Mailings: the way to direct customer contact

The right use of mailings as a dialog marketing tool can have a major impact on customer loyalty. But what is the best way to implement this topic? From the definition to an implementation model that has proven itself for us to ideas on how print and online can be combined - here you will find all the relevant information.

What is dialog marketing?

In the classic sense, dialog marketing means entering into a dialog with customers. It is the generic term for all marketing activities that serve to establish a direct and interactive relationship with customers. Whether by letter, telephone or online. In contrast to traditional direct marketing, which is characterized by personal contact, dialog marketing focuses on two-way communication. A measurable reaction (response) is therefore an essential part and goal of dialog marketing.

Communication must be tailored to the needs of the recipient. With a personal address and tailored content as well as the appropriate form, targeted communication is played out via mail or e-mail and at the same time the customer is given the opportunity to respond directly.

Customer Journey Workshop

What are mailings?

A mailing is a physical postal item that is either personally addressed, partially addressed, or sent as a direct mail piece. Particularly after the tightening of the General Data Protection Regulation, the non-personalized direct mail has gained in relevance. In contrast to e-mail marketing, it is not necessary to request consent to receive advertising when sending the non-personalized variant.

Mailings therefore vary in their type and form (e.g. self-mailer, advertising letter, dialog mail). A wide variety of creative approaches are possible, from flyers and formal letters to high-quality, refined mailings with promotional gifts. What they have in common is their promotional character. A significant advantage of mailings by post compared to digital addressing is that they appeal to all the senses. Smelling, seeing, hearing, tasting and feeling has a strong influence on learning, perception and memory effects.

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Mailings goals

The primary goal is to inform recipients about the company, actions or a product. The secondary goal is to trigger a reaction via the mailing. Response elements, such as a reply card or pre-filled questionnaires, provide an opportunity to respond to the action and simplify feedback.

A further goal is to support the customer journey of the recipient in a target-oriented way or to enrich it. After a product has been purchased, the customer can be actively tied to the brand through customer magazines (branding), for example, or an incentive can be provided for further purchases through loyalty programs.

‍Throughtwo-way communication, the company continually gets to know its customers better and the measures can accordingly be designed in an increasingly targeted and individual manner. Recipients are given an eye-catching surprise with unusual and exclusive mailings. The customer experience benefits from differentiated communication.

Example of use of a mailing

After purchasing golf equipment in the store, the customer's personal data is collected and consent is obtained to send advertising. Every quarter, the customer is sent customer magazines by mail, thus maintaining brand awareness. By adding other dialog marketing tools, such as an e-mail newsletter, the recipient is informed about promotions (e.g., link to homepages as a digital extension), discounts and travel suggestions. Studies have shown that the combination of physical mailing and emailing has a greater impact. The next step is to send travel offers, registration materials and giveaways to build anticipation. Customers can then register for the golf trip via a landing page that can be easily accessed via a QR code in the mailing. At the end of the trip, they receive a photo book by mail as a souvenir. The result is a holistic customer service that will be remembered.

Why are mailings worthwhile?

The latest CMC Print Mailing Study from 2021, conducted by the Collaborative Marketing Club (CMC) in cooperation with Deutsche Post, examined the activation power of printed mailings in the acquisition of new customers from online stores. The results showed that the response rate averaged one percent. The costs per order averaged 40 euros, with a return on advertising spend (RoAS for short) of 250 percent.

This means that one euro invested generates sales of 2.50 euros. The study also examined the advertising impact of fully addressed (specific person) versus partially addressed direct mail (persons of a house). It was found that the fully addressed direct mail pieces were 22 percent more effective, with a 1.2 percent response rate. The partially addressed mailings, on the other hand, averaged a 0.9 percent response rate. Thus, higher activation was confirmed by fully addressed mailings. It was also shown that the shopping basket was 20 percent larger as a result of fully addressed advertising .

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What is the best way to implement a mailing?

Analysis - In a workshop, we evaluate the status quo of the customer journey with companies.

Which channels are currently used and how are customers best provided with information?

In which phase (pre-purchase, purchase or post-purchase phase) can the use of mailings by post offer customers added value and how can the channel contribute to achieving the company's own communication goals in an even more targeted manner?

Consulting - If mailings turn out to be a relevant touchpoint to customers in the analysis, we then define goals for the future mailing strategy together with our corporate customers. The main question is: What is to be achieved? For example, do you only want to increase awareness or do you want to create interaction and thus close a gap in customer communication? And what is the target group for the mailing?

Once the goals and target group have been defined, the next step is to find out what information is still missing and what key figures are needed in order to be able to draw conclusions from the results (e.g. via a tracking-concept in compliance with the DSGVO guidelines).

Solution - Now we develop the actual mailing concept together and define the type and form of the mailing as well as its content. Then it's time to examine a wide variety of mailing samples and select paper and finishing options. Our many years of experience in technical feasibility are directly involved in this process. Depending on the size of the planned print run, certain implementations may not be feasible for reasons of time or cost. Aspects of sustainability for printed matter (FSC/climate-neutral printing/recycled paper) also play an increasingly important role and are taken into account. Depending on the size, weight and print run, we also pay attention to optimizing postage costs when mailing. If a high-quality mailing is desired, in which the letter is enriched with give-aways, we provide support in collecting ideas and research. You will receive samples and information on availability.

Mailing concept in place - what's next?

Everything from a single source - our proven combination of project management, implementation and support:

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If the mailing is multi-stage, the respective dispatch time of the teaser, main mailing and reminder is brought into line with the other measures (e.g. TV spot).


As a neutral partner we open the market mirror of different producers for you. We take care of comparable offers and negotiate the best price.


Networking and coordination with other service providers or existing partners.


We adapt your message to the mailing format.


Whether landing page, configurator or digital extension via wallet cardWe support you in building bridges from offline to online.


We are also happy to take over tasks in the support of your customers via hotline and ticketing system for more transparency.

Our conclusion

As one of many instruments of dialog marketing, the success of the measure depends on the objectives and the customers. Basically, various studies confirm that mailings contribute positively to customer loyalty and can increase sales. Response elements can be used to learn more and more about customers. In addition, even more data is collected through the enrichment of digital touchpoints. The knowledge gained should then be used to optimize measures but also for finer segmentation of customers.

Contrary to the watering-can principle, we recommend direct (fully addressed) advertising to the appropriate target group with individual and surprising content. In this way, you can have a positive impact on awareness, sales and loyalty along the entire customer journey and make your mailing a success.

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We look forward to your questions and exciting conversations.