As anyone with a mailbox can tell you, direct mail is still very much alive and well. In fact, it’s one of the most commonly used marketing mediums, tied with social media. And although the rise of digital communications has reduced the amount of physical mail we receive, consumers still look forward to their daily visit from the postman. They tend to review their mail the same day it’s delivered and they perceive direct mail messages as more personal than other types of solicitations, such as robocalls and email lists.

Now that you understand why direct mail is still viable and effective, let’s look at best practices for banks and financial institutions.

How to Improve Direct Mail Marketing Results

Use these 5 best practices to maximize your direct mail response rate and increase the overall effectiveness of your campaign.


people launching envelopes at a giant target


1. Time the Offer

Plan your direct mail campaigns to overlap with peak demand. For example, demand for personal credit usually peaks in the first quarter after the winter holidays. Spring and fall are the best seasons for home equity loans and HELOCs. You can also use timing to reach people who’ve just moved into a new home and neighborhood. This is the time to introduce yourself as the local community bank and try to win their banking business.

2. Know Your Competition

To maximize your return, make sure that your offer is superior or at least comparable with similar offers in your market. Look around and do some research to see what your competitors are offering. If you can’t compete on rates or fees, emphasize your value proposition (trust, history, premium service, etc.).

3. Get Creative

Direct mail has been around a long time, but there’s still room to innovate. Take this example from a Massachusetts-based credit union, which promoted a new branch opening with mailers printed on seed paper. Recipients could plant the mailer to grow flowers and anyone who brought the mailer into the new branch also received a gift card to a local nursery. This approach is innovative but it is also grounded in the values of the local community, whose residents are into green living and supporting local businesses.

4. Personalization Drives Direct Mail Results

Banks and financial institutions can use personalized variable data printing to reach the right people with the right messages. Change minor features in your design template like color palettes, addresses, and, most significantly, names. This unique process allows you to communicate with your customers in a more intimate, human capacity.

5. Marketing to Non-Customers

Instead of purchasing prospect lists with questionable accuracy, work with a partner like PrintMail who can identify demographic groups that are already considering a specific financial product or service. Once you’ve reached the most interested prospects, we’ll help you grab their attention with well-designed and informative mailers. For example, an oversized postcard may be more effective because it doesn’t require them to open an envelope.


Woman at community mailbox area looking through her mail


The Demographics of Direct Mail Marketing

Did you know that direct mail resonates with millennials as well as their boomer parents? Here’s why.

According to The Financial Brand, millennials have a higher “open” rate and a faster response time to direct mail campaigns. And because they are so savvy about digital marketing strategies, an old-fashioned print message may be better at breaking through the noise.


Woman in front of a pile of mail holding up an envelope


Direct Mail Can Be Part of a Multi-Channel Approach

In today’s marketing environment, customers want to connect with their financial institutions on a variety of platforms, from print materials and physical branches to online and mobile banking. This is why direct mail is not only effective on its own, but it can also complement and work in tandem with digital marketing and other efforts.

For example, improve your response rate from non-customers by combining your direct mail campaign with other advertising channels, such as social media.


infographic - people on a circle surrounded by circles with graphics representing different types of communication strategies


Exceed your marketing goals with PrintMail!

With more than 20 years of experience and an exclusive focus on the financial industry, PrintMail is your ideal marketing partner. We stay up-to-date on direct mail strategies so we can provide creative and data-backed solutions. And our dedicated digital marketing team is available to help with all of your multi-channel marketing needs. Contact us today to learn more about what direct mail practices are best suited for your bank’s marketing goals.

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