The Power of Handwritten Notes in Marketing

Posted by Spencer Powell

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Apr 17, 2014 10:00:00 AM

The-Power-of-the-Handwritten-Note-in-MarketingUnlike email or other digital marketing campaigns, only direct mail can offer a handwritten note. Studies show a personalized note can increase response to a marketing campaign by 30-50% – certainly not a figure to ignore. For those looking for something new in their marketing strategy, personalization is the obvious answer.

Why Personalization Works

If you pick up the phone and the caller mispronounces your name, how likely are you to hang up? The reason for such a negative response is that it's evident that the caller isn’t making a personal call; you were simply the next name on a long list.

There is a similar response when people receive a piece of mail that is addressed to "current resident" or a letter that opens with, "Dear Friend." Even with a mass mailing, simply having a name on each letter makes recipients more likely to read it, because people will feel the mailing was intended solely for them. Addressing the reader by name is the first step to increasing the response rate in a direct mail marketing campaign.

What Kind of Personalization Works

The bounds of personalization are limited only be your own creativity. A few successful campaign tips, though, are handwritten notes, post-its on the envelope, and real signatures on letters.  

  • Handwritten Notes – The first piece of mail someone is likely to open in a stack of mail is a handwritten note. Because they are so scarce, handwritten notes are perceived as more valuable. If you craft direct mail marketing campaigns around handwritten notes, you will stand out. One drawback is the manpower required to have this kind of campaign, but the increased response rate might be worth the cost. A couple less expensive options that also have seen results are to simply add a few handwritten words onto a typed letter or to hand address each envelope, taking care to use the recipient’s name. 
  • Post-its – A unique option for personalization is to place a post-it note with a few handwritten words on the envelope before sending it off. Engendering a sense of familiarity, a simple post-it stands out in a pile of mail and will encourage recipients to open the envelope. The note can say something as simple as "Read Me." 
  • Real Signatures – Simple but effective, the handwritten signature is still powerful. For the sake of easy mailings, many companies keep signatures on file to paste at the end of a mailing. However, most people can easily tell the difference between a handwritten signature and a stamped signature. Most people like the idea that someone has taken the time to hand sign a letter before sending it. Even if the person whose signature should appear at the end of the letter is unavailable, employing someone to sign for them works just as well. 

Personalization may be the tool your marketing campaign needs to truly soar and stand out above the rest. Employ these methods of personalizing your mailings and expect to see a sharp rise in responses.

Direct Mail Best Practices

Topics: personalization, Direct Mail Marketing

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