What Are Considered Direct Mailings?

You might be wondering what are considered direct mailings, and if they’re effective. You’ll find out how direct mail differs from other types of advertising. Here are some examples of what is and isn’t considered direct mail: House list mailings, Targeted mailings, and Outside list mailings. And keep reading for tips to make sure your direct mail is effective. You may be surprised to learn that direct mail brings in more money than you’d expect. Half of the households in America say they would like to receive more direct mail.

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Unwanted mail is not direct mail

The United States Postal Service has made it clear that any direct mail that fails to meet federal mail laws is not direct mailing. The statute prohibits advertising that may evoke eroticism. A unanimous Supreme Court opinion interpreted the law to apply to unwanted advertising. Unless the advertising is specifically directed at a specific group, it cannot be considered direct mail. This rule may be a source of confusion for some small business owners.

Targeted mailings

In its simplest form, targeted mailings consist of mailed promotional items. Targeted mailings can be customized for individual recipients. Advertisers can target based on known purchase histories, psychographic characteristics, or other criteria. Some examples of basic direct mail offers are optional features, quantity discounts, bill me later, and free trials. Others include premiums, sweepstakes, and special conditions for sale and guarantees.

Outside list mailings

If you’ve been using direct mail for any length of time, you’ve probably heard of outside list mailings. But have you ever wondered what the heck they are? You may be surprised to learn that most of them are not. While there are some situations in which they are, outside list mailings are the riskiest type of direct mail. Here are a few of the reasons why. They’ll make your advertising more effective and more profitable.

House list mailings

Direct mail is still a popular marketing technique. Despite its nuanced reputation, the U.S. Postal Service still delivers 143 billion pieces of mail a year. It has high response rates, with house list mailings reporting a response rate of nine percent and prospect list mailings registering a response rate of 4.9 percent. This marketing strategy is still highly effective for reaching older generations and for attracting new customers.


When combined with an e-commerce site, catalogs are a powerful combination of print and digital media. Not only do they inspire new ideas for products, but they are a great way to boost sales. Moreover, catalogs are most effective when partnered with other forms of direct marketing. If you are planning to pair your catalog with an e-commerce site, keep in mind that tone and imagery should be consistent across all your media channels. In addition, make sure you include multiple ordering options in all of your marketing materials.


If you’re trying to increase the sales of your business, consider sending out coupons to your target customers. These promotional pieces can be effective tools for measuring your return on investment. Considering that people are generally on the lookout for ways to save, coupons can provide a solution. Consumers may even be more apt to buy products if they have coupons to offset the price hike. When combined with your marketing efforts, coupons can generate a large amount of revenue.