When people aren’t coming to you, you may need to go to them! An attractive mailer – could be a postcard, letter, or package – with an appealing offer is a great way to build awareness.


This is called “direct mail” because you send it directly to the people you’re trying to reach. Target an area surrounding your location to specifically reach residents and/or businesses who may be potential customers.

Creating a direct mailer requires the following components:

  • The printed mailer – could be a post card, item in envelope, or package. This has your message and/or offer on it.
  • An address list – an updated list of the names/addresses of business/residents you wish to reach.
  • Postage – will vary based on the size/weight of the mailers.

The Mailer

Think about all the mail you get. All that “junk” mail. What can you do to make your mailer NOT like them? To stand out? To be remarkable?

We get a lot of mail with boring designs and with boring offers. But, then there are a few mailers that really stand out. We save great mailers when we get them to serve as examples. Think about what you can do to stand out and serve as “the example.”

Additionally, make sure the size you choose is standard so you only have to pay as much postage as necessary.

The Address List

This is one of the most critical pieces: obtaining a list of names that is accurate to reach who you wish.

You can do a Google search for “direct mail list.” As you shop around – remember as with most things – you get what you pay for. A super-cheap list may mean is it super-out-of-date too. Shop around.

USPS Every Door Direct Mail

The United States Post Office has a product called “Every Door Direct Mail” which allows you to send mail to carrier routes using an address, zip codes or area you specify. You can select from Business + Residential or just Residential.

Here is the link to the site:

You create your own mailer, select the mailing area, and they provide you with how many pieces go to those addresses and provide you with approximate postage cost.

As the website describes:

Find the customers who matter most. Every Door Direct Mail from the U.S. Postal Service® is designed to reach every home, every address, every time. Just sign in to your USPS.com account, pick your delivery routes, let us know when you’d like to drop off your order, and we’ll take care of the rest.

We haven’t used this service yet, but it looks quite interesting.

Customizing the “To:” Line

If you work with a company that offers you a list with actual names on them (e.g. Ms. Sybil Crawley) – all the better – your mail will be more personalized. However, because people move often, you should probably address it to:

Ms. Sybil Crawley or Current Resident
However, we think it is even more fun to address it creatively. For example, if you are an electronics store address it to:

Ms. Sybil Crawley or Stereo Lover


You have the option to buy stamps, use a meter (if you already have one), or even to print the pieces with an indicia on it indicating “postage paid.”

Also check out the “Business Mail 101” section on the USPS website:

Other Tips


Be sure to create an offer code on your mailing. Program your cash register to accept the code. This will allow you easy tracking and the ability to report on how many products you gave away (or whatever the offer was).


Be sure to limit the amount of time the offer is good for. A shorter (but realistic) timeframe of a month or so creates a sense of urgency.

Final Thoughts…

  • The purpose of a direct mail offer is mainly to drive traffic to your location. Take advantage of this traffic and “roll out the red carpet.”
  • Make the offer worth coming in for. If you offer something too little it won’t entice the potential customer to visit your location. And, it may make you look cheap and un-caring.
  • Provide a space on the mailer for the customer to provide you with their name (first name at minimum) and email address. This will allow you to build your fan mailing list.