Get your direct mail opened and get better response rates.

Posted by Mark Sarpa on

7 useful tips for increasing curiosity.

At Progressive Solutions, we have a three-way relationship with direct mail. First, as a print and distribution center, a lot of direct mail campaigns are printed here and distributed from our mailing center. Second, as a small business operating in a handful of niches, we often create direct mail campaigns to promote our services. And finally, like every business or person with a physical mailbox, we receive gads of mail.

Needless to say, we don’t have the time or interest to inspect the contents of every piece. And, more often than not, we regret putting in the time to rip open the ones we do.

Direct mail hasn’t died, but achieving a consistently strong ROI in it has become increasingly difficult. So we thought we’d offer some tips for increasing the chances of your mail getting through to its intended destination, getting noticed, and getting opened. Consider the following 7 tips:

  • Make the envelope inviting. Maybe it’s a colored envelope. It can be transparent. Oversized. Undersized. Oddly shaped. Uniquely cut.
  • Stick a stamp on it. Give that person-to-person feel with good old postage stamps. Get some cool ones. Put ‘em on crooked.
  • Print a pleasing teaser. Via printing, the use of a sticker, or even by hand, try starting your story on the outside of the envelope to lure the recipient inside.
  • Use names. Of course, your mail will be far more successful if it’s addressed by name. However, it’ll be more successful still if you use the recipient’s name in interesting ways—inside and out.
  •  Go 3D. The lumpy envelope or dimensional mailer screams “open me.” Put something of interest or value in the envelope and count on a better response rate.
  • Your address please. Do something different with your return address. Maybe nix the logo. Maybe even nix the company name. Use a street address rather than a PO box.
  • Package it. Use FedEx, UPS or some shipping method that looks to be important, official or even urgent.


Make an impression.

When direct mail is your medium of choice, your first impression is made on the outside. Think about what type of first impression you’d like to make. Put some effort into making it stand out amongst the heap of paper its bound to land in.

Keep in mind, you may have developed a sure-fire list, developed an irresistible offer, and created a compelling masterpiece within, however, the effectiveness of your effort begins with your mailer getting opened.

If you have advice for increasing the effectiveness of your direct mail campaigns we would love to hear from you. Have you found an effective strategy? If so, please share it here.

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