Improve your direct mail response rates

Direct mails

Improve conversions from direct mail

The average reading time of a direct mail is an impressively lengthy 2.2 minutes* This high level of engagement enables well executed direct mail campaigns to improve relationships with customers or to acquire new customers. So how to get the most response from your direct mail? Read on for our expert tips!

* Source: MetrixLab DM Benchmark 2018

1. Start with the data in your database

With direct mail you communicate one-on-one with your target market. It therefore offers the opportunity to personalise communications. Your customer data is the key to success. When you add this personal customer information to your direct mail, you increase customer engagement. Information about previous purchases, demographics or location can all be used to segment your customers. So, for example, offer a bicycle bag to the customer who bought a new bicycle from you last month. 


If you are looking for new customers or to improve your database, it maybe worthwhile to use external sources. For example in the Netherlands, Motivaction s Mentality model classifies people according to their attitude to life. Or delve into MarketResponse  's BSR (Brand Strategy Research) model that unravels people's motives and offering opportunities to make your communication more relevant.

Persoonlijke kaart & envelop

2. A personalised message

Armed with this data you can then deliver a personalised offer and message. So instead of ‘Dear customer, we have a new perfume’, the message becomes ‘Dear Sylvia your favourite perfume brand is launching a new fragrance this week’.

And furthermore current technology make it possible to deliver this personal touch everywhere; incorporate it into the imagers, by writing the first name in the sand or in the clouds. Using an envelope? Personalise it with a message to arouse curiosity or to indicate urgency. 

And if you have knowledge about motivations or life attitude, vary the messaging on a personal level in text, imagery or the use of colour. A direct or careful approach? More formal than casual? The choice is yours to make, informed by your data. It all affects the response! 

3. 'An offer you can't refuse'

Naturally you want your (potential) customers to take action. To drive response rates tailor your offer, think avour providing some exclusivity: "Especially for you as a loyal customer." Creating urgency can also drive success: “Only this week” or “For the first 25 responses”.

And how can the recipients respond to your direct mail? Ensure make it as easy and simple as possible. Do you opt for a coupon, can people call you or does a unique QR code lead to a personal landing page? Or do you want the recipients to return something, for example to request a subscription? Then consider an ‘Easy Response Card’. This is a unique direct mailing solution: the direct mail changes into a reply card as soon as the sticker is removed from the card.

4. Stimulate the senses

Surprise your (potential) customers with striking colors, photos, scents or samples. Consider a direct mail in a form that underlines your message, such as a sweet or car. And then hit your target audience with strong copy. Because you will get the highest response rates when you create a unique experience with direct mail, tailored to you customers. Do you opt for matte paper with a durable appearance or do you prefer glossy chic and somewhat thicker paper? And did you know that a letter in an envelope from a known sender has a higher rate of engagement? 


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