prefer Personalized Content

Inbound marketing is about choosing your ideal buyers and nurturing them to the point of purchase. In this, direct mail plays a great role in boosting results. So, it really pays to make it part of your inbound marketing strategy.

"People prefer personal" is a great principle for all inbound marketing contact. Survey after survey by the Direct Marketing Association, The Association of National Advertisers, and USPS have shown that direct mail generates responses. Additionally, the response rate increases when direct mail and online resources are combined.

In his book, No B.S. Direct Marketing: The Ultimate No Holds Barred Kick Butt Take No Prisoners Direct Marketing for Non-Direct Marketing Businesses, Dan S. Kennedy emphasizes that the three most important elements of a successful marketing campaign are:

  • Knowing the market you want to reach
  • Having the right message to engage your targeted customers and to keep them engaged
  • Communicating through the media your customers want and expect

Did you know that 64% of people visit a website in reaction to direct mail marketing? Both print and online media can be symbiotic marketing tools at your disposal. Nothing is more personal than an attractive postcard directing your potential customers to your website. Similarly, nothing inspires trust more than an envelope containing the samples your customers signed up for on your website.

How Do You Integrate Direct Mail With Online Marketing Campaigns?

There are two basic approaches:

  • Use direct mail to send customers to specific landing pages on your website.
  • Use that landing page to inspire sign-ups for a free sample, special promo coupon, or booklet.

Regardless of the business you're in, you can leverage both direct mail and online campaigns to:

  • Launch a unique product or service
  • Boost sales of a current product or service
  • Reward new or existing customers by inviting them to an educational event showcasing your product or service
  • Motivate customers in your preferred market to consider your value proposition

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Step 1: Begin with Direct Mail

Send high quality postcards or flyers to select recipients. The visual presentation should be impeccable; it should attract interest. Combine this with a relevant message, and you have a powerful way to inspire customers to take action. So, when customers scan the QR (Quick Response) code on your pamphlet with their phones, they'll be taken straight to a specific landing page on your website.

The content on that page should be engaging and inspire them to respond positively to your CTA (Call to Action.) Once they sign up with a valid email address, you can send them targeted emails highlighting YOUR solutions to their pain points.

Step 2: Involve Your Audience

  • In order to get physical addresses, offer to send a book or DVD filled with actionable solutions your customers can use immediately. To avoid the perception that you're sending a "low-value" product, ask customers to pay for shipping. Emphasize that you normally sell this free product for X dollars.


  • Once your customers sign up for the free product, you're in a perfect position to further segment your target audiences. You can "hyper-focus" all further marketing materials and campaigns to target diverse demographic groups. By doing that, you deepen the bond between your brand and your buyers. Why? Customers only get the products that are relevant to their needs. 


  • You can easily track customer actions and repeat purchases by leveraging Google Analytics to your advantage. Include a UTM parameter tag to specific landing page URLs. When customers click on that URL, every action they perform on that page can be tracked and data sent back to Google Analytics. By knowing how your customers behave on your website, you'll be way ahead of your competition. You deliver exactly what your micro-markets want, and you become their primary vendor of choice for specific products and services.

Direct Mail: A Marketing Legacy That Endures

Direct mail and online campaigns are powerful tools in your marketing arsenal because they boost results. And it often begins with – that's right – one simple postcard. You reap ROI increases as you combine well-designed brochures, flyers, and posters with email communications and online content to communicate with your target audiences.

If you're looking to leapfrog over the competition, let's discuss how we can use our design and print expertise to increase your marketing ROI. 

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