How to Create Direct Mail Marketing Funnel

By: Andrew Glover
May 12, 2020
Categories: ,

The marketing funnel visualizes the sales process from beginning to end and describes the journey a prospect takes toward purchasing a product or service. Direct mail can be used during each stage of the sales funnel and turn your prospect from a stranger to becoming a loyal brand advocate.

People aren’t ready to commit to your organization on the spot. Prospects need time to process your information, recognize the need, identify a solution, and actively search before committing. It may take several direct mail marketing efforts before your recipients understand a marketing message. Your organization should set a marketing plan for reaching goals by first obtaining leads, then opening a dialogue through direct mail, and finally making a proposal.

Building Your Plan Around a Marketing Funnel

Your prospects need to get through the buyer’s journey. They will start as a stranger to your organization and (hopefully) gradually become a member. The journey is three stages that visually represent the sales marketing funnel. Three must-know terms are ToFu, BoFu, and MoFu.

Let’s look at what each term means and what they represent in the marketing funnel.


ToFu stands for the “top of the funnel”. Your lead begins the buyer’s journey as a contact in a mailing list that may or may not be your potential member. You don’t know if this lead is interested in your mission or if they fit into your solution yet. Your goal during ToFu is to reach out to a wide variety of prospects and redirect them to your funnel with hard-to-refuse offers and incentives. ToFu is the beginning of your relationship with the prospect. Use this stage to introduce your organization and its mission.


MoFu is the middle of the sales funnel. During this stage, your leads start expressing their interest in your organization. You want to warm them up by engaging in conversation. Ask them qualifying questions so you can determine whether they have the right budget, need, and timeline to commit to your mission. You want to get to know your lead more during this stage so you can continue building the relationship.


BoFu means the bottom of the funnel. At this stage, your direct mail persistence starts to pay. You can propose assessments, trials, or samples. You most likely can close the deal with great discounts and time-limited special offers. At this moment, you should know your prospect very well and see if they are ready to join as a member or donor.

Lead Generation

One of your first steps in the direct mail marketing funnel is sending specifically targeted direct mail to create your lead generation. Direct mail provides a higher level of trust than online marketing. You can easily target your ideal audience at the perfect time. Don’t rush your interaction, though. You should nurture your leads first. This moment is during the ToFu phase.

You can customize each segment and address the prospects’ unique needs, challenges, and worries. You will need to create several versions of each direct mail campaign, but this is a simple task with variable data printing—the extra work results in more prospects paying attention to your piece.

Following Up

When you use direct mail for lead nurturing, you don’t want to use hard sales messages. But that doesn’t mean you should let your prospect fade away after they received your educational mailer. There are several follow up methods that work great for direct mail lead nurturing.

You can use personalized URLs (PURLs) on your mailer, which are custom URLs that direct each person to a unique landing page. On the landing page, you can provide additional content to make it more attractive. Then you can target prospects who visited the pURLs for a quick follow up with another piece of content.

Creating a Direct Mail Marketing Funnel with Valim

Sometimes you may get lucky and obtain a member during the first mailing. But it usually takes more than one mailing. Direct mail is an excellent tool for your marketing funnel. It’s tangibility and personalization drive a higher conversion and trust factor. Valtim can help you during each step of the marketing funnel process.

Our targeted direct mail will help get you started, and then we will analyze each mailing after ensuring you are grabbing your prospect’s attention during every stage of the buyer’s journey. We also offer variable data printing and can help you include pURLs in your direct mail.

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