Direct Mail Marketing for Ecommerce

IgnitePOST is a favorite solution for ecommerce brands to automatically send handwritten direct mail cards and delight customers.

Treat yourself to a free sample today.

A Complete Guide to Using Direct Mail Marketing for eCommerce

As the eCommerce industry becomes increasingly competitive and customer acquisition costs soar, businesses are struggling to capture the attention of their target audience. 

According to a 2023 Forbes article, customer acquisition costs (CAC) for eCommerce businesses skyrocketed from $9 in 2013 to $29 in 2022, a 222% increase. 

With so many marketing channels vying for attention, standing out in the crowd has become a challenge. However, there's one strategy that's often overlooked: direct mail marketing for eCommerce. 

While it may seem antiquated, direct mail marketing is a powerful and cost-effective way to reach the right audience and boost sales. In this blog, we'll explore how businesses can leverage direct mail marketing to achieve success in today's competitive eCommerce landscape.

Table of contents:
What is direct mail marketing in eCommerce? 

Why use direct mail marketing for eCommerce? 

How can businesses use direct mail marketing for eCommerce? 

How to get started with direct mail marketing for eCommerce businesses?

Examples of direct mail marketing for eCommerce businesses.

Best practices to follow for direct mail marketing in eCommerce.

What is direct mail marketing in eCommerce?

Direct mail marketing for eCommerce involves the use of physical mail to promote products and services directly to the target audience. This form of marketing has remained relevant because it allows companies to convey a tangible message to their customers.

Direct mail can include various elements such as promotional offers, product information, and personalized messages. In today's digital age, physical mail feels more personal than ever before, enabling businesses to establish a stronger connection with their customers. 

Companies can leverage creative design, eye-catching colors, and interactive elements to make their direct mail stand out and increase customer engagement. By incorporating personalization and creative design, businesses can create direct mail campaigns that excite and engage customers, driving more sales and boosting their bottom line.

Why use direct mail marketing for eCommerce?

Although direct mail marketing may seem counterintuitive in a digital world, it can be a powerful tool for driving website traffic and increasing sales for eCommerce businesses. 

Direct mail can include a call-to-action and a website link, making it easy for recipients to learn more about the product or service being offered. By providing incentives like discounts or free shipping, customers may be more inclined to take action and visit the website. 

Here are the top 5 reasons why direct mail marketing for eCommerce is effective:

  1. Reach a broader audience: Direct mail marketing enables businesses to reach a much larger audience than digital marketing alone. By targeting potential customers through their physical mailboxes, businesses can connect with a wider range of demographics and geographic locations.

  1. Better Personalization: With direct mail, eCommerce businesses can personalize the messaging and content for each individual recipient. This allows businesses to tailor the message to fit the needs and interests of the customer, increasing the chances of a response and driving sales.

  1. Cost-effective: Direct mail marketing for eCommerce is often less expensive than other forms of marketing, such as television or radio ads. It can be a cost-efficient and effective way to reach customers and boost sales.

  1. Tangible: Direct mail is tangible, providing customers with a physical experience of the product or service being offered. This helps create a sense of trust and loyalty between the customer and the business, resulting in increased customer engagement and repeat purchases.

Different types of direct mail eCommerce brands can send their customers

Direct mail is a powerful tool that can help your eCommerce business reach out to your customers in a more personalized and engaging way. There are many types of direct mail that you can use to make a lasting impression on your customers. Here are some of the most commonly used types:

  1. Brochures: These beautifully designed pamphlets are perfect for promoting your products or services and highlighting their features and benefits.

  1. Letters: Personalized correspondence can be a great way to connect with your customers or potential customers on a more personal level.

  1. Flyers: If you're running a sale or offering discounts, flyers can be a simple yet effective way to get the word out and drive more traffic to your website.

  1. Newsletters: Regular physical mailings can help you keep your customers up to date on new products, services, and promotions.

  1. Catalogs: Detailed product listings can be a great way to showcase the range of items you offer and help customers find what they're looking for.

  1. Postcards: Versatile and cost-effective, postcards have an old-school charm that's hard to resist.

  1. Physical coupons: These can be a great way to incentivize customers to take advantage of special offers and discounts.

  1. Gifts, samples & packages: By curating the unboxing experience and surprising your customers with a bonus sample or small token, you can make a lasting impression and build stronger relationships with them.

  1. Handwritten notes: Another format of direct mail is handwritten notes which can be sent at key milestones to customers; for instance, their first order or to say a thank you if they have purchased from you a number of times.

How to use direct mail marketing in eCommerce?

Utilizing direct mail marketing for your eCommerce business is an effective way to reach your target audience and drive sales. With careful planning, you can create a successful direct mail campaign that will help you build relationships with customers while growing your business. 

Here are some ways to use direct mail marketing in eCommerce specifically:

1. Tease new products/ collections to create hype

One of the most effective ways to use direct mail marketing to promote eCommerce products is to tease upcoming products or collections. This can create excitement and anticipation for the new products and give customers a reason to come back to the website or store regularly to check for updates. 

For example, an eCommerce fashion retailer could send postcards featuring a sneak peek of their upcoming collection, or a lifestyle store could send out a postcard with an image of the new products they will be launching. This can be a great way to get people talking about the upcoming products and create buzz for the launch. 

2. Launch new products/ collections

Direct mail marketing can also be used to effectively launch new products or collections. By sending out postcards or brochures with information about the new products, eCommerce players can create a sense of urgency and encourage customers to take action and purchase the products. 

3. Identify and reward loyal customers

Direct mail marketing can also be used to identify and reward loyal customers. By sending out postcards or brochures to customers who have purchased from the store multiple times, retailers can show their appreciation and offer special discounts or promotions. This can be a great way to encourage customers to come back and shop again, as they will feel valued and appreciated.

4. Winback lost customers

Direct physical mail can help an eCommerce business winback their lost customers by using it as an additional channel to reach out and engage with them. For example, a company could use physical mail to send out a discount code for a discounted product or service that the customer is interested in. 

By including personalized content that is tailored to the customer’s interests, the company can show that it cares about the customer and hopes to re-engage with them on an ongoing basis. This can help to renew the customer’s interest in the company and potentially lead to a return purchase.

5. Gather customer feedback

Direct mail marketing can help eCommerce companies gather customer feedback by sending surveys or questionnaires to customers who purchased from their online store. This feedback can provide valuable insights into customer satisfaction levels, what products they like and don't like, and areas of improvement. 

6. Run a contest

Direct mail marketing can help eCommerce companies run a contest by sending out postcards or flyers to customers with information about the contest. This can help generate interest in the contest and encourage customers to enter. Remember that physical mail will always have a better open rate than email (if the physical mail is compelling enough)!

7. Invite walk-ins

If you also have a retail store separate from your online store, direct mail marketing can help you invite walk-ins by sending postcards or flyers to customers in the local area with information about the store and any special offers. This can help attract new customers and increase foot traffic to your store(s).

8. Get SMS opt-ins 

Another interesting way to use direct mail is to get the recipients to opt-in to your SMS list. If you send a direct mail asking the consumer to text a number for a discount code, you can automatically get back even those who unsubscribed into your SMS list.

How to get started with direct mail marketing for eCommerce?

Whether you're a small business just getting started or a larger enterprise looking to expand your reach, direct mail marketing can be a great way to reach potential customers and build a strong relationship with them. In this section, we'll go over all the steps to getting started:

1. Define your TG (target group)

Narrow down your target audience by considering factors such as location, age, gender, interests, and more. This is crucial for a successful direct mail campaign since postal costs can impact your return on investment.

2. Define a goal

Clearly define the central goal of your direct mail campaign. Is it to increase website visits, drive sales, or boost brand awareness? Avoid combining multiple goals in a single campaign to prevent ambiguity in attribution.

3. Create your direct mail content

Brainstorm creative ideas for your direct mail content. Ensure your content is branded and engaging to maximize return on investment. Don’t forget to capitalize on trending lingo that is relevant to your target audience. 

4. Choose a solution to take the efficacy to the next level

Consider using a direct mail creation and automation platform like IgnitePOST to take your campaigns to the next level. IgnitePOST offers features like personalized content, automated tracking, and realistic handwritten notes can help you achieve your desired results in just a few clicks. 

For example, IgnitePOST’s real pen and ink handwritten notes help you cut through the digital noise to delight customers with direct mail that looks personal. You can automatically send personalized cards and notes by direct mail to create unique buyer journeys.

5. Send, measure, and optimize

Just like any other marketing channel, you need to track and measure the success of your direct mail campaigns. Analyze the data to optimize your campaigns and drive better results.

Examples of direct mail marketing for eCommerce businesses

There are thousands of brands today that are using direct mail marketing for eCommerce to run promotions, engage existing customers and boost customer loyalty. Let’s take a look at some direct mail marketing examples: 

1. Pure Plates - achieves a whopping 11x ROI

Pure Plates, a Shopify brand that provides healthy meal subscriptions, implemented an automated direct mail campaign with IgnitePOST and experienced remarkable success. By sending VIP customers a personalized handwritten card when they reached a certain purchase amount threshold, the brand achieved a 68% response rate, an increased average order value, and an impressive 11x return on investment. Despite offering a discount lower than their typical email promotions, customers responded positively to the unique and personalized touch of the direct mail.


2. Brooklinen - engaging copy and creatives can be the deal makers

Brooklinen's direct mail campaign was a hit with customers thanks to its captivating design and compelling content. The blue envelope piqued people's curiosity, and the brochure inside was full of beautiful pictures, clear product descriptions, and a catchy copy. The brochure even included free shipping incentives, making it all the more enticing.

But what really set Brooklinen's direct mail campaign apart was the story behind the brand. By sharing the founders' passion for quality bedding and the company's values, customers felt a deeper connection with the brand. Brooklinen has the opportunity to see an even better result by using a solution like IgnitePOST to send real handwritten notes from the founder to create much deeper connections to the brand.

3. Beardbrand - 11x more RoAS

Beardbrand's direct mail win-back campaign was a tremendous success, with an impressive 11x return on ad spend (ROAS). The company targeted customers who had been unsubscribed from their email marketing and hadn't made a purchase in over six months. The campaign's goal was to reconnect with loyal customers who were no longer responding to their digital marketing efforts. This direct mail approach proved to be effective, resulting in a remarkable 10x ROAS, making it a significant win for Beardbrand.

Best practices to follow for direct mail marketing in eCommerce

Direct mail marketing is a proven way to effectively reach and engage with an eCommerce audience. However, there are several best practices that eCommerce businesses must follow to ensure their direct mail campaigns are successful: 

  1. Know your audience: The first step towards creating an effective direct mail campaign is to understand your target audience. Take the time to research and analyze their interests, needs, and desires. This will help you create personalized campaigns that are more likely to resonate with them.

  1. Be timely: Timing is crucial when it comes to direct mail campaigns. Sending out offers and discounts at the right time can help keep your customers engaged and boost sales. It's important to consider factors such as holidays, special events, and even the timing of your customer's purchasing behavior.

  1. Use quality materials: Investing in high-quality materials, such as paper and envelopes, can help your direct mail piece stand out from the competition. This will help increase the chances of your mail being opened and read, which is essential for a successful campaign.

  1. Include a call-to-action (CTA): A clear and effective call-to-action is crucial to any direct mail campaign. It should be prominently displayed and encourage your customers to take the desired action, such as making a purchase or visiting your website.

  1. Track and analyze results: Regularly tracking and analyzing the results of your direct mail campaigns will help you identify what's working and what's not. This will allow you to make necessary changes and optimize your campaigns for better results. You can improve your campaigns and achieve better results over time by keeping track of metrics such as response rates, conversion rates, and ROI.

Ready to tap into the potential of direct mail marketing for eCommerce? 

In a world where digital channels dominate marketing strategies, direct mail marketing can be an untapped opportunity for eCommerce businesses. 

By following the best practices outlined in this guide and utilizing an effective platform like IgnitePOST, businesses can create engaging and personalized direct mail campaigns that stand out from the competition. 

Don't miss out on the untapped potential of direct mail marketing - book a free demo of IgnitePOST today and take your eCommerce business to the next level!

TRUSTED BY 1000+ Brands

Ready to create your first magic moment?🚀

Start using IgnitePOST today. Request a free sample card mailed to your address.

No contracts, no commitment and incredible support.


Checkout IgnitePOST Shopify App 🚀