Direct Mail Marketing & Send with Scout

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Maybe you’ve heard other marketers ask what direct mail marketing is or maybe you stumbled here from a Google search. We’ve got a primer from one of our partners, Send With Scout, that will take you through direct mail marketing, why you should care, and a bit about what they’re building on top of message360 to merge digital attribution with physical marketing materials.

Our partners, Send With Scout, are taking you through direct mail marketing, why you should care, and a bit about what they’re building on top of message360 to merge digital attribution with physical marketing materials.

So, What Is Direct Mail Marketing?

It’s pretty simple. Direct mail marketing is a way to reach consumers via their mailbox. It can be in the form of letters, brochures, magazines, catalogs, envelopes, flyers, or postcards. Although, there’s a strong case that postcards are the way to go.

You can also buy tons of targeting lists, too. 

Using direct mail doesn’t mean you have to abandon all of the benefits of the digital revolution. Quite the opposite, actually. There’s a unique opportunity to combine the benefits of digital attribution with the old school mailbox.

Is Direct Mail Still Relevant?


No it’s not... post over!

Actually, that’s what most marketers think and this is exactly why you should be doing it.

But the transition to digital has meant that marketers have moved away from traditional methods, like direct mail. It’s probably the same reason why newer marketers always ask, what is direct mail marketing? This means a whole new generation of buyers are receptive to what was considered an overwrought channel by the generation before. But, the gap is closing once more (as all good gaps do). Look at this interest graph on Google Trends. A clear gap… but notice in the US that people are just as interested in digital marketing as they are in direct mail… whoa!


How can we use direct mail as a viable marketing channel and still get all the benefits of digital attribution?

How to Run a Direct Mail Campaign

Targeting Your Prospects 

The first thing you’ll want to do is start with your list. There are tons of targeting options, but the gist is that you can target in these ways: (either by buying lists or by doing web research).

  1. Consumer Data (people)
  2. Occupant Data (addresses vs. people)
  3. Property Data (homes vs. people)
  4. Business and Auto Data (Duh)
  5. Web research (outsourcers)

If you’re looking for list providers, Google is a good place to start or if you’d like advice from industry experts, there is the Postcard Pros Facebook group where you can ask your question or get a list of popular direct mail targeting companies. Below are some of the types of targeting you can do. Note that these are for the US only, as targeting overseas is way more difficult.

You can also combine/edit your list with other forms of data enriching (e.g. Mechanical Turk + Google Maps can help qualify your list with public data such as property images or Street View).

Design The Perfect Postcard

You should focus a ton of time on your list, and ideally you’d already have addresses of customers that know your brand. If you don’t, make sure that your targeting is as good as can be. Here’s Scout’s design process, the gist of which is below.

 Here a quick hit list of the best way to design your card as a direct mail marketer:

  1. Spend 80% of your time on a 3-4 word headline.
  2. Make your image catchy (use or for free images).
  3. Don’t write too much, edit it. Your value prop should be clear in 3 seconds.
  4. Add data if you can, the more personal the card, the better.
  5. Don’t rely on your brand, focus on your benefits.
  6. Add in a killer offer AND make a clear expiration date.
  7. Make sure you have some way to track (see next section).
  8. Design 3 cards to be sent in 1-2 week intervals. 

For reading this far, Jordan has agreed to provide a free design review for you. You can email him directly. His email is his first name at

Measure Your Results

This is the thing that so many direct mail marketers don’t do. Great design, well qualified list, and no attribution. You can easily do attribution too… Here are some of the tools we integrated into our platform that you can use for free.

Google Voice forwarding # (or use the Ytel API, like we do)
  1. Forwarding URL for the campaign (we do one URL per card, try
    1. Pro-tip, forward to a URL with a campaign ID embedded. Here’s a builder.
  2. Use QR codes that are unique to every card.
  3. Understand which cards are undeliverable and when your cards get delivered.

These metrics will help you determine how well your campaign did and help you do retargeting again. 

Scout has built a tool to help you with all of these pieces to provide the definitive answer to the question, what is direct mail marketing?

Direct Mail Attribution

Scout took on this challenge to help direct mail marketers track their return on investment with Scout Studio. It helps you design your ideal postcard campaign, build a super well-targeted list to your prospects, and most importantly, track your results. Here's an overview video of how it works. 


With Scout Studio, you can design your direct mail pieces right inside of Google Chrome’s web browser. Drag and drop images, add shapes, add text, and most importantly, add tracking to every single card.

Scout Studio can generate unique URLs, unique phone numbers (via the Ytel API), QR codes, and unique redemption codes. Plus, we can tie in with Google Analytics by having our forward URLs include campaign IDs so you can track the results inside of Studio or see them in the analytics platform of your choice. Since our tracking is at the postcard level, you’ll know who came through the top of funnel so you can remarket to them if they don’t convert… or use that information to refine your targeting.

Scout also puts you in touch with the best list providers or automatically clean your lists, too. Hopefully you now know what direct mail marketing is and understand how you can run a campaign yourself! If not, join us on Facebook and we’ll update this post with any questions you still have.

As a thank you, you get early access to Scout Studio and locked in pricing for reading our blog. Sign up here to check it out.

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About The Author

Send With Scout

Send with Scout is a next- gen postcard marketing company that helps businesses connect directly with their customers by sending custom postcards. Scout provides all the benefits of digital channels, designed and personalized for physical mail.

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