Back to Blog List

Topics/Previous Posts

How to Create Direct Mail That Gets a High Response Rate

As the costs of online paid advertising continue to soar, many New Bern businesses are re-discovering the benefits and value of a direct mail campaign.

If done correctly, direct mail provides a much higher ROI than any paid ad—and has much less competition. The standard rule of thumb is that a person will spend around 2 seconds determining which piece of mail they will and won’t open. For a direct mail campaign to be successful, you have to quickly capture the attention of the recipient. We’re going to show you six tips on how you can create a more effective direct mail campaign that can result in a higher response rate. 

Solve Pain Points or Problems

One of the biggest reasons people throw away direct mailers is that they scream “Blatant Advertisement!”—and nothing more. While it’s fine to advertise your products or services, you should try to design your mailer in a way that it’s obvious how it will solve the particular pain points or challenges of your prospective customers.  If you don’t know the pain points of your ideal demographic, you can always survey them with a short questionnaire. This will provide you with insights into the challenges that they face. By designing your campaign around their pain points, you’ll make a more natural connection with them, and the response rates will soar. 

Call-to-Action (CTA)

You could have the best-looking mailer in the world, but if your call-to-action isn’t right, the entire campaign will only receive a fraction of the responses you’d get otherwise. A CTA is essential, as it psychologically asks someone to do something, such as:
  • Call us today!
  • Reserve your spot now!
  • Visit our website for more info!
If you set up a contact form on your website, and include a CTA that requests people to visit a specific page on there, you can continue the conversation online through email marketing. Depending on how you set up your funnel, this can help drive new customers to your website whom your competitors can’t touch. 

Create a Connection 

A direct mail piece should create a visual and tangible connection with the recipient. Designing one in such a way is often challenging for the novice. Not only do you have to have the requisite design skills, but you have to intimately know your audience as well. For example, if you run a charity, the best way to create an instant connection is to appeal to emotion. A picture of a poor starving child on the front and well-written content that tugs on the heartstrings will be much more effective than asking for a simple donation. Another great way to create a connection is to segment your mailing list and then send out very targeted mailers based on their demographics. Variable data printing can help cut down on the costs by allowing you to create mailers that have different messages intended for a segmented group. 


The offer is another critical element of any successful direct mail piece. People are conditioned to respond to things in life that don’t cost them a thing. If you can offer something for free, such as a coupon or discount, you’ll instantly grab their attention. Hiring a professional copywriter can help you increase response rates. If you prefer to write it yourself, be sure to add the words “FREE” and “% OFF,” as they will instantly grab the attention of the reader. 

The Design

The design of your mailer is the first thing someone will see and touch. There are several elements that you can incorporate into an effective design: 
  • Graphics
  • Bold headlines
  • Sub-headlines
  • Color/Images
  • High-Quality materials (e.g., the look, feel, and texture of the mailers and paper)
Hiring an expert designer is a great way to help ensure that your direct mail campaign is a success. By doing so, you’re taking advantage of their years of experience, know-how, and natural ability to create something that will get noticed—and opened.

Measure Results 

Measure resultsFinally, you need to measure the results. This will help you optimize your next direct mail campaign, and that can lead to an even higher response rate. A personalized URL is a great way to include a link back to your site—without all of the ugly HTML gibberish that some websites have in their URL links.  You can also hire an expert to help design, create, and execute your next direct mail campaign. At AlphaGraphics of New Bern, we’re much more than a print shop. We’re also marketing experts who you can count on to help you when it comes time to market your business. To learn more about how AlphaGraphics of New Bern can produce and design your next direct mail campaign, you may email usrequest a quote or call us at (252) 633-3199.

Back to Blog List