Handwritten Direct Mail Isn’t Junk Mail

Fancy pen pointing to a definition of junk mail in a book

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Every day, American mailboxes are filled with flyers, coupons and letters promoting products and services. We’re all used to it, and we’ve even coined a not-so-affectionate name for the direct mail advertisements that clog our mailbox: junk mail.

Consumers clearly aren’t impressed—over two-thirds of these ads are immediately thrown away, and typical direct mail response rates average just 1-2%. But what if you could double your response rate just by hand addressing the envelope?

Studies show that 99% of hand addressed mail will be opened and read. That’s a dramatic improvement over regular junk mail, and response rates soar even higher when a potential customer finds a handwritten note inside. In this competitive market, you have to stand out, and there’s little value in wasting money on expensive advertising campaigns that never convert to sales.

Here are three reasons why custom handwriting helps you connect with new leads:

It’s fun to get mail that’s personally written to you.

Have you ever opened a package for something you bought online and then find a handwritten note inside thanking you for your order? It’s a fun and personalized touch, and it just feels nice to know that a real person wants you to enjoy your purchase. That’s why many small businesses include this note, because they know that customers are much more likely to buy again if they associate a positive experience with their last order.

Handwritten direct mail evokes that same kind of response. Receiving a hand addressed letter in the mail is a welcome experience that most of us don’t get to enjoy very often. It makes us interested to see what’s inside, and if a customer finds a handwritten note, they’re even more likely to respond to that advertisement.

Real handwriting implies that you’re offering personalized customer service.

Most consumers aren’t looking to switch from the products and services they’re already using—you have to compel them to make a change. Real handwriting shows a potential customer that you’re offering something more: not just a better price or new product, but a real person they can connect with to help them switch or upgrade. Even in the digital age, a lot of people still rely on great customer service as part of their decision-making process. You don’t want to lose those leads, and real handwriting shows consumers that you’ll take great care of them.

It helps you stand out from the crowd.

Everyone is simply inundated with ads. We can’t spend more than a few minutes online without encountering hundreds of offers for goods and services, and our natural response is to tune out. But a handwritten mail piece won’t get lost in the crowded jumble of online advertising. You’re delivering a customized communication directly to your potential consumer and, with a hand addressed envelope, it’s a lot harder for them to ignore.

If you’re a business that’s offering something new and unique, it’s a great way to explain what makes your product different. Your ad won’t be limited to a small box on Facebook; you can send letters, pictures and testimonials with a handwritten note. Response rates for this kind of customized direct mail can exceed 7-10%—double that of a traditional advertising campaign!