The History of Direct Mail

The concept of direct mail marketing, as we know it today, did not begin until 1892, when Sears, Roebuck, & Co. began the first ever direct mail campaign. Although most Americans now know Sears as one of the largest players in consumerism, they first got their origin as a small watch company in the state of Minnesota.

Spring 1898, Catalog No. 106

Their first direct mail campaign produced success that every company dreams of achieving. Sears mailed out 8,000 postcards promoting their watches with a simple handwritten message. To their surprise, out of the 8,000 postcards sent, they received 2,000 orders in return. With a rate of 25% of the postcards yielding orders, this demonstrated the effectiveness of direct mail campaigns and was monumental in the timeline of print advertising. They continued this method of direct mail as a way to distribute their catalogs, shown on the left.

Image: Spring 1898, Catalog No. 106

In the current year of 2021, direct mail marketing is greatly personalized and targeted. Updated technology allows businesses to save money, time, and paper waste by targeting those who are more likely to purchase their product or service. Media Monkey®‘s direct mail method allows for the combined data we collect to paint a picture of your ideal customer, so we can then target those customers more efficiently.

Media Monkey®‘s hybrid direct mail service differs from more traditional methods. Our first step is importing your company’s data to the Hybrid Mail system database. Here it is categorized and prioritized based on the type or quality of the customer and the recent purchases they have made. Second, we use the most recent aggregated reports available to determine the characteristics of your current customer base and who is buying from you. Last, our team at Media Monkey® takes this criteria and sends mail to your future customers, dramatically increasing your return on investment.

Thanks to Sears, Roebuck, & Co.’s first attempt at direct mail advertising, Media Monkey® uses the updated methods of direct mail to produce an effective marketing strategy for your business. Start advertising through the channel of direct mail to elevate your marketing methods.