Celebrating direct mail

We all know the strengths of direct mail as a marketing tool. It's tangibility means that it can inspire recipients like no other channel. But with the smooth comes the rough. It is also probably also the most emotive medium and when things go wrong it hits the headlines. Take for example the latest blooper from John Lewis’s mailing house which saw Partnership customers (so John Lewis’ most valuable customers) having to pay a levy to receive a marketing mailing because they hadn’t put enough postage on it. Oops! Not the best way to show how much you value your customers.

However, to counteract the negativity, here are some of our all time favourite DM campaigns to remind us how great direct mail can be.

  1. Chunky KitKat – a sorry we missed you delivery card from KitKat, insinuating that the chunky chocolate bar is too fat for the letterbox, but recipients can redeem their free bar at a local shop

  2. Chocolate letter from Royal Mail – a letter written on a slab of chocolate sent to advertisers promoting the tangibility of DM

  3. Rubbed out – The Natural History Museum mailing to promote its Darwin exhibition sent out erasers printed with the message 'it is estimated that up to 20 species become extinct every day'

  4. Think – the quarterly customer magazine from Google. A great way to combine print and digital

  5. Let’s Get Gardening – Homebase’s garden planner designed to stretch gardening season from spring to all year round

  6. Land Rover Balloon in a Box – Land Rover sent prospects an invite to their new Liverpool showroom by sending them a message tied to the string of a helium balloon

  7. Land Rover Survival Guide – a survival book printed on edible paper

  8. World Water Day – a mailer that needed to be submerged in water in order to read its message

  9. Tesco Clubcard - just because everyone loves money off and vouchers

  10. Royal British Legion Crosses – RBL sent wooden crosses to supporters asking them to write on them messages of support to troops in Afghanistan and Iraq and then return them to be ‘planted’ in the Fields Of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey