How To Make Direct Mail + Promotional Products Work Better Than Ever

In our modern world, overloaded with a barrage of electronic communications at every turn, from email, text messages and Snapchat to people relentlessly hunting Pokemon in your otherwise quiet neighborhood, it may seem counter-intuitive to suggest that direct mail can be more effective than ever… but it is, in fact, true. In a case of what once was old is now new, direct mail — when used the right way — works better than ever.

So how, you ask, does direct mail fit into a world full of social media and digital communication? The answer can be found in looking into the novelty of the old, AOL days when everyone got excited because, “You’ve got mail!” Much in the same way, a little disruption in our lonely mailbox can be used to grab attention, especially when used in conjunction with social media interactions, significantly increasing the response rate.

To help you wrap your head around this think about the number of LinkedIn connection requests you’ve received over the last few months.

Now how many of those request had any sort of personalization?

Most likely very few of them.

Now how many of those requests will follow up after you accepted them?

Probably even fewer.

And let me ask you, how many of those requests were accompanied with a thoughtful gift in the form of a direct mail piece, that put a tangible, nicely-branded item in your hand?

It’s an incredibly powerful method, in part because virtually no one is doing it.

I don’t know about you, but I certainly like to get gifts. And pretty much everyone else I know likes to get gifts. Maybe there’s a way to use gift giving along with social media to get in front of your prospects. Let’s dive even deeper.

Sending a direct mail piece to a prospect that you would like to engage and start a conversation with on LinkedIn will not only help you stand out, but it will create anticipation for the recipient.

In our fast-paced, overwhelm-ridden world anything you can do to stand out is powerful.

It feels at times like there’s nothing you can do to get someone’s attention, much less to be able to create anticipation for what you’re sending them. This is the power of a promotional product sent via direct mail, used in conjunction with your pay-it-forward social media marketing efforts.

Promotional products are one of the most effective means of advertising your brand, so consider taking this method seriously and incorporating it into your prospecting efforts. And remember that quality promotional products feel like a gift to those who receive them. Promotional products are a proven winner to increase the recipients affinity for your brand and you, because branded promotional items can come in the form of highly useful pieces today; items such as branded USB drives and power banks, coffee mugs and other drinkware, as well as bags and apparel to name just a few popular types of items.

And just like back in the days of AOL, there’s something exciting about getting a tangible, nicely packaged box in the mail. Remember, you have to give before you receive. Also remember when everyone else zigs, it’s time to zag. If you give this method a shot, leave me a comment below to tell me your results. I look forward to hearing from you.


  1. Tony, this is EXACTLY what I was speaking to a client about recently. People are so caught up in their digital la-la-land, that they forget that we actually live outside of Facebook and Emails and, YouTube videos of pranksters getting their bell rung for messing with the wrong person. I think that prospecting via snail mail, and incorporating promotional products is GOLD. Thanks for writing and sharing this sir.

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