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Direct mail is a type of direct marketing, which is a process that was developed in the 1970's for such companies as Columbia Records and American Express. Direct mail is the process of sending mail on certain topics, such as brochures and catalogs, to people who have already expressed an interest in that topic. For example, if you bought something from a sporting goods company and gave them your mailing address, they might start sending you sporting goods catalogs as direct mail – the company would assume from your purchase that you enjoy sporting goods. Some people consider this junk mail, but direct mail is a great advertising technique, and direct mailing services can help many newer businesses to gain clients and customers. Direct mail gets your information directly into the hands of the people who are most likely to use it.