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9 Ideas To Increase Direct Mail Response Rates

Streamowrks Blog


Whether launching a new campaign or trying to beat the control, direct marketers are always looking for fresh ways to increase response rates. Try one of these nine ideas to give your direct mail program the lift it needs.


9 Ideas to Increase Response Rates:

1. Make it stand out

Will your mailing blend in once it’s delivered to your recipient’s mailbox? To stand out, choose a unique size, color, or shape.

2. Make your core value proposition obvious
There should be no question as to what your objective is. The copy should be on-point, concise, and explanatory. You only have a few seconds to capture your audience’s attention: respect their time and use those seconds wisely.

3. Sell the sizzle, not the steak
In the marketing world, the expression, “Sell the sizzle, not the steak” refers to selling benefits rather than features, or selling people what they want rather than what they need. People will buy on emotion and justify the purchase with facts. They want to know, “What’s in it for me?”

4. Provide an offer they can’t refuse
If you’re promoting an offer, make sure it’s not too multi-layered. It should be simple and easy-to-understand. (For example, consumers respond better to offers that state how much they’ll spend rather than a percentage off.)

5. Create strong headlines and compelling copy
Marketing is all about storytelling. When you make the messaging engaging—with a very specific call to action—people will be more likely to read it. A sense of urgency will help spark people to respond.

6. Choose images that evoke emotion
When your target audience sees a photo, you want them to feel something. Otherwise, why should they care? (Also: See #3.)

7. Include samples
Samples work. There’s no better way to directly put the product you’re selling right into the hands of prospects. Plus, dimensional mail increases response rates. A “FREE GIFT INSIDE!” teaser won’t hurt, either.

8. Use an oversized envelope
According to HubSpot, “Oversized envelopes have the highest response rate (5%), followed by postcards (4.25%), dimensional mail, or anything more than 0.75 inches thick (4%) and catalogs (3.9%).” 

9. Try postcards
With postcards, prospects get instant gratification with one quick glance. (No envelope-opening required.)


Download our free Direct Mail Production Checklist for helpful tips that will get you the most out of your direct mail efforts.