It’s no secret that direct mail has been an effective marketing channel for decades. While the twenty-first century saw the rise of digital marketing, digital variable data printing technology allowed extreme segmentation and personalization of direct mail. Large investments were made in technologies that integrate direct mail into digital marketing programs saw much investment in the second decade to this century.
This month I’m highlighting two services that provide useful resources for direct marketers, designers, direct mail service providers, and else involved in direct mail campaigns. These are long-time services that have put their examples in searchable databases.
Who’s Mailing What
What it Is
The Who’s Mailing What print newsletter started in 1984 and provided direct mail examples and trends. After going through a few purchases and going dormant over the past decade, the old catalog has been resurrected as a searchable online database with over 165,000 direct mail examples, with hundreds more current direct mail examples added every month.
How It Helps
The mail examples include postcards, sales letters, and flyers. The online database can be searched and filtered by a variety of categories, including date, dozens of industry categories, company, mail type, and offer.
They also provide a Performance Score that uses proprietary algorithms to estimate email performance.
Once you find examples that meet your criteria, you can download a PDF of a scan of the direct mail. The mail PDFs provide design, copy, and response ideas that are useful for clients, direct marketers, copywriters, and designers. It is also a great resource for printers to show clients what their competitors are mailing.
Who’s Mailing what provides many resources, ranging from direct mail best practices and trends, and an email newsletter. They also provide a free trial for the service.
What it Is
For a dozen years, Trish Witkowski of FoldFactory has been publishing a fold of the week on her YouTube channel. While not many, or most, are not specifically direct mail, many of the projects Trish highlights are, and many of the elaborate folds can be used as self-mailers.
How It Helps
Trish selects print samples that are innovative and make an impact. She also provides information on how the piece was produced. Each video shows the reveal experience which she presents the reveal in an entertaining way.
Trish has categorized many of the videos at Fold of the Week – Foldfactory, where you can filter on characteristics like impact, budget, and fold style. Fold Factory is putting their entire data set of YouTube fold of the week videos into an online database that can be filtered and searched.
You can subscribe to the YouTube channel or join the free Fold Club to get access to additional resources and email updates.