Advertising mail: does it work?

You think that advertising mail is not effective? Not true! It's quite the opposite. And to prove it to you, we start this article with 2 figures:

  • The medium appeals to 37 million French people
  • Advertising mail is read on average 7 times a week

This local medium is proving its effectiveness in several areas:

  • Drive to store: An advertising leaflet campaign generates an average increase in in-store traffic (drive to store) of around 9%. This includes 20% of consumers who have never been to the store before. The average additional turnover is 13%.
  • Drive to web: 68% of French people visit a website after receiving an advertising letter.

Sources :

What is junk mail?

There are two different categories of advertising mail:

  • Addressed advertising mail (catalogues, promotional letters, invitations to exclusive sales, etc.). They require the advertiser to identify the recipients (surnames, first names, full postal addresses) so that they can be delivered to letterboxes.
  • Unaddressed advertising mail (leaflets, printed advertisements and even flyers) are distributed to all letterboxes.

In the world of marketing, direct mail campaigns are still very much alive. Paper mail is reassuring because it is not as intrusive as an email campaign.  Figures show that a postal letter can achieve a return rate of 10%.

Advertisers value both communication tools for their effectiveness. Addressed advertising mail is generally preferred by advertisers for prospecting and building loyalty among specific targets.

It is reported that unaddressed advertising mail generates an average of 13% additional turnover, 80% of people who have received unaddressed mail have already visited a shop as a result of receiving it.

Sources :

Why do a letter writing campaign?

An advertising campaign by mail is beneficial in several ways:

  • Localized communication of the advertising campaign
  • Long-term retention of mail
  • Increasing traffic in a shop or on a website
  • Increasing brand awareness

Define the objectives of your advertising campaign

As in any advertising campaign, it is important to first define the objectives and the target. These elements will help guide the creative aspect of the campaign, the technical aspects (when, in which geographical area, who...) and of course they will help evaluate the campaign's performance. It is therefore essential to define your communication objectives clearly:

  • Boosting a company's activity: is the objective to encourage consumers to come to the point of sale? Or to increase the average basket?
  • Improve customer knowledge: How to get customer reviews and/or complete addresses?
  • Define the target: Acquire new customers? Retain customers? Which geographical area?

>>> How to identify your marketing target?

How to write an effective advertising letter?

The letter should have a clear, creative message and be accompanied by a promotional offer (discount voucher, gift certificate, etc.).

The first step is to write a catchphrase. This will explain to the recipient what you are going to bring them that is new and why it will interest them. Next, you need to detail what is being offered in the letter, with the benefits and specifics. There is no need to add unnecessary content that will diminish the credibility of the letter. Finally, state what is expected: an appointment? A telephone interview? A visit to a shop? The receiver must know the purpose of the advertising campaign.

Building on emotions

Paper mailings play on the emotional side by mobilising three of our senses: sight, touch and smell. Moreover, when more than one sense is stimulated, effectiveness is increased by 30%.

The 5 main emotions linked to opening the mail:

  • Curiosity: 23%
  • Pleasure: 17%
  • Satisfaction: 13%
  • Surprise: 8%
  • Happiness: 6%.

Source :

The advertising leaflet must therefore attract the consumer's attention and thus not be simple and unadorned.

3 examples of effective advertising letters

Renault's top-of-the-range mail

Renault wanted to highlight its top-of-the-range brand Talisman and the vehicle's new features. To do this, the brand chose to communicate by mail.

Two mailings were made:

  • A gift boxed mailer containing an art book and a brochure detailing the engines, equipment and a nomadic charger
  • A mailer with the art book and a product brochure only

This campaign was one of the six winners selected for the 9th edition of the Courier Media Awards in 2020.

The 30 Millions d'Amis Foundation opts for advertising mail to raise awareness and mobilise

The letter from the 30 Million Friends Foundation included:

  • A personalised letter in an atypical format in an envelope with a catchphrase that appeals to consumers
  • A leaflet with a questionnaire highlighting the Foundation's missions
  • Name tags to raise awareness among consumers' entourage
  • A badge to be pinned on to show that you belong to the 30 Millions d'Amis Generation

This campaign is also one of the six advertising mail campaigns selected for the 9th edition of the Media Mail Awards in 2020.

The CBA Informatique newsletter

The family business CBA Informatique is also one of the six winners of the 2020 Media Courier Awards.

With its advertising campaign, CBA Informatique wants to promote its My Agathe e-motion teletransmission solution and its mobile application to liberal nurses. An application available on the Samsung smartphone.

The campaign was sent to 95,000 nurses. The advertising document suggested the shape of a smartphone thanks to a sheathed leather effect reminiscent of the nurse's bag, always on the move. A response coupon that has the particularity of being detachable thanks to a microperforation in the shape of a smartphone.

Are you convinced? How effective is advertising mail?

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