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The Mailworks Employee Spotlight - Jamal Miller
Employee Spotlight

Employee Spotlight: Q&A with Production’s Jamal Miller

Meet Jamal Miller, a member of our production team who has been here at The Mailworks for nearly 20 years. Find out something surprising about him, his favorite place he’s ever traveled, and the person who has inspired him the most.

What is something surprising about you that many people might not know?

I do 500 push-ups daily. Fitness is really important to me. Doing 500 push-ups a day is something I started as a goal that I’ve wanted to reach and I’ve reached it. I space it out, so it’s not all at one time. I do sets of 50.

What is your favorite thing about working at The Mailworks?

The people. I’ve made a lot of friends from working here.

What is your best piece of career advice?

Save for your future.

Where is your favorite place you’ve ever traveled to?

California. I visited L.A. with my mother when I was younger. We went to Venice Beach. 

What person, fictional or real, has inspired you the most?

My mother. She raised me on her own. She also inspired me because of the morals that she instilled in me.

What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I’m a hard worker.

Natalie Wonders - The Mailworks Employee Spotlight Q&A
Employee Spotlight

Employee Spotlight: Q&A with Natalie Wonders, Account Manager at The Mailworks

Meet Natalie Wonders, an Account Manager who has been working here at The Mailworks for over 8 years. Find out her best piece of career advice, her favorite place she’s ever traveled, and the person who has inspired her the most.

What is your favorite thing about working at The Mailworks?  

The people. I often refer to my colleagues as my work family. If you ever happen to walk through our building or attend one of our work gatherings, you will feel the family vibe. This family vibe is what brings all of us together, uniting us as a hardworking & determined team!

What is your best piece of career advice? 

My father has been saying this phrase to me since I was a little girl and I stand by it 100%… “Don’t burn your bridges!”

Natalie Wonders - The Mailworks Employee Spotlight Q&A

Where is your favorite place you’ve ever traveled? 

Honduras. I went on an excursion there many years ago. The beach sand was white, water crystal blue, people so friendly, beers ice cold….take me back. 

How would you describe The Mailworks culture in 3 words? 

Focused, Evolving, Family

What person, fictional or real, has inspired you the most? 

Some may laugh, others won’t be surprised…but Prince. Growing up I always loved his music, energy & attitude. He always “marched to the beat of a different drummer” & I admired that about him. Truth is, life is too short to worry about what everyone else is doing, do whatever it is that makes you happy, don’t look back and follow your heart. I have been saying things like this for years and am pretty sure he inspired my outlooks on life, expression & happiness. 

Natalie Wonders - The Mailworks Employee Spotlight Q&A

Tell us about your previous professional experience. 

I was the midday on air personality at Jamz 96.3 from 1999-2005. I took a long break not realizing how much I would miss the microphone and eventually ended up back on Jamz 96.3 in 2010 and then moved on to Hot 99.1 for a short stint. Fast forward to the present and I have my very own show on local college radio station, 88.3 FM The Saint! You can check out my show Friday nights, 6-9pm. I produce the show and select the music, a radio dj’s dream. I just hit my 5 year anniversary in May. I am blessed to have & love my full time job at The Mailworks (almost 9 years!) & at the same time continue to have my radio show.

How would you describe yourself to someone who’s never met you?  

Easy to talk to, smiley, loud & always ready for a good laugh.  I would be lost without music… thanks to my musician father & always radio playing mama. Lover of animals… especially my boy Blu the Wonder Pug & all pugs!

Natalie Wonders - The Mailworks Employee Spotlight Q&A

 

Tressa Monell - The Mailworks Employee Spotlight
Employee Spotlight

Employee Spotlight: Q&A with Tressa Monell, Vice President of HAM/FS Marketing

Meet Tressa Monell, our Vice President of HAM/FS Marketing who has been working here at The Mailworks for nearly 8 years. Find out what Tressa loves most about The Mailworks, what she does on a typical weekend, and her hidden talent.

What is something surprising about you that many people might not know?

I tap danced competitively from age 2-18, then returned for classes at the age of 31.  I no longer dance but when I did it took me all over the country, put me on television and instilled in me my competitive nature.  At about the age of 10 I remember performing impromptu to a live jazz band on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, while there for a national competition. Yes….I still have my tap shoes, and still to this day have dreams that I am on my way to a competition and have lost them.

What is your favorite thing about working at The Mailworks? 

Hands down the staff.  From upper management to new hires, the people are what makes this building what is it!  We work together and pitch in when it counts. We laugh and cry together, challenge each other, and are always more productive together.  It really is something to see! 

What do you do on a typical weekend?

Most weekends are for catching up on everything I let slide during the work week.  I enjoy my Sunday morning softball team, spending time with my boys and relaxing at home.  It feels good when weekends are productive, but let’s face it some Saturdays you just have to kick back with a glass of wine, some good music, and a little cornhole!   

Tressa Monell - The Mailworks Employee Spotlight

What is your best piece of career advice? 

Be confident, but never too confident that you forget to keep learning.  

Where is your favorite place you’ve ever traveled to?

Growing up we visited Ogunquit, Maine each year for 17 years.  Stayed at the same hotel, and frequented the same establishments.  My family developed friendships with the locals, and each year was a welcomed reunion.  Some of my most clearest memories come from the time spent there. It’s probably why I enjoy cracking a lobster as much as I do!

How would you describe The Mailworks culture in 3 words? 

Productive. Fun. Rewarding

What accomplishment from your time at The Mailworks are you most proud of?

I am certainly proud of my most recent promotion to Vice President.  When I started here, it was organizing zipcodes, ordering mailfiles and stuffing envelopes.  Becoming Vice President was more than a title addition after my name, it was the realization that I grew up here.  Being recognized by those I respect for both my professional and personal growth was an overwhelmingly proud moment.

What is your favorite thing about yourself? 

My well-rounded nature.  I’ve always liked that my personality and presence allows me to fit in nicely at a black tie event, then change in the car on the way to play 3rd base on the softball field.   

Tell us about your previous professional experience. 

I’ve been in this industry for 20 years! It was my first “real” job after college. I hoped would turn into a career – Thankfully it has.  Prior to my experience here, I worked as most do – Cashier, Waitress etc.  Oddly enough, I managed the Print Department at Office Max, and in college interned in the Audiology Department at St. Peter’s hospital – Now I help Audiologists grow their business with Print.  

How would you describe yourself to someone who’s never met you? 

Friendly, personable, probably a little odd, but good natured – with a little OCD sprinkled in for character.  Once you get to know me, it is not unusual for me to find comfort in being myself.  Myself – complete with random dance moves and singing a song that popped into my head because our conversation strung a few words together that put it there

Do you have any hidden talents? 

As a kid, my grandmother made certain I could knit, sew, and crochet.  So, yah – if you’re cold – I can whip you up a blanket or a scarf in a jiffy.  

Tressa Monell - The Mailworks Employee Spotlight

Marketing with Direct Mail: How To Start For Beginners
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Marketing with Direct Mail: How To Start For Beginners

Your One-Stop-Shop For All Things Direct Mail


The role of technology in our modern lives can’t be understated. That’s why for so many people, the idea of marketing is considered a digital concept. 

But thinking about marketing as solely an online activity can be misleading. In fact, many of the most effective forms of marketing take place in the offline world. 

Marketing with direct mail, or direct mail marketing, is a great example of offline marketing that can yield excellent results for businesses. In this post, we’ll walk you through exactly how beginners can start marketing with direct mail to drive great results.

Let’s get to it.

What Is Direct Mail Marketing?

Marketing with Direct Mail: How To Start For Beginners

Before we get into the nitty gritty details of direct mail marketing, let’s start with the basics. Namely, what exactly is direct mail marketing?

Direct mail marketing is a marketing effort that includes creating and sending a physical printed material to a target audience. Examples of direct mail marketing include postcards, flyers, mailers, catalogs, brochures, menus, and more.

The act of sending a physical printed material to an audience may sound simple, but the most successful direct mail marketing campaigns are more nuanced than that. For starters, they include a clearly defined target audience, persuasive copywriting, a colorful and professional design scheme, and a creative call-to-action.

Does Direct Mail Marketing Work?

With so many types of marketing to choose from, you may find yourself wondering: why direct mail marketing?

Let’s break down some of the stats on how successful direct mail marketing has been for so many businesses. 

  • Up to 90% of direct mail gets opened, compared to only 20-30% of emails. (Data & Marketing Association)
  • Direct mail marketing boasts a 9% house list response rate. This is compared to a 1% response rate among email, paid search and social media. (ANA/DMA response rate report 2018).
  • Direct mail marketing has been proven to be especially effective among baby boomers, with advertising cards, catalogs or flyers making 31% of this demographic purchase a service or product (Marketing Charts).
  • For longevity in impact, direct mail marketing also wins against online ads or email. 27% of UK consumers will still keep physical mail in their household after 28 days (2018 Direct Mail Facts and Figures).
  • The following stats apply to consumers having received addressed mail (2018 Direct Mail Facts and Figures):
    • 57% of consumers open it
    • 48.5% take a glance at it
    • 26.2% throw it away or recycle
    • 24% put it aside to check later
    • 1.6% put mail on display 

Clearly, direct mail marketing works. So how exactly do you get started?

How To Start Direct Mail Marketing 

Marketing with Direct Mail: How To Start For Beginners

For beginners, the task of creating a successful direct mail marketing campaign from scratch can be daunting. There are a lot of moving parts when planning a marketing campaign with direct mail. Figuring out how to start is often the hardest part. 

To get you going, we’re going to break down a successful direct mail marketing campaign into easy to follow steps. While certain specific details may vary from industry to industry, the overall process should follow the same basic steps.

1. Compile a targeted mailing list.

Compiling your targeted mailing list is the first step for a reason–it’s very important. The success of your campaign depends on your ability to accurately define your target audience.

Your mailing list can come from a number of places. Some companies are lucky enough to have a list of past, current and prospective customers that includes addresses. This allows you to target an existing database of people who have already interacted with your company.

While this is clearly an optimal place to start, don’t worry if your company doesn’t have this resource. In fact, most companies don’t. Instead, you can leverage the help of a list supplier.

When using a list supplier, you want to have a rough idea of your target audience already outlined. Two of the biggest factors to consider include location and demographics (age, gender, education, religion, ethnicity, etc.).

Once you have your mailing list, it’s important to really conceptualize who your audience is. You might consider creating a detailed customer persona to help flesh out some of your ideas. Ask yourself questions such as:

  • What is my customer’s age, gender and marital status?
  • What does my customer do for a living? 
  • Does my customer own their own home, or do they rent?
  • What are some of the challenges that my customer faces? 
  • How can my company help this customer solve this challenge? What are some of the objections they might have?

In short, you’ll need to brainstorm who your customer is from every angle. This will become important in the next step.

2. Design and develop a direct mail piece.

This next step is a fun one, because it allows you to get a little creative. You’ll need to design and develop a direct mail piece that is creative and engaging enough to spur your audience to action.

There are two crucial pieces to creating an effective direct mail piece: design and copywriting. 

Let’s start with design. For beginners, it can be tempting to use an online direct mail template. While this is definitely a great cost-effective option, your audience has likely seen some variation of this multiple times before. 

You want something that looks new and fresh in order to grab your audience’s attention. The best way to do this is by getting the help of a graphic designer. They are the professionals, and they know exactly how to create eye-catching graphics that your audience will love. 

For the copywriting aspect of your direct mail piece, it’s important to use clear and concise language. You’ll want your mailer to be easy to read with short sentences. Simplicity is key.

Don’t forget the most important part of any well-written direct mail piece: a clear call-to-action.  This is the most effective way to get the most value out of your direct mail campaign. Ask yourself: What do I want the recipient to do? Visit a website? Purchase something online? Pick up the phone?

When crafting your call-to-action, consider some sort of a special offer. Most direct mail campaigns perform best when there is some sort of an offer with urgency. For example, “Call now for 20% off your first order.”

3. Code the mailer for optimal tracking.

In order to track the success of your direct mail campaign, you’ll want to code your mailers with an identifier. This will help you determine the return on investment for your campaign.

If you are using multiple mailing lists, each segment should have an individual code. This will allow you to track the response rate for various list segments.

For example, imagine you are a realtor with a new listing and you want to hold an open house. To increase attendance, you decide to create a direct mail marketing campaign.  

You send a beautifully designed mailer with an RSVP call-to-action advertising the open house to a number of relevant audiences.

With coded mailers, you would be able to track exactly which audiences RSVP and which don’t. This information can be extremely valuable for successful open houses with future listings.

4. Conduct a test campaign and formulate goals.

This step is optional, but if you are running a larger campaign it is a best practice that we recommend. To conduct a test campaign, select a small subset of your mailing list and send them your direct mail piece.

Based on their response rate and/or reactions, you can then opt to make last minute tweaks and changes to your campaign.

During your test campaign, it is also a good time to create goals for your campaign. This way, you can measure actual campaign performance against your goals and expectations.

5. Execute the campaign.

It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for…it’s time to execute your campaign! If you’ve done the previous steps correctly, this step shouldn’t be too difficult. It also helps if you’re working with an experienced direct mail partner.

While executing your campaign, you’ll want to ensure that your direct mail piece is delivered to your customer on time and on budget. The best way to do this is by using targeted delivery. This ensures that your campaign is delivered within a specific time frame.

6. Track and analyze campaign performance.

This last step is all about proving the value of your campaign. To do this, it’s important to analyze what went right and what went wrong so that you can learn and improve. 

Here are a few questions you might consider asking yourself:

  • How did my direct mail marketing campaign perform compared to my expectations?
  • What are some of the most successful aspects of the campaign?
  • What are some areas for improvement?

Accurately answering these questions can help you determine the ROI of your campaign. By proving the value of your campaign, you can determine whether it makes sense to increase your budget for future campaigns. 

However, marketers should remember that a direct mail campaign often has many benefits that can’t be tracked. Since direct mail has a long shelf life as recipients often leave it in their homes for extended periods of time, the branding opportunity is invaluable.

Final Tips for Direct Mail Marketing

The Mailworks Direct Mail Invitation Mailer

Before we let you get to it, we’ve got a few last tips and tricks to make sure your direct mail marketing campaign is as successful as possible. 

  • Never underestimate the importance of a call-to-action. A clear call-to-action in your direct mail campaign is the difference between success and failure. If it isn’t clear to the recipient what to do next, the effectiveness of your campaign drops significantly.
  • Keep it simple. The more complex your copy and design, the more likely you are to lose readers to sensory overload. You want the progression of opening and reading your direct mail piece to come naturally.
  • Include an offer. A clear offer to drive action is critical for the success of your direct mail campaign. Be straightforward about exactly what you are offering and what the reader should do.
  • Create a sense of urgency. The longer a customer waits, the less likely they are to actually take action. By creating a sense of urgency in your messaging, you increase the likelihood of your desired outcome.
  • Experiment with different formats. There are a plethora of different types of direct mail. If a certain format isn’t working for you, don’t be afraid to experiment with different designs, sizes, and styles. 

More questions? Click here to set up a complimentary consultation with our experienced team.

Michael Buckley - The Mailworks Employee Spotlight
Employee Spotlight

Employee Spotlight: Q&A with Production’s Michael Buckley

Meet Michael Buckley, a member of our production team who has been working here at The Mailworks since 2019. Find out Michael’s favorite place he’s ever traveled, his hidden talent, and his surprising hobby.

What is something surprising about you that many people might not know? 

Something I don’t think many of the people I work with know about me, is I am the founder and leader of a paranormal investigation team here in Albany called the Unknown Paranormal Society. I’ve been a ghost hunter for almost 19 years now.

Michael Buckley - The Mailworks Employee Spotlight

 What is your favorite thing about working at The Mailworks?

My favorite thing about working for The Mailworks is the hours. Getting out in the middle of the day gives time to get a lot done after work. It makes for a decent work/life balance. Also, while there is a need to get work done quickly, I never feel rushed by management to get stuff out, which removes that stress and actually helps get things done. 

What do you do on a typical weekend?

On the weekend you’ll generally find me in my workshop. My house has a big woodworking shop and I’m usually in there building some kind of furniture or something. 

What is your best piece of career advice?

No matter what position you hold within a company, do the best you can at it. And always be looking for ways to advance your position and learn more.

Michael Buckley - The Mailworks Employee Spotlight

Where is your favorite place you’ve ever travelled to?

I went to Ireland on my honeymoon in 2018.

Tell us about your previous professional experiences.

I’ve worked for 3 other print shops/book manufacturers over the last 18 years. Outside of factory work, I also have a degree in radio broadcasting and have worked for a few local stations. I got to see a lot of cool things interview some really cool people such as Rob Zombie and Billy Idol.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I am a master craftsman. I build authentic wood furniture from scratch and also restore antiques. I also am an experienced boxer and kickboxer. I’ve had a few fights with a 13-1-1 in boxing and 6-0 in kickboxing.

The Mailworks - Employee Spotlight - Courtney La Mora
Employee Spotlight

Employee Spotlight: Q&A with Courtney La Mora, HIPAA Compliance/System Administrator

Meet Courtney La Mora, our HIPAA Compliance/System Administrator who has been working here at The Mailworks for a year and a half. Find out Courtney’s best piece of career advice, what she does on a typical weekend, and who inspires her the most.

What is your favorite thing about working at The Mailworks?

My favorite thing about working at The Mailworks would definitely be my co-workers. I have made so many friends and had so many good memories with them. 

The Mailworks - Employee Spotlight - Courtney La Mora

What do you do on a typical weekend?

I love to hike. I’m working on hiking all 46 high peaks in the Adirondacks. I try to camp and hike one every weekend in the summer.

The Mailworks - Employee Spotlight - Courtney La Mora

What is your best piece of career advice?

Believe in yourself and throw your ideas out there. The worst someone can say is no. 

Where is your favorite place you’ve ever traveled to?

Jamaica. The food and the beaches are fantastic!

What person, fictional or real, has inspired you the most?

The person who has inspired me the most is Marie Curie. She is a French and Polish physicist. The first woman to win a Nobel Prize and the first person to win two Nobel Prizes.

“Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas” – Marie Curie

Mia Murphy - The Mailworks Employee Spotlight
Employee Spotlight

Employee Spotlight: Q&A with Mia Murphy, Production Designer

Meet Mia Murphy, a production designer who has been working here at The Mailworks for over two years. Find out more about how Mia’s personal and professional journey has shaped her, her best piece of career advice, and some surprising things about her.

What is something surprising about you that many people might not know?

I played competitive softball for 15 years. I played shortstop and was the leadoff switch hitter. I also have a really good memory.

The Mailworks Employee Spotlight - Mia Murphy

What is your favorite thing about working at The Mailworks?

There is always something new to learn or a new project going on. I really enjoy that there is always something different or new that allows you to expand your creativity or knowledge.

What do you do on a typical weekend?

We have 2 Pit Bulls so we always try to spend as much time with them as possible. We all really love being outdoors with them whether it be hiking, going to the lake, playing in our backyard, or swimming!

The Mailworks Employee Spotlight - Mia Murphy

What is your best piece of career advice?

This could apply to more than just your career but one of my favorite sayings is, “Say yes to the things that scare you.” It’s easy to get caught up in being too comfortable. Sometimes the best opportunities are the ones that scare you at first but the ones that flourish you the most. You will be surprised how much you could learn about yourself when you try new things and it’s always very rewarding.

What person, fictional or real, has inspired you the most?

My mom! My mom is a single mother who adopted both my sister and I all by herself. I’ve never seen someone so hardworking, patient, selfless, and caring as her. She has always made sure we were happy and had the best life possible. I would beyond lucky to grow up and be able to say I’m even a small percentage of the woman she is.

The Mailworks Employee Spotlight - Mia Murphy

What accomplishment from your time at The Mailworks are you most proud of?

I actually started working at Mailworks as an intern in college. I always looked forward to coming in and it was only a dream to be able to work there full time. I was lucky enough that I was offered to stay after my internship was over. I was really proud of myself for working hard to be able to stay somewhere I truly looked forward to coming to every day.

What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I’ve had to overcome a lot of difficult obstacles in my life, some when I was very young. It’s forced me to grow up quicker in a lot of ways. I don’t like to dwell on the past and I love to use negative experiences to fuel me. I am also very stubborn and I know what I want/deserve so I’m always looking for ways to succeed or do better beyond what I already have.

How would you describe yourself to someone who’s never met you?

I would say, “Let’s grab dinner and get to know each other, also do you have a dog!?” I think that says a lot about me already, I love food and dogs.

Do you have any hidden talents?

Ha this is boring but I can lick my elbow!