local city event

Leveraging Direct Mail Retargeting for Visitor Event Marketing and New Movers

By Mike Robinson
LS Direct

Like most avid travelers, I’m always on the lookout for information about new destinations and events — not only for future trips, but in my local area as well.

I’m also lucky that my profession (travel industry marketing specialist) intersects with my personal interests. So, I’m always thinking about innovative new strategies for my company’s clients to reach people like me.

Reaching potential event attendees can be tough for businesses. The geographic dispersion of visitors, coupled with the competition for attention and the saturation of digital advertising channels, presents obstacles to effective marketing efforts.

If your DMO isn’t utilizing direct mail retargeting to enhance your digital marketing efforts, you’re missing out on the power of this increasingly popular tool to drive engagement and conversions.

What exactly is direct mail retargeting?
Direct mail retargeting is a marketing technique that involves sending physical mail to individuals who have previously interacted with a brand/destination online but haven’t yet converted/visited. Unlike old-school direct mail campaigns, retargeting is highly targeted and personalized, making it a valuable tool for marketers to reengage with visitors or residents.

For example, picture the event calendar on your destination organization’s website. It’s likely to be among the most heavily trafficked pages of your site, though many visitors may not take the time to sign up for your newsletter or request more information.

Now, imagine capturing the attention of those leads with a well-designed, targeted postcard that hits their mailbox within days of their visit to your site. And the creative possibilities are limitless — from insider details on events of interest to upselling recipients on VIP access.

Digital and direct mail: A potent combination for destination event marketing
Inter-city events play a crucial role in the travel industry, bringing together attendees from different locations to participate in everything from business conferences and trade shows to consumer events like music festivals, food events and holiday happenings.

These events present a unique opportunity for local businesses to showcase their products or services to a diverse audience of travelers. Yet the far-flung nature of the audience, paired with saturation of digital advertising channels, presents obstacles to effective marketing efforts.

This is where direct mail retargeting shines. By leveraging the physical benefits of direct mail, destinations can cut through the digital noise and capture attention in a tangible and memorable way.

Direct mail retargeting offers several key benefits, including:

Physical tangibility. Unlike digital ads that can be easily ignored or overlooked, direct mail has a tangible presence that commands attention and leaves a lasting impression.

Direct mail also promotes fast response. DMA research found that 62% of consumers reported taking action after reading a direct mail piece.

Novelty in a digital world. In an era dominated by digital communication, receiving a personalized piece of mail can be a refreshing and unexpected experience for recipients, making them more receptive to the message.

In fact, direct mail statistics show that 71% of consumers feel that direct mail is more personal than online digital communication.

Standing out in the mailbox. With many businesses focusing primarily on digital marketing, the postal mailbox has become a less crowded space for brands to stand out and capture the attention of their target audience.

And that attention is clearly paying off.  Only 44% of people can recall a brand immediately after seeing a digital ad, compared to 75% of people who receive direct mail.

Personalization capabilities. A key advantage of direct mail retargeting is its ability to deliver highly personalized and targeted messaging to recipients.

By leveraging data insights from online interactions, travel organizations can tailor their mailers to the interests, preferences and behavior of travelers, increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversion.

Applications for direct mail retargeting
Thinking creatively is the key to attention-getting retargeting campaigns. For example, a DMO can use personalized mailers with colorful images to entice attendance at upcoming festivals, cultural events or seasonal celebrations. Including a calendar and event details will ensure the mail piece is kept as a resource for local happenings all season long. Direct mail can also be used create visually appealing destination mini-guides or travel brochures, featuring maps and insider tips.

Pro tip: Don’t overlook the locals
Clearly, direct mail retargeting has applications for destination marketers looking to reach travelers. But what about the folks relocating to a new area?

As a longtime Colorado resident, I’d like to think I’m pretty well versed in what’s happening nearby. However, if I was to relocate to a different major metro area, I’d need to get plugged into local resources.

Direct mail retargeting is just as effective for new movers, whether they’re looking for entertainment options or resources for making a new house a home.

Giving direct mail retargeting a try
For DMO’s looking to incorporate direct mail retargeting into their event marketing strategy, it’s essential to follow best practices for campaign planning, execution, and optimization. This includes segmenting the audience based on their interests and behavior, testing different creative elements to optimize performance, and continuously refining the strategy based on data insights.

As direct mail retargeting continues to evolve, there are myriad opportunities for the travel industry to drive growth and create memorable brand experiences.

By leveraging the physical dimension of direct mail and combining it with personalized messaging and targeting, DMO’s can cut through the digital noise and capture the attention of event attendees in a meaningful way.


Mike Robinson is a travel industry specialist at LS Direct, where he assists marketing leaders in optimizing bookings and conversions and driving ROI through data-driven, intent-based direct mail solutions. He is passionate about experiencing cultures around the world and leveraging those experiences for competitive advantages in the marketplace.