Martha Stewart Knows Direct Mail

by Sophie Thurber (She/Her)

Chef holding a knife cutting spring onions

The Only Thing Missing from This Direct Mail Is Snoop Dogg

The words, “cool” and “direct mail,” don’t immediately seem to go together. And it’s true, a lot of direct mail is uncool (let’s just be honest here). But just like Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg’s delightful friendship, sometimes an unlikely pairing is a fantastic fit. What I’m about to detail for you is cool direct mail. Buckle up.

Not long ago, I received a letter package in the mail. Though I typically allow mail to languish on my console table, I opened this piece promptly (full disclosure: it’s possible my husband had recently mentioned that there was a K2-sized stack of mail in our home with my name on it and I was trying to be a better listener). I was pleasantly surprised to find a really creative ad within the envelope.

1. First thing’s first. Let’s take a look at the envelope itself. It’s pretty common these days for direct mail to employ a faux handwritten address. This has that – check. What it also has is an indicia and an affixed stamp (versus the simple printed postage permits which appear on most bulk mail) that mimics a postmark. Nice touch, Martha. Nice touch.

Envelope with indicia and fixed stamp

2. The contents! When I opened this thing, I thought for a moment that I had gotten confused—that it wasn’t an ad at all, but was really from a favorite aunt of mine who favors newspaper clippings and handwritten notes over sending me a link (please note that she is the only person on earth I will tolerate this behavior from). The mailer is printed on newsprint (paper choices matter!) and includes an actual post-it note with that same faux handwriting font. What’s more, that post-it was personalized! I had to do a double-take. Intrigued, I forged ahead.

Newspaper clipping

3. Turns out, it’s an ad for the one meal kit box I’ve never tried (and I have tried A LOT of meal kits) masquerading as a newspaper article! What will she think of next?

Newspaper article opened

4. My one quibble is that I had to really do some digging to find the way to convert on the call to action – it’s all the way down at the bottom right. Also, she says I can call an 800 number with “urgent questions.” Can anyone tell me what constitutes “urgent” when it comes to queries about a box full of food?

How to get 3 free Martha & Marley Spoon Meals

5. But wait, there’s more! The back of it is a full page of stock quotes. The attention to detail here made me swoon (and I appreciated what I like to believe is a cheeky reference to her scandal—though I do not condone her behavior and there’s nothing that riles me like watching people’s crimes get labeled as “white collar” and waived off as though they haven’t defrauded us all and undermined the social contract in the process).


Moral of the story? Direct mail can have an impact, and inspiration for creative applications for the medium can come from anyone. Mostly, I’m hoping Snoop Dogg will send me some mail soon.