March 1, 2018

7 Tips to Increase Your Direct Mail Response Rate

The blog post was written by Nilda Cerna, Marketing Manager.

Maybe you’ve already included direct marketing as part of your marketing strategy or perhaps you are thinking about your first direct mail campaign. Either way, you can always tweak it to deliver a higher ROI, both as a stand-alone mailing piece or in the broader campaign.

Marketing is not rocket science, sometimes a message is extremely successful sometimes, it can be a disaster.  The following 7 tips will help increase direct marketing response ROI.


1. Profile Your Database – Data management

Data management helps you to use the correct address format, eliminate duplicated files, actualise the address details (did you know that 2.3M householders move and 500K people die every year in the UK?) and prepare your data for personalised communication. Moreover, profiling your data can help you to save money on postage and reduce the waste on print and return management. You can read our 45 Facts about Direct Mail blog post.


2. Defining a Clear Offer and Call-to-Action

You must define in advance what the aim of your printed communication is: brand awareness? acquisition? retention or reactivation? Once chosen, you must align this goal with your offer and call-to-action. Want to sell more? Include a unique offer with a redemption code to use on your website or in store.


3. Connect your Direct Mail with Online Response

Drive your audience to your social media and website to take action. Simplifying the ease of response helps to increase the mail response and ROI.

Did you know that as a direct result of receiving direct mail:

  • 87% of people were influenced to make an online purchase
  • 92% of people driven to online or digital activity
  • 43% of people download something from a website


 4. Personalise Your Communication

When we talk about a personalised message to increase the response rate, it is not only “Dear First Name” it’s more about a mixture of ingredients that contribute towards the impact on your audience.

  • Personalised salutation

The BMRB Research, sponsored by Royal Mail concluded that 51% of people are less likely to open a piece of mail if addressed “to the occupier.” So, including their name or surname is key in every targeted piece of mail.

  • Personalised content

Having a different message for your target group helps to achieve a higher response rate. Have you received a Sainsbury’s pack of product discounts? This offer is based on your historic purchase and related products. Every offer is targeted.

  • Personalised image

Did you know that you can include different images according to different parameters? For example, if you are a member of an art organisation, such as the V&A, you’ll receive the quarterly schedule according to your member subscriptions, and you’ll see the images related to this programme.

To increase direct marketing response, you can go the extra mile and personalise the image itself for every client. Check the following example.

As you can see, the cushion contains the name of the addressee. And every client saw their name on the catalogue cover!


5. Send Targeted Communication

You can personalise your message with different text and images, but you can also send your direct mail to those most likely to respond to them. For example, if you have a group of clients who haven’t bought in a certain period of time but are close to their membership renewal date, you can communicate just with them,  not your whole client database. Use a specific offer with the renewal letter to upsell.


6. Use Colour or Printed Envelopes

Some of the Romax Marketing’s clients send their letters and parcels in colourful envelopes such as Yellow, Red, others in Black also! You can match personalise content such as the letter to the envelope as well.  If the message is Celebration Day related, such as Valentine’s Day, a plain red envelope or some hearts must be included.


7.  Use A/B Testing

A/B testing helps you to find the best message, best copy and best offer to generate a better direct mail conversion. This is basically the comparison of two (or more) different versions of the same piece of mail to ascertain which one works better. Only run the A/B test if you have a significant volume of records. A cohort of 5000- 8000 is the industry recognised minimum range for a single test mailing, so you need twice this amount to judge the outcome.




Reference: 3Bet MediaPrintbrain.


Romax Marketing & Distribution has more than 20 years of experience managing membership and client printing and communication services for organisations such as Southbank Centre, DKMS and PlusNetContact us for a bespoke Direct Marketing Solution:, +44 (0) 20 8293 8550


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