Direct mail tends to go viral more often than most people think. According to the 2023 State of Direct Mail Consumer Insights Report, 80% of consumers share direct mail with friends and family.

Focus areas for direct mail strategies

When we talked with Lovett about where in the marketing funnel direct mail can be the most impactful, she narrowed it down to three types of campaigns:


Win-back leads have bought things from you in the past. The purchase may have been weeks, months, or years ago. They’re familiar with your brand but haven’t engaged in some time.

How do your mailers get these people to start interacting with your business again? A call to action could motivate them to act. Your mailer might include a code that gives win-back customers a 15% discount when they place orders within 30 days. BOGO deals also work well.

Lob makes it easy to retarget and win back customers by personalizing campaigns, timing triggers to nudge them toward buying, and tracking actions so you know which strategy works best for each person.

Download the Modern Marketers’ Guide to Reactivating Customers With Direct Mail for more insights into effective direct mail strategies for win-back customers.


You already have a customer who interacts regularly with your brand. How can you use that loyal customer to generate more leads? By turning them into brand ambassadors eager to help their friends and family find great products and services.

Several strategies can help increase referrals. Incentivize your existing customers to refer others to your company. For each referral, they might get a discount code or free item.

Also, make all your direct mailers and other content easy to share. For example, send out mailers with a QR code that directs people to a personalized URL they can share with friends. The easier someone can share an offer, the more likely they will do it.

In-market leads and hand-raisers

In-market leads and hand-raisers have expressed interest in your brand, products, or services. They’re not qualified leads yet, but you can steer them in that direction.

Take an omnichannel approach to get these people familiar with your brand. You want them to see your name on social media, emails, and retargeted ads. Eventually, they should feel more comfortable buying from you.

Personalized direct mailers go a long way toward converting these leads. With personalized mailers, you can use specific offers that appeal to the lead. You might include information about products that interest them. You can give them discounts that expire within a certain amount of time.

You’ll want to time your mailers for as much impact as possible. Track how often people interact with your brand and make data-driven decisions that will turn them into buyers.

Measuring direct mail results

Next, we asked Lovett how to measure the results from these campaigns to prove their value.

Response rate

Your response rate measures how many households respond to your direct mailers. For example, if you sent personalized mailers to 1,000 homes and got 500 responses, you get your response rate by dividing 500 by 1,000 and multiplying the result by 100. You have a 50% response rate!

Lead rate

You use a similar tactic to determine your lead rate. You just replace the responses your campaign gets with the number of leads it generates. If you sent out 1,000 mailers and generated 250 leads, you divide 250 by 1,000 and multiply the result by 100. In this case, you have a 25% lead rate.

Sales rate

When it comes down to it, you want high response and lead rates because they improve your sales opportunities. A higher sales rate means your business brings in more money, which ideally means higher profits and more growth opportunities.

You determine your sales rate differently than your response and lead rates. To get your sales rate, divide the number of items sold by the number of days you measured the sales. Then, multiply the result by 100. If you sell 2,000 items during a 30-day month, you have a sales rate of about 6,666.7%.

Want to learn more about response rates, lead rates, and sales rates?