Yes, good old snail mail is still a wonderful cost-effective way to generate traffic for an online business. In fact, it’s even one of most effective channels.

The Huffington Post reports that some ecommerce companies are even mailing print catalogs with great results. You’ll probably be surprised to learn that this includes Amazon, eBay, and Zappos. While email is most effective for customer retention, direct mail from postcards to full catalogs can be highly effective in customer acquisition as well as retention.

With the ever-rising cost of pay-per-click advertising, smart business people are realizing that a well-planned and well-executed direct mail campaign can have an excellent return-on-investment.

Drive Offline to Online

Some people need a little push to move into online purchasing. UK Sainsbury, a huge retail chain in England, used direct mail to encourage people to “try something new today” and order groceries online. Since there wasn’t much to differentiate themselves from others in this service they wanted to get ahead of their competition. With very targeted lists of existing customers they got a nearly 50% response rate!

A study of several company’s direct mail campaigns by the British firm GI Insight showed that during the test period almost half of their website visitors came from the mailing. Surprisingly, the percentage was a bit higher for 18 to 24 year old. Of particular importance, roughly half of the direct mail coupons had been held on to for a while, serving as a reminder to visit the website. That reminder can be quite critical.

Making it Work

As with any mail campaign it’s vital to carefully think through a marketing plan and use the best mailing list laser focused on your target audience in order to get the highest response rate possible. A high response rate is especially important when driving customers to an ecommerce site, as the website still has to convert those visitors into customers.

Take advantage of the physical nature of a mailing to appeal to a variety of senses. The quality of paper or stand-out impression of a plastic postcard that feels like a gift card is important, as is printing with a better palette than “web-safe” colors.

It’s usually best to think of the mailer as a pre-sell or warm-up, leading into your web pages that will follow through in converting prospects into actual customers. The mail piece should be proactive, with an incentive and clear call-to-action to visit your website. A QR code makes it super-convenient to go to your site, and it’s even possible to track when and where the code was scanned. Whether by QR code tracking or s special landing pages on your site you can track the campaign and perform split testing. With that information your next mailing will be even more cost effective, and you just might learn some things about your customers and prospective customers.


Yes, something started over 200 years ago is still very effective in the Internet age — don’t over look direct mail in you traffic-building strategy. Dynamicard is ready to make it work for you with plastic postcards people will keep together with the best design, printing, and mail list and direct-mail marketing services.