Direct mail is hitting the headlines for all of the right reasons in 2018. This form of marketing can place your message directly in the home of your prospects. Email marketing may be successful on its own merit, but it’s not tangible, and recent reports suggest consumers respond better to brands using direct mail. With that in mind, Washington Direct Mail – leading UK mailing house – have been scouring the web for the best direct mail examples, and are sharing their favourites.

  1. World Water Day

World Water Day is an annual event celebrated every March. The day is designed to place focus on those without access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene facilities. To demonstrate the importance of water, and how we would suffer without, the corporation behind the event provided some of the most innovative direct mail. The message, sent out to press and targeted consumers, could only be seen when held under water.

  1. Candle Box, Earth Hour

To mark Earth Hour, the firm produced an innovative piece of direct mail that will go down in their history. The mailing featured a black box, designed to mirror the exterior of an office building. Inside, they placed a yellow candle that, when pulled out, replicated turning off the lights. In response to their genius marketing, company support of the ‘switch off’ increased by a staggering 260%.

  1. Free Kit Kat Chunky in the Post, Nestlé

You should all remember where you were the day Nestlé launched the Kit Kat Chunky. Sending out a Royal Mail-inspired ‘we’re sorry we couldn’t deliver your parcel’ card through specific consumer doors to promote the chunkiness of the bar. The campaign encouraged people to collect their free chocolate bar at their local newsagent, using this card. Due to this, the sales for the bar topped their estimates, and it’s still one of their more popular products today.

  1. Recyclable Helmet, Smart

Smart’s most famous direct mail campaign had two objectives: promote their new range of e-friendly bikes and encourage cyclists to wear helmets. They succeeded on both. Smart’s mail involved the consumer crafting a helmet from recycled cardboard, causing a sensation on social media.

  1. DNA Box, Jeep

To further encourage the tagline ‘Freedom, Adventure, Authenticity and Passion’ and to ‘Go Anywhere, Do Anything’, Jeep created a DNA box. This box promoted the versatility of their brand-new Cherokee Line, with the kit embodying the spirit of the Jeep. For example, the box included a clock for ‘anytime’ and a compass for ‘anywhere’. Alongside those items, they placed test tubes containing elements of nature for freedom, adventure, authenticity and passion. Subsequently, 76% of new customers went to test the Cherokee.

  1. Macbeth, The Theatre Academy

Everyone responds well to McDonald’s, and The Theatre Academy tapped into the brand’s popularity. They sent out paper bags, emblazoned with a huge M in the style of the recognisable arches, to promote the showing of Macbeth. It’s also a relatively cost-effective method of communication, using produced paper bags.

  1. Mis-Fortune Cookies, Hell Pizza

Everyone has read a fortune cookie in their time. Hell Pizza decided it was time to turn the tables and created ‘mis-fortune cookies’. These cookies included darker messages for prospects, such as ‘Help! I am being held in a Chinese bakery’, and even featured expiry dates from 10 years ago. As the concept became so successful, Hell Pizza began selling the cookies in all of their 66 restaurants.

  1. Stadium Shoe Box, Nike

Nike wanted to encourage children to take up athletics, and created a relatively budget-friendly campaign. Shoeboxes were sent out to targeted consumers, with each box designed to replicate the look, and sound, of the inside of a stadium when opened.

  1. Tomato Splat, LavOnline

Promoting their laundry business, Tomato Splat sent out direct mailing to people who do not, typically, employ laundry services – including young professionals and managers. The mail, or box, took the form of a white shirt when opened, with a tomato placed in the middle. The consumers were asked to ‘splat’ the tomato on the shirt. In response, website traffic increased by 15% and 32% of prospects even signed up online.

  1. 3D Hologram Prism, Google Partners

All Google Partners received a holographic prism to assemble. The mailing provided a set of instructions to build, so you could watch a YouTube video and place the prism on top of your phone screen. The holographic video demonstrated hidden mobile tips for your site and how to improve speed on mobile etc. The successful campaign experienced great response across social media.

If there’s one thing you can take away from these examples, it’s that to expand your customer base; you must get creative.