6 Myths About Direct Mail and Client Appreciation Gifts

July 22, 2022  by Harlow Russell

Direct Mail Myth Image 1

Photo by Nikolay Tchaouchev on Unsplash

In recent years, it has become a requirement for businesses of all sizes and from all industries to go digital. If you don’t have a website, you’re falling behind. If you don’t have a social media presence, you’re falling behind. And if you don’t have a Google Business Profile, you’re falling behind. By not utilizing the channels that your competitors are on, you could be missing out on a considerable amount of clients. So, then, why does physical correspondence still matter?

Direct mail marketing isn’t dead, by any means. It offers many ways for your business to get creative with interactive content, such as through the use of custom 3D pop up cards. Regardless of what you are sending, when a client appreciation gift is received in the mail, it will excite the recipient. In order to achieve this positive response, come learn about how the myths that you have heard about direct mail and corporate gifting simply aren’t accurate.

Myth 1: Attractive packaging does half the work.

When your company packages a client appreciation gift, it should have a certain aesthetic to it. You want them to respond favorably to your packaging because, upon stimulating their senses, they will feel encouraged to make a decision in your favor. Using eye-catching graphics and colors is important in any marketing effort your business tackles. However, just because the outside of a piece of mail is impressive doesn’t mean that is the case for what is inside. The packaging should not outshine the excitement of opening the actual gift. So, it isn’t in your best interest to make a present appear bigger and more impressive than it actually is.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a card, a coffee mug, or a custom-made box of various products. The recipient of your client appreciation gift should be pleasantly surprised to see what you have delivered to them. Otherwise, the recipients of your present won’t view your business as trustworthy and authentic, which could result in a hit to your brand image.

Myth 2: Client appreciation gifts need to be branded.

Business branding is important. But don’t overshadow the thought behind a client appreciation gift by making it all about you. Your goal is to ignite the right kind of delightful reaction when the recipient receives your mail. Recipients could feel as though you are being disingenuous if you are more concerned with your own marketing than making them feel valued. They will believe that their value is solely wrapped up in how much they are willing to spend on your products or services.

If you are giving out custom 3D pop up cards as part of your client appreciation gift (which is an excellent way to enhance the gift!), you are welcome to include an element of your branding. This could come in the form of your logo somewhere inside the card or on the back of the card. To give a friendly impression, some businesses limit their branding to the outside envelope. This keeps their focus on your message and gift experience while still encouraging them to give you their loyalty.

Myth 3: Direct mail is too expensive.

Even after you have decided that you would like to invest in client appreciation gifts, you may be shying away from the idea of spending tons of money. The issue is that you need to be able to get the presents to them somehow, and you can’t expect them to come to you. So, now it has become not just about the price of the present, but the additional cost of shipping. This is something that you will have to work into your budget. Luckily, there are ways to minimize your expenditure. By using data science to identify prospects with the highest likelihood of making a purchase, you don’t have to worry about your mail not making an impact.

Consider sending cards to your clients. This is a simple but effective gift. That is especially true when you use cards with 3D elements that are sure to impress the recipient. When you target the right audience, you are going to get a solid return on investment (ROI) for these cards. As it stands, direct mail has a median ROI of 29%. The more refined your audience, the higher this number becomes.

XMAS Happy Holidays Ball Card 3D

Myth 4: You only need to send gifts during the holidays.

The holidays are a great time to reach out to customers and employees alike. You can find a variety of seasonally-themed presents in the weeks leading up to the most wonderful time of the year. Send out custom holiday cards for business with unique 3D pop up designs. These will deliver festive cheer in a small package. Perhaps you would be interested in a holiday ornament card. In this model created by Awesome 3D Cards, a traditional Christmas tree stands proudly in the center, in shades of blue and white. Anyone will be delighted to receive this piece of direct mail, regardless of what holidays they celebrate at the end of the year.

All of that to be said, if you are only sending client appreciation gifts during the holidays, you are missing out on some crucial touchpoints. These moments influence your clients’ perception of your brand. Consider some times that are simultaneously meaningful to them and your business. It may come when they renew a subscription with you and when they attend one of your company events. Another option could be even more personal, with custom 3D pop up cards for their birthdays.

(Pro tip: Start designing and ordering your corporate holiday cards in the summer to avoid a holiday deadline mishap!)

Myth 5: Corporate gifting is impersonal.

Customers are always going to appreciate receiving free stuff in the mail. Getting something for doing virtually nothing—at least, in their eyes—makes us have more of an emotional attachment to the giver. But if you want to solidify that attachment and truly gain a customer’s loyalty, you have to get creative. Generic gifts aren’t all that exciting. The recipient will be able to tell that it didn’t come from the heart.

As we mentioned previously, you don’t have to send company merchandise to your stakeholders to keep their attention. That can be perceived as more of an advertising effort than an attempt to make someone’s day. With that in mind, there is no real reason why you should stray away from personalization. And there are several ways that you can make your client appreciation gifts more catered to the individual recipient. It could be as simple as writing a heartful message of gratitude on a card, or as big as getting their family name engraved into the present itself. Allow your connection to shine through.

Myth 6: Younger generations don’t care about direct mail.

Direct mail marketing isn’t going away any time soon. You may believe that millennials and Gen Zers are too glued to technology for direct mail to work on them. In actuality, that couldn’t be further from the case. They are the ones committed to keeping the industry going, with 90% of millennials reporting to USPS to find direct mail reliable. The generation is more likely to hold onto physical media and show it to their friends than any other generation. A well-crafted piece of mail will exceed the typical lifespan. Imagine how much a custom 3D pop up card could do to impact that lifespan number.

Studies also show that 90% of millennials prefer direct mail over email when it comes to receiving promotional items. An example is print ads from retailers. One reason why they may be invested in direct mail over email is that it offers a more personal experience. The younger generations are so used to having content thrown at them on the internet. They can easily tune out the loud noise of online ads in a way that they can’t when they are standing in front of their mailboxes.


Want to level up your client appreciation gift game? The mission at Awesome 3D Cards is to help businesses connect with their stakeholders. With our custom 3D pop up cards, you have endless opportunities to create a micro-experience that will delight, impress, and surprise them. Set up a conversation with our team to discuss the design process.

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