Direct Mail + Digital: An Omnichannel Powerhouse

We always hear that direct mail is going away or it’s simply not effective in a world of digital outreach.  However, this is far from true, and direct mail remains one of the largest channels that marketers budget for.

Research shows that an incredible 80-90% of direct mail gets opened, while only 20-30% of email gets opened on a good day. Additionally, 92% of consumers believe that direct mail is more effective than digital advertising.

When direct mail and digital channels are used together as part of an omnichannel marketing program, brands have the opportunity to elevate their marketing strategy to even greater heights.

According to a Winterberry Group and United States Postal Service study, 60 percent of marketers said they’re taking steps to integrate direct mail with other channels. 39% said they are already seeing benefits from doing so.

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Direct Mail Drives Customer Acquisition

The largest use case for using direct mail is to drive customer acquisition, according to 45.4% of survey respondents.  Following is reactivation campaigns or customer win-back, as stated by 18% of respondents.

7 Ways to Integrate Direct Mail with Digital Outreach

Here are seven ways to integrate direct mail with digital channels to boost your omnichannel outreach.

1. Personalized URLs (PURLs) and QR Codes

Personalized URLs (PURLs) and QR codes are great ways to bridge the gap between direct mail and digital channels.

By including a unique PURL or QR code on a direct mail piece, you can direct recipients to a personalized landing page or website, allowing you to track their online interactions.

Example: A fitness center sends out postcards with QR codes that lead recipients to a personalized webpage featuring a special offer based on their fitness preferences.

2. Social Media Integration

Direct mail can be used to drive traffic to your social media profiles or encourage social sharing. Include social media icons, handles, or QR codes that lead to your social profiles on your mailer to encourage recipients to connect with your brand online.

Example: An upscale restaurant sends out postcards promoting a special menu and includes QR codes that lead to their Instagram page, where customers can view menu specials.

3. Email Follow-Ups

To reinforce your direct mail message, consider sending follow-up emails to recipients who have received or interacted with your mail piece via a PURL or QR Code. Mention the direct mail campaign in your email subject line to remind recipients of your offer.

Example: A retail store sends out a direct mail catalog featuring new products. They follow up with an email to recipients who visit their website by clicking on the PURL or QR code, offering an exclusive discount on the featured items.

4. Geo-Fencing

Geo-fencing technology allows you to send digital ads or push notifications to recipients’ smartphones when they enter a specific geographic area. This can be triggered by their interaction with a direct mail piece.

Example: A car dealership sends out postcards advertising a sale event. When recipients enter the dealership’s vicinity, they receive a push notification on their smartphones, providing directions and additional incentives to visit the event.

5. Augmented Reality (AR)

Augmented Reality is a cutting-edge technology that can make your direct mail pieces come to life. By including AR codes on your mailer, recipients can use their smartphones to access immersive digital experiences.

Example: A furniture store sends out direct mail postcards with AR codes. When recipients scan the code, they can virtually place different furniture pieces in their living room through their smartphone, helping them visualize their purchase.

6. Social Proof and User-Generated Content

Encourage customers who engage with your direct mail to share their experiences on social media. You can even run contests or campaigns that reward customers for posting user-generated content related to your products or services.

Example: A cosmetics company includes a hashtag on their direct mail piece and encourages customers to post selfies wearing their products. They offer a chance to win a prize for the best selfie, generating social media buzz and free advertising.

7. Retargeting

Use digital retargeting ads to reach out to individuals who interacted with your direct mail but did not convert. This keeps your brand top-of-mind and gives them another opportunity to engage.

Example: An e-commerce retailer sends out a catalog with QR codes for featured products. If a recipient scans the QR code but doesn’t make a purchase, they may later see targeted ads for those products on their social media or while browsing the web.


Integrating direct mail with digital channels can be a game-changer for your marketing efforts. Ready to leverage the power of combining these channels? Learn how we can help!

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