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Why Handwritten Direct Mail Improves Response Rates
Imagine for a moment that you’re getting home from work or heading out on a Saturday afternoon, and you stop at your mailbox to pull the day’s mail. You riffle through the stack — there’s a magazine, a few bills, some advertising mailers, and a coupon book — all pretty standard fare. And then you see it — a hand-addressed envelope.
Your interest is perked immediately. You rarely ever see handwritten cards anymore. You forget the rest of your mail as you tear into the envelope. You pull out a card that’s also handwritten. You get excited! Whoever sent this wanted to make sure you knew that you were important enough to warrant the time. It’s not a standard printed mailer or a generic postcard, but a handwritten communication. Is it a birthday card? A letter from a friend?
No. It’s a piece of direct mail. Maybe you’re a bit disappointed. You were hoping for something more personal. But you’re also engaged. Unlike traditional direct mail pieces, you didn’t drop it in the trash immediately. You opened it. You read it.
And if the messaging is important to you, you’ll respond to it. Because even though it’s direct mail, it FEELS different. There’s an illusion that this card was created just for you. It feels personal because it appears that a person took the time to write you. And psychologically, this creates an emotional debt. You feel like you owe the writer a response because of the time they invested in you.
It doesn’t matter if you suspect a machine generated the handwriting. If the illusion is complete enough, your automatic responses will kick in regardless. You’ll give a response because you’re conditioned to respond to handwritten letters. And because they’re so rare these days, the draw is even stronger.
Handwritten direct mail improves response rates because it stands out above the noise in your mailbox. It feels special. It feels personal. And it grabs you emotionally in a way that traditional mailers can’t match.
That’s the power of handwritten direct mail.
SEE ALSO: Direct Mail Response Rates In 2021
HANDWRITTEN DIRECT MAIL CUTS THROUGH THE CLUTTER
How many emails do you get in a day? 50? 100? More? Would you believe that people receive an average of 121 emails a day? Is it any wonder that marketing emails get lost in the shuffle?
The average person is overloaded with digital communications. We might get hundreds of emails, texts, and chat messages a day. With that much clutter, digital marketing messages have a hard time cutting through the noise, and if they do, they quickly get buried under a mountain of new messages.
SEE ALSO: Best Ways to End a Greeting Card
Direct mail’s strength today comes from the fact that it’s much less common. We get far fewer advertising mailers in our mailbox than in our inbox. Handwritten direct mail messages are less common still.
Consider that roughly 42% of people either read or scan direct mail they receive. This seems an impressive number until you compare that to handwritten direct mail, which enjoys a whopping 99% open rate. How can that be?
Consider our example from the top again. That hand-addressed envelope virtually screamed for you to open it. It stood out from every other piece of mail you received that day. Your curiosity was piqued before you knew what was inside, and you HAD to find out what it contained.
This is a boon to marketers and business owners because it means that a straightforward tweak to your marketing processes can get your prospects to open your mailers nearly every time. That’s impossible to achieve with any other marketing strategy.
SEE ALSO: How to Build a Targeted Mailing List
YOU HAVE TO SELL THE ILLUSION
Handwriting recreations aren’t entirely new. They’ve been used by savvy marketers for some time now. But only recently has the technology come into its own. Previous versions were nothing more than handwriting samples printed onto paper, no different than any other printed image. It was clear immediately that the text wasn’t written with a pen. There was no indentation in the paper, and printed ink looks nothing like ink that flows from a pen.
New technologies, like those developed by Simply Noted, elevate automated handwritten cards to an art form. Our handwriting machines use real ballpoint pens and trace out each letter one at a time. Our process replicates handwriting as it’s intended to be, and the results are impressive.
It’s this authenticity that sells the illusion and drives results for handwritten direct mail. Your prospects may not be able to tell the difference, and that’s the point. You want them to accept that a real person spent time writing to them personally.
Of course, you can’t expect generic messaging to feel personal. You need to add custom fields that update for each recipient, like their name, their city, or some other bit of personal information. Our software makes it easy to design mailers that automatically personalize for each recipient. With the right message, personalized information, and an authentic handwritten experience, your prospects will feel like you’re speaking directly to them.
SENDING HANDWRITTEN DIRECT MAIL IS EASY
Handwritten direct mail through Simply Noted has a few additional benefits that make it one of the simplest, most cost-effective ways to reach your audience.
For one, you don’t need to pay a graphic designer as you would for a standard direct mail piece. Handwritten direct mail is just text on a card. You can select one of our stock card front designs or supply your own.
We offer several integrations that allow you to patch your CMS and marketing automation software into our system. You can create large-scale handwritten campaigns as quickly and efficiently as you would email. You won’t have to do any extra work, but you’ll get a response far above email campaign expectations.
If you’re already involved in direct mail marketing, you owe it to yourself to try handwritten marketing. If you’ve never tried direct mail, handwritten mailers are an excellent way to get started. We’d be happy to consult with you about what you’re trying to accomplish and help you create a winning campaign tailored to your market. Give us a call and let us help!