Top Brands Using Direct Mail

The advantages of direct mail marketing are well-documented. People love checking the mail. The physical mailbox is much less crowded than the inbox. Every part of a mailing can be personalized. Mail can be held, set aside for future viewing, pinned to a corkboard, or stuck to the refrigerator.

All of these benefits contribute to direct mail’s high recall and response rates. But what major brands are using direct mail successfully to produce real-world results?

Some of the names may surprise you.


Yes, the technology giant that dominates the world of search and owns YouTube and Gmail is a long-time user of direct mail marketing. More specifically, Google uses direct mail to promote business services and advertising opportunities, often incorporating Google AdWords coupons and unique identifiers into mailings to increase and track response.


Yes, the world’s largest online retailer and second largest overall retailer (behind Walmart) has turned to direct mail to create a physical touchpoint with customers. Amazon made headlines in 2018 when it published its first holiday toy catalog, but this wasn’t Amazon’s first foray into direct mail. Amazon sent self-mailers 20 years ago to advertise consumer products and, more recently, promoted Amazon Music and Prime Video.

The lesson from these investments by Google and Amazon is that even the techiest of tech companies recognize that direct mail can be a driver of online activity and purchases.


Tylenol is known for using direct mail to send samples to customers who request them and then follow up with coupons. Tylenol also produces small, branded sample packs that other companies can include with their direct mail campaigns.


Direct mail is popular with many auto manufacturers and dealerships for promoting special financing, lease offers, and maintenance specials. Subaru, however, weaves its “Love” branding into its mailings and uses imagery that reinforces the lifestyle of the recipient. This approach helps Subaru build a more emotional connection with its customers.

In 2020, the travel industry was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. sent postcards to previous customers with a 10 percent discount offer to encourage more people to start booking vacations again. The postcards themselves were designed to replicate postcards you would mail to someone from a vacation.

Total Wine & More

With more than 200 stores in 26 states, Total Wine & More is the country’s largest independent retailer of fine wine, and direct mail is a big reason why. Total Wine & More has used postcards with images and messaging themes that tie into occasions like American Craft Beer Week, along with coupons designed to drive in-store traffic.


Doordash capitalized on two trends during the pandemic – increased adoption of food delivery services and the fact that people were spending more time at home than ever. Using enticing photos of food and a discount offer for new customers, Doordash used direct mail to drive people to its app and stay one step ahead of restaurants and other food delivery competitors.


Nonprofits have been struggling to keep up with increased demand for services despite a drop in giving during the pandemic. DonorView sent a traditional trifold brochure to nonprofits to promote software that can help simplify fundraising, event management, payment processing, volunteer management, and other functions. The mailing included the software selling points as well as ratings and customer testimonials.

Want to learn how you can incorporate these and other ideas into your direct mail marketing strategy? Contact us to unleash the power of Digital Dog Direct.