Direct mail has been proven to have some of the highest response rates. The reasons are simple. It’s a great tactile experience with a long shelf life. The combination of email, digital ads, and direct mail is one of the strongest multi-channel approaches any bank or credit union can use.

The use of direct mail has changed tremendously with technology. Gone are the days of spray and pray where a business would purchase some ambiguous list and mail everyone on it with a single message hoping that it would resonate with at least a small segment of recipients. Enter the digital world. It’s all about highly targeted lists with personalized messaging. Such as, the bank that uses mortgage registry information along with known historic rates to promote refinances to specific homeowners. Or, where a bank uses new move-in data to further their neighborhood outreach for retail banking customers.

It’s about being smart in the target, and personal in the message. When it’s relevant, it works.  The post office has evolved its services to address the needs of marketing teams using direct mail with products such as EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail) and Informed Delivery.

A few ways direct mail is used effectively:

  • IP targeting allows banks to direct mail consumers who have visited your web site, and you can qualify them based on their on-site actions. This helps manage costs with direct mail only going to highly engaged individuals. How powerful could this be for you? It’s like a branch visit, only virtual.
  • Saturation mail continues to be a very inexpensive way to reach a large audience. Banks may utilize this method to reach a highly qualified list for new home mortgages, auto loans or simply deposit and checking account opens. That audience may still be highly segmented and targeted, but the saturation approach keeps postage costs to a minimum.
  • Targeted mail to individuals. This may be triggered by an action the person took online, in-branch, elsewhere, or not at all. For example, this could be a consumer who’s deposit relationship has grown, and now the bank wishes to invite them to learn more about wealth management. Banks could target consumers who have had low transaction activity in recent weeks compared to the past, and where the engagement may help retain or grow a current customer.
  • Business development by your loan officers and retail banker teams drive the most common and growing uses for direct mail. When combining the power of a CRM system, email, and direct mail, you have an incredibly high rate of engagement and conversion. This automation is not hard, and the piece count is exceptionally low, so very affordable automation. Learn about nurture campaigns by TAG.
  • Email systems are wonderful, and every bank loves this inexpensive channel. However, non-deliverables, new-in-box rules and segregation, and of course spam blockers have changed the game. Not to mention you need to ‘win’ the email address in the first place. Look at your email list quantity. Is it really what you want to rely on for your future? 2018 saw some of the first declining email response rates, and it will only continue. The dual channel effort of email and direct mail is most beneficial. Know your audience, and automate the decision making for who gets what direct mail.
  • EDDM is the tool to use if you simply need to blanket an entire carrier route at the lowest possible cost. By using lists that have little targeting, but saturate an entire area, you can be sure to get the word out fast. Oftentimes this is effective for professional and household services that are purchased in tighter geographies, or where the buzz is simply the best approach. Banking is a great candidate for this service. At less than 17 cents per piece, it’s a great way to reach a wide audience around your branches.


The effectiveness of direct mail is greatly enhanced by the addition of personalization on the piece. Nothing drives higher engagement rates across all direct mail approaches than using relevant personal information in communications. This makes the piece directly related to only the recipient. Imagine a direct mail piece reminding you how long it’s been since your last new car purchase, your current mortgage rate, or simply the products you are currently utilizing and the relative products you should consider. These are all extremely useful personalization techniques.

From Real World to Digital Realm

No channel stands alone. Just like print is effective for improving email performance, the web visit is essential to direct mail’s success. Utilize personalization to create ‘web codes’ for unique offers and trackability. Get your prospect to engage with you online, and then move to remarketing for your next channel. Many more techniques can be used to drive direct mail to online engagement.

To learn more about the power of direct mail, contact one of TAG’s experts.