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Using Promotional Items in Direct Mail Campaigns

Direct mail—the process of sending out catalogues, brochures and similar items directly to consumers—is one of the most popular marketing and advertising methods in existence.

Many studies have shown that when your direct mail campaign requires a response from a customer, such as ordering from a catalogue or attending a sale, including a free promotional item increases the response rate enormously.

Using promotional items this way allows you to tap into a very powerful method of increasing response rates; however it’s not as simple as popping a pen into each envelope and mailing them off without a second thought. There are a couple of important points to consider when choosing promotional items for direct mail marketing.

Targeting Promotional Items to your Audience

Before you even think about purchasing any promotional items, you must know who you are targeting with your direct mail campaign. If you’ve gone to the trouble of preparing a marketing campaign of this sort, you should already know something about your target audience—you must then apply your knowledge to the type of promotional items you choose to mail. If you don’t attend to this important detail, large numbers of potential customers may end up with free items they have no use for and no interest in, and that means they’re less likely to read your promotional material, and you’re less likely to get the response you were hoping for.

Size and Weight

While you’re choosing promotional items that will appeal to your target audience, you must also bear in mind that the items you choose are destined to be mailed to these people. You should, therefore, be limiting your selection to items that can be mailed easily and inexpensively. Both size and weight are important factors here—weight is no longer the only determinant in calculating the price of mailing an item; size now comes into play also.

The items you choose should be able to fit easily through the slot of a standard-sized mail box—and don’t forget that the thickness of the item and the promotional material you’re sending will be increased slightly when packaged in an envelope. It’s a good idea to choose small, flat items that will fit easily into a standard or A5 sized envelope, so that you can keep your mailing costs to a minimum, and to ensure that your items will be received without any problems. Good items to choose include calendars (a perennial favorite for businesses both small and large), fridge magnets, note pads, coasters, and mini mouse mats. All of these items are small enough to fit into an A5 envelope or smaller, and flat enough that they’ll be delivered to a recipient easily.

Here are a couple of final tips to bear in mind when choosing your items:

  • Avoid any promotional items with sharp edges or points that might tear the packaging they’re contained in, and definitely avoid choosing items that might break.
  • If you’re sending out items that might be rendered useless when foldedArticle Search, consider including a piece of stiff cardboard in the package to protect the item contained inside.

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Samantha Fellows is one of the top authors in the promotional merchandise industry. She is an important part of ClickPromoGifts and is sharing her extensive knowledge of trends and success in gifting promotional items, promotional gifts and promotional products. For more information visit

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