Direct mail marketing has long been a trusted tool for marketers aiming to engage customers in a personal and impactful way. With the rise of digital marketing, direct mail might seem old-fashioned, but its effectiveness is undeniable. Here, we explore 10 of the best direct mail marketing/sales letters of all time. These examples highlight creativity, strategic thinking, and powerful copywriting that have driven remarkable results. For marketers seeking inspiration, these iconic campaigns demonstrate the timeless potential of direct mail.

1. Give ‘em a special offer

Robertson Piano Services, a cherished family-owned business in Mesquite, Texas, recently transitioned to new ownership and sought to reconnect with clients while announcing their rebranding. The campaign featured a heartfelt letter from the new owner, Ryan, detailing his background and vision, prominently displayed a photo of his family, the new business name and logo, and included a generous 20% off offer. The mailing list targeted clients from 2010 to the present. The results were impressive: within four months, Ryan secured 124 new appointments, with approximately 80% attributed to the direct-mail campaign, translating to 99 new appointments and $12,375 in revenue. Now that’s impressive!

2. You Can Help!

letter long copy

The April 2020 direct mail campaign from the National Audubon Society is a compelling example of how powerful images can enhance the effectiveness of fundraising appeals. This campaign utilized stunning visuals of birds and natural habitats to capture the attention and hearts of potential donors. Clever page layout captured attention and drew eyes to your message.

3. Send a mailing, generate $4 Million

case study letter

This land investor from Phoenix, Arizona, faced the challenge of reaching out to potential sellers interested in selling their vacant land. To address this, they devised a tailored letter that outlined the benefits of selling land to a knowledgeable professional. Over the campaign’s duration, a total of 20,159 letters were sent out to the investor’s contacts, with monthly mailings ranging from 1,000 to 6,000 letters. The results? The campaign generated a REMARKABLE $4 million in revenue. With 600 responses and 200 successful conversions, the campaign boasted a remarkable return on investment of 12,233%.

4. Show, don’t just tell

reservation animal rescue letter

Authentic stories can be immensely powerful tools for inspiring people to donate to nonprofit causes, like Reservation Animal Rescue did. In this campaign, they leveraged heartfelt stories to connect with potential donors on an emotional level, making their cause more relatable and urgent. Authentic stories have the power to humanize the cause, turning abstract needs into something compelling and relatable that potential donors can empathize with. This storytelling approach not only highlights the organization’s work but also makes the act of donating feel more personal and meaningful, motivating people to contribute.

5. Keep it personalized, make it relevant

mini jobs letter

Mini Jobs crafted a personalized letter campaign to homeowners that included a comprehensive list of available services, a cut-out square for easy access to contact information, and a handy checklist on the back of the letter to quickly identify needed repairs. Mini Jobs sent out 16,131 letters in batches of about 500 each month to their contact list. The results were outstanding: they received 140 responses and converted all into paying customers, generating $77,000 in revenue, achieving a remarkable return on investment of 355%. This successful direct mail marketing strategy not only boosted their revenue but also solidified their presence in the local home repair market.

6. Send a letter, get 6000% ROI

case study letter

This land investing company, based in Newport News, VA, sought a solution to connect with prospects interested in selling their vacant land. Turning to Rocket Print & Mail for assistance, they crafted a personalized letter outlining details about the land for sale, along with a cash offer and benefits of collaborating with an investor. The campaign involved mailing 5,101 letters in weekly increments. The results? A staggering ROI of 6,335%! Out of the letters sent, they received 10 responses, and generated $180,000 in revenue, all achieved with an investment of $2,797 in the letter campaign.

7. Make it interactive, like Harvard did

harvard letter

Involving your audience through interactive elements is a great way to engage your audience, and one effective method is incorporating a quiz on the front of your direct mail piece! This tactic was expertly utilized in an acquisition campaign for the Harvard Heart Letter newsletter, a Grand Control piece. The quiz on the outer envelope immediately piqued recipients’ curiosity, prompting them to engage with the content before opening the envelope. This approach made the recipients more likely to explore the newsletter further by appealing to their interest in heart health and encouraging them to test their knowledge.

8. Keep them in the loop


By delivering compelling content directly to supporters’ mailboxes, The North Shore Animal League ensures that members stay informed about its mission, activities, and achievements. Through heartfelt stories, impactful photographs, and updates on rescued animals, the newsletter creates a sense of connection and involvement. They can express gratitude to donors, highlight success stories, and provide insights into their work. By consistently delivering informative and heartfelt content, the North Shore Animal League strengthens its relationship with supporters and encourages continued commitment to its cause.

9. Skyrocket your land investing

land buyer letter

This New Mexico based land investor opted for a direct mail marketing campaign combined with Google, Instagram, and Facebook advertising. The coordinated advertising approach aimed to maximize impact and overcome consumer ad blindness. The letter content featured personalized headers, detailed service offers, and benefits. A key factor in the campaign’s success was the carefully curated mailing list targeting property owners in rural areas with specific acreage criteria. Within just a month of launching the campaign, the investor received 14 blind offers, resulting in an estimated revenue of $600,000 and ongoing success!

10. Reassure customers when they need it

welcome letter

Mail can serve as a warm welcome to new customers. In January 2020, Asurion, a leading provider of device insurance and warranties, did this by sending a letter to Verizon Wireless customers. This personalized communication not only acknowledged the customer’s recent acquisition but also provided essential information and reassurance about their device insurance coverage. By leveraging direct mail, Asurion effectively extended a supportive hand to customers, fostering a sense of trust and reliability in their services.

There you have it! These examples show how a well-crafted letter can resonate deeply with your audience and drive impressive results. Whether through personalized messaging, emotional appeal, or exclusive offers, these direct mail campaigns highlight the power of targeted, tangible communication. Why not consider how you can adapt their successful strategies to create your own compelling direct mail campaigns. Happy mailing!