Using Direct Mail For Upsells & Subscription Renewals

Publish Date
Mar 18, 2017
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In the early 2000’s direct mail was still strong and being competed with by email marketing. My letter box at home would be full of promotion form direct mail marketers wth campaigns and offers.
As I worked in the marketing space I started to receive a lot of the direct mail offers from various gurus some of which were very successful at direct mail.
Rather than putting all these letters in the bin I would save them for reference and copywriting ideas. Remember some marketers would pay thousands for a copywriter to craft a sales letter.
Why would you put something so valuable in the trash?
Some of these copywriters had reportedly sold hundreds of thousands of pounds (£’s) of products via direct mail and if you knew which copywriter wrote the letters then it was worth keeping.
As email marketing took over direct mail has slowed dramatically compared to how successful it was but… it hasn’t stopped! The big companies are still strong on direct mail and when used cleverly it grabs the attention of the end user.
Remember, getting someones attention is very hard in the noisy online world.
Watch this video to see how you can use direct mail in 2017 and maybe get some ideas for your own campaigns.
Video preview
So how can you use direct mail in your business?


I think this is the best use of direct mail. No matter what product you sell you can always upsell another related product.
It’s a well-established fact that 44% of companies have a greater focus on customer acquisition vs. 18% that focus on retention
Existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products and spend 31% more, on average, when compared to new customers, which translates to cross sells and upsells.
So, upsell to existing customers and don’t always chase new customers.


If you have a yearly package you sell to your customers and they don’t automatically renew, you could try using some direct mail to grab their attention and remind them how good your service is.
Here are some ideas to get renewals:
  • Discounted renewal rate
  • Limited time renewal rate price
  • Refer a friend
  • Money off voucher with renewal
  • Free X when you renew today
  • Entry to competition

Should You use direct mail?

You would probably only turn to direct mail if you have been collecting customer addresses and have a the budget to test a small mail out first.
That said, a mail out with DocMail cost 42p for A4 letters print and post.
DocMail are a UK company their prices are here. Other companies in the United States will be cheaper so you could source a US company if you have a US audience.
500 subscription renewal letters = £210
If a subscription renewal letter cost ONLY 42p to mail out then you don’t need many sales to pay for the costs.

Welcome Letters

Another use for direct mail could be Welcome or Thank You letters. When was the last time you got a thank you letter after making an online purchase?
Probably never!
Letters and personal touches go a long way. If you want to improve your customer engagement try sending a Thank You letter and include a discount!
Sometimes a simple letter can go a long way.


Written by

David Frosdick

I'm David a content marketer & digital product creator. I spend my days learning about marketing, testing new ideas and working with business owners to improve internal processes and automate what they can. Feel free to contact me if you want to chat.