How to Combine Direct Mail and Social Media to Boost Lead Generation

Every company wants to generate new leads, but it’s not always easy. Sixty-one percent of businesses say generating leads is one of their biggest challenges.

Years ago, the answer to generating new leads was advertising. Run an ad on TV or take out a newspaper ad. Today, it’s not that simple. Consumers are exposed to five thousand ads a day, according to CBS News. To cut through the clutter, companies have to deploy a combination of methods to find and nurture leads.

Combining a traditional marketing tactic like direct mail with a digital tactic like social media has become a winning strategy for many.

Enhance direct mail programs and improve ROI with Shawmut MailPlus.

Here are four ways to make direct mail and social media work for you:

1. Get people interested in an event with direct mail and social media

Are you hosting an event? You’re not alone. Many businesses see a lot of value in hosting or attending events that put their product in front of customers. With a high success rate, businesses are willing to increase their event budget.

Research shows 80% of businesses that are overperforming in regards to their company goals will increase their live event budgets next year, according to Endless Events.

When you’re ready to host an event, start generating some buzz on social channels. Give the event its own hashtag, so it’s a searchable event too. Here’s a great example from an animal shelter in Golden Valley that hosts an annual fundraiser, Whisker Whirl.


This post asks customers to buy tickets online, but you could also give people the option to request more information or receive a formal invitation by mail.

2. Create social ads that are supported by direct mail

One of the easiest ways to combine direct mail and social media marketing is to create an ad and use it on both channels.

Print and social ads have similar design requirements: both should be visual, include a short message, and include a CTA. Using tools like MailPlus, businesses can create a unified message to show to customers via direct mail and on social.

Let’s say a window company wants to advertise an end-of-the-year sale. To take advantage of discount pricing, customers have to request a free, 15-minute consultation. Customers are sent a postcard about the sale and directed to a landing page to sign up for the consultation. At the same time, similar-looking are posted to social feeds to drive customers to the landing page. The combination of direct mail and social ads increases the exposure of the sale and drives people to the landing page.

If customers visit the landing page but don’t fill out the form to schedule a consultation, the platform retargets these customers by showing them ads later on with hopes of bringing them back to the site to sign up.

Shawmut MailPlus provides these services as well as mail tracking and reporting tools so you know which customers respond to your ads and what action was taken.

3. Run social ads that grow your mailing list

You can use social media ads to add more names to your mailing list. Several platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, offer Lead Generation Ads. As the name suggests, the ads are meant to attract potential customers and encourage them to share information via a contact form.

While many businesses are looking to collect email addresses, businesses can chose what information to ask for, including:

  • Name
  • Mailing address
  • Email
  • Phone number
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Company

To grow your mailing list, the form should request a customer’s physical address.

For an ad to be successful, you need a creative design, simple messaging, a call to action, and an incentive. Customers may be willing to share personal details with a little encouragement.

Here’s a great example of social ad that grows a mailing list. Vets Now offers customers a free LED dog collar if they supply their mailing address. The company gets a new contact and the customer gets a free product. Win-win.


4. Pair direct mail invitations with a social contest

A social contest can increase brand awareness, drive engagement, and generate some buzz about your company or product. Contests are fun for people to enter, especially if they have the chance to win something cool. However, getting people to participate can still be tricky.

A social contest shouldn't just be advertised on social media, you'll need to spread the word on many platforms—like direct mail. Consider sending physical contest invitations to some of your best customers. The invitation could include a QR code or URL that directs customers to a landing page or right to the social site where the contest lives. QR codes are great for digital engagement, but they’re also a helpful design tool. Since QR codes don’t take up much space, it leaves more room to explain what the contest is about.

If you want to go a step further, consider promoting your contest or giveaway at a trade show. That’s what Shawmut client, Reflex Lighting, did with great success. Shawmut helped the company create this backdrop for their trade show booth so people could snap a fun picture and then sign up for the contest.


Whether your contest is large or small, the idea is to reach as many people as possible through different channels and mediums.

Wrap up

A marriage between direct mail and social media is an innovative way for companies to generate more leads. Consumers are fighting digital ad fatigue, which is why using direct mail as an attention-grabbing tactic is an effective complement to social media.

If you need a little help launching a campaign that combines direct mail and social media, Shawmut can help. We can help create a lead-generating campaign that’s right for your company. Contact Shawmut today.

Learn more about Shawmut MailPlus

Tags: Direct Mail, MailPlus

Picture of Lisa McEwen

Lisa McEwen

As Shawmut's Marketing Coordinator, Lisa McEwen helps educate clients about the possibilities of print.

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