Direct Mail
& Door Drop

A variety of items on a green background.


Well, you’re in the right place!

Our latest blog is packed full of creative direct mail ideas, examples of direct mail in action and a handy breakdown of the different direct mail format types you can choose from.

We also try to answer some frequently asked questions, that you might be asking yourself, as you consider how to get started with direct mail.


does direct mail still work?

If you haven’t used direct mail before, you might be asking yourself “is direct mail still effective?”

The answer, overwhelmingly, is.. YES!

A whitepaper issued by MarketReach and WARC showed that when direct mail was used in the channel mix for campaigns conducted as part of the research test, they saw significant gains vs the UK average:

  • 33% revenue increase vs 23% average
  • 35% ROI increase vs 23% average
  • 46% market penetration/ customer gain vs 33% average

JIC Mail data also showed that advertising mail has an average engagement rate of 95%, with 70% of people have driven towards an online activity.

IPA data showed 35% of consumers have made a purchase, or made a payment or donation, in the past year as a result of receiving a piece of direct mail marketing.

To see just how effective direct mail can be for your brand, check out one of our case studies –  where highly targeted direct mail delivered a 314% increase in incremental revenue for Lakeland.


WHat types of direct mail formats are there?

There are hundreds of different direct mail format options, all designed to maximise engagement and ensure your message stands out from the crowd.


The most common direct mail format is a letter enclosed into an envelope. However, with advances in technology, every element of this ‘simple’ mailing can be hyper-personalised, with all imagery and copy tailored to reflect the past behaviours and future needs of your customers.



If you’ve not used direct mail before, you might have heard the term and wondered: “what is a one-piece mailer?”

A one-piece mailer format (sometimes called a ‘self-mailer’ or a ‘customer mailer’) is any door drop, partially addressed mail or direct mail format which is designed, printed, folded and sealed, in such a way, that it also acts as a postage envelope.



We’ve picked out a list of just some of the mechanisms you can incorporate into your next direct mail campaigns, to create more stand out on the doormat:

For each, you’ll find a description of features, the benefits, and an example of how it could be applied practically to a real-life campaign.


This example shows how multiple pop-up elements can be used to a striking 3D effect.


A pop-up mailer creates instant impact and bring your campaign to life.

When opened your creative quite literally, leaps off the page – making your product, offer or message impossible to miss.

Pop-ups can also provide a unique and engaging way of presenting a voucher, discount card or temporary membership card.

When the one-piece mailer is opened, a card ‘raises up’ through a slot and can easily be remove by the recipient to redeem or refer back to, at a later date.



This example shows how peel-and reveal cards can be incorporated with other mechanisms to create real standout.


A great way to encourage engagement with your mailing is to allude to a hidden message, offer or contents.

All is revealed when the recipients interact with the mailing to open a window, or remove a card, label or even stickers.

And, as JIC Mail data shows that recipients will often interact with a mailing on more than one occasion, you could make the most of this effect by driving customers back to your mailing repeatedly.

Consider a campaign ran over a number of days, weeks or months. You could personalise unique codes on, or beneath, each peel and reveal card.

When a recipient reveals their latest code, you could drive them to a landing page where they input their details and the code to reveal a time-sensitive offer, enter a competition, or win an instant prize!



With King Charles III’s coronation taking place in May 2023, a crown shape to celebrate the event could make your direct mailing fit for royalty.

On a doormat full of rectangles, incorporating a shape into your mailings is a simple, yet extremely effective way, of grabbing your target customers’ attention.

Where relevant, your mailing could be cut to the shape of your product(s) and die-cut shapes can also feature inside your mailing.

These could be detachable shaped coupons, which encourage recipients to engage with your piece, and even retain it around the home.



Create an emotional response by adding a scent to your mailing. The scent can be revealed when the mailing is opened, or through a scratch and sniff mechanism for increased engagement.  


The tangible nature of direct mail traditionally appeals to 2 senses: touch and sight.

Holding your mail piece in their hands and seeing your striking creative captures your audience’s attention like no other channel can, but why not add a third dimension?

The sense of smell!

By applying a scented varnish, which is a thin, invisible coating that is laid over your piece of print, you can evoke an emotional response in your target audience, through smell.

Create desire with the smell of chocolate, a yearning for holidays with the smell of sun-cream, a festive spirit with Christmas tree smells, or even disgust; with the smell of stale cigarette smoke added as part of a health initiative, quit-smoking campaign or air and fabric freshening products!

In 2023, why not celebrate the coming of spring with a mailing featuring a scent synonymous with the season?

  • Fresh cut grass
  • Floral scents like lavender, blossom or
  • Woodland scents
  • Hot Cross Buns
  • Chocolate easter eggs

A scented mailing creates a sharable moment. JIC Mail data shows that standard mail items are shared in the home and amongst friends and family, just think how much that could increase when a scent is included!


Coupons and vouchers can be removed from a mailing and kept. Unique barcodes and redemption codes mean vouchers can be redeemed online or in-store to encourage multichannel shopping.


By adding vouchers and coupons to your mailing, you can tempt new customers with a generous discount on their first purchase, and reward loyal customers with products, offers and added value content tailored just for them.

Each customer can receive a variably configured, targeted set of coupons of varying quantities, depending on past purchase behaviour. And, where customers do not qualify for offers, infill variable content can be substituted in their place!

Where specific products are on offer, production selections on the coupons can be made from a pool 000’s of product SKUs, dynamically selected in accordance with previous purchases, spend stretch goals or next best product recommendations.


slider mailers.

 A slider format allows high levels of creativity in revealing your offer or message.


A slider mailer offers a great way of encouraging recipients to interact with your mailing.

By pulling on a clearly indicated tab, recipients reveal the inner contents and message, either by removing the inner element entirely, or pulling as far as the format will allow.

Further levels of creativity, engagement and standout can be added, by adding apertures (or windows) to your mailing.

When pulled, the inner slider can move along behind aperture to change the image or reveal a new message.

PULL-APART mailers.

A pull-apart mailing takes the conventional outer or envelope and creates a more engaging method of accessing the inner contents, with endless possibilities for creating intrigue and cut through on the doormat.

You incorporate a die cut shape, and send a Christmas cracker or an egg, to be pulled or cracked open revealing your message inside.


TIP-ON CARD mailers.

Whether it’s a tip-on card or cards, a booklet of vouchers, a never-ending fold (see above) a sample sachet or a fridge magnet; a sure-fire way to ensure your message is kept, is to include an element that can be detached and tucked away in wallet, purse or on the fridge, to be redeemed or revisited at a later date.

JIC Mail research shows that direct mail, on average, lives in the home for up to 7.6 days – why not cover both bases, by staying in the home and the handbag with a tip-on format.



 You could be forgiven for not seeing a glassine window as very exciting on first inspection!

However, above and beyond the basic use of a window into the addressed area of your mailing – glassine windows provide endless creative possibilities.

You could create a screen for a TV, phone or computer, a window on a submarine or telescope effect – the possibilities are endless.

And to create a sense of intrigue and nostalgia, include a red-reveal mechanism. You could personalise a unique code, or message, which is only revealed when the red film is placed over the secret message!


seasonal examples of direct mail campaign ideas.



Your competition will always be looking to slide into your customers’ DMs and steal them away.

So, avoid a love-triangle by cutting through the noise of a crowded inbox with a Direct Mail piece that stands out on the doormat.

Adding a shape like a heart, either on the outer, as a coupon or as a pop up is an effective way of ensuring your mail gets read.


eggs-ellent easter ideas: format designs to tanalise the taste buds.


Create delight, intrigue and boost engagement this Easter.

Shapes, pop-ups, tip on cards and vouchers (not forgetting chocolatey smells!) can all be combined to drive improved campaign performance and revenue.


summer & bbq: win share of wallet as the competition heats up.

As the weather heats up, so does the competition and the fight for share of wallet this Summer will be hotter than ever.

Stand-out on the doormat with by combining shapes, a tantalising BBQ scent and cards to engage your customers.

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