Do handwritten envelopes actually increase direct mail open rate?


The problem with printed lables

To increase open rate for direct mail, you need to put yourself in the shoes of the office gatekeepers. Think about it. What do YOU do when you receive an envelope in your mailbox which has a company logo or promotional offer on the front? If the offer does not entice you, chances are you do what everyone else does – you throw it away and classify it as junk mail.

If you’re an office receptionist, you probably won’t even read the offer and just throw it away once you noticed an offer. After all, part of the job of a receptionist is to screen the mail and allow in only the important messages. But hey, your piece is important, right? You wouldn’t spend the time compiling and perfecting your list if it wasn’t.

Your solution... handwritten envelopes.

Handwritten envelope with it's contents.

Handwritten envelope with it's contents.

To get by the mail filters of homes or businesses, the best way is to hand write each envelope. No logo, no return address; just their name, mailing address and a stamp. Period. Your offer is inside the envelope, of course.

This will almost guarantee an open rate of 100%. Would you throw away a mysterious handwritten envelope before opening it? Most likely not.

Don’t stop this technique at just the envelope. If you are sending a sales letter, it is a good idea to leave out your company’s branding. This will keep the reader’s guard down and allow them to focus clearly on your content – so make your content great!

This is your chance. You’ve gained their attention by having them open the envelope, now you have to gain their trust and offer them an offer which is hard to refuse. This is where great copywriting will help you capture the new sales lead. But that’s another topic.

Need help writing the envelopes?

If you have a small targeted list, you can hand write the envelopes yourself. For larger lists, you can include the help of staff or even family members. Or you can hire professional companies who charge a very reasonable fee for the service. Here are a few service providers you can choose from…