For the majority of our agency new business programs at RSW/US, we use some form of mailer to kick off each monthly prospecting wave.

Those mailers, as you might expect, vary wildly in their design, but across the board they’re all designed for marketers who have very little time (which is all of them)-so they need to quickly get to the point-how our agency client can solve a business problem.

And each one is accompanied by a personal letter from the new business director.

On occasion we’ll get push back, (looking at you digital agencies) “no one ever reads that,” essentially.

Agency New Business

I’ve discussed this in past posts, but part of an effective new business program is using every channel in concert with another.

Most agencies decry direct mail because they don’t follow up on it.

So with that, a quick caveat-

Never rely solely on direct mail either-it’s one tool.

Still doubtful?

One quick reason why you should consider direct mail below (and a second one at the bottom of this post):

In our 2014 New Year Outlook survey report, we asked Marketers how they most often found out about new marketing agencies: only 5.6% said social outreach and only 7.04% from Search.

Only one stat amongst many, but an indicator that a digital-only outreach won’t be as effective.

The key, though, per this Forbes pieces from Lois Geller: direct mail has always worked best when it’s personal.

Agency New Business

In a separate article, Lois provides a few beneficial tips on mail (many of which could be applied to your emails as well):

– Your letters should sound as if they were written by a human being.

-One-to-one and conversational is usually best. Forget corporatese, it’s snooze-inducing.

-Try a live stamp, even better, try two live stamps.

-Try to find common ground. One of my favorite first lines is “I don’t know how you feel about (whatever), but I …”

-Test a lot of different approaches and lengths.

Last thing to keep in mind-if not a collateral piece, a personal letter alone is also effective, and sign it yourself.

I mentioned a second reason to use direct mail in some form-an email we received recently.

This is from a prospect to one of our new business directors:

I received your brochure, so this should prove that the power of direct mail is not dead.  It was good timing as we are reviewing a new project that will require outsourcing.  We are looking to rebuild our XXXXX website.  I have a meeting with our President on Friday to try to get funding and our VP of Sales has thrown in some requirements that go outside of our internal capabilities.

Something to consider.


I'm the VP of Sales at RSW/US. We specialize in working with services firms to help drive and close new business-if you need help with that, email me at What I actually do: drive sales efforts to bring ad agencies and services firms on board with RSW, create content around successful new business tactics and help drive RSW/US marketing objectives, including social media channels, blog content, webinars, video and speaking engagements. Dig it.