Research: Handwritten mail that gets the best results in direct mail campaigns

Handwritten Mail and Direct Mail Campaigns


Studies have confirmed that including handwritten mail in direct mail campaigns can significantly increase response rates. The personable appeal this mail provides differs from printed mail. Customers respond positively to mail that is handwritten and sending it can also speed up the time it takes for customers to respond. There are a few handwritten mail options you can include in your next campaign. Let’s take a look at how hand-addressed envelopes, handwritten post-it notes, and handwritten thank you notes perform.

Handwritten Mail that Stands Out in Direct Mail Campaigns.

Handwritten Post-It Notes

As mentioned, there are several handwritten mail options for direct mail campaigns. Among the popular choices are handwritten thank you notes, hand-addressed envelopes and custom post-it notes. Post-it notes have been proven to get great results due to its notoriety. Because they are typically used in the home and in office environments, this handwritten mail does a great job of capturing the attention of mail recipients and encouraging them to act. In an examination of a Bell Atlantic campaign, it was discovered that the company experienced an 18% increase in responses from consumers. The company sent 100,000 pieces of mail to their readership and the mail included 10,000 post-it notes. Experts agree that including post-it notes on mail can help get your company the right attention. In an article titled, “99 Tips for Direct Mail Marketing,” published on, the writer suggests using “a post-it note for greater impact and attention.”


Handwritten Thank You Notes

Handwritten thank you notes are another form of handwritten mail that performs well in campaigns. Business owners often turn to this mail to show gratitude and to build customer loyalty. Word-of-mouth is a powerful marketing tool and thank you notes are a great way to get your customers to refer your business to friends and family. Studies have shown that mail recipients who receive thank you notes remember the notes long after they have been received. This helps a brand to stay fresh in their customer’s minds just by showing appreciation. It is often strongly recommended that the notes be written by hand and not include fake handwriting. Today’s mail recipients are smart and will decide if a mail is worth opening or tossing seconds after retrieving it from their mailbox. And if they see that the note uses computer fonts imitating human handwriting, the decision can be deal breaker. As referenced by this iContact customer who received a handwritten note from the company, “My first reaction was to determine if it was actually written by a human; happily, the ink smudged and lettering variations revealed that it was not a computer font.”

Hand-addressed Envelopes

The envelope is the first contact your customers will make with your mail so it is important that it draws them in at once. One way to do this is to hand-address your envelopes. Handwritten envelopes perform significantly better than envelopes that have printed addresses. According to this survey, 41% of a test group taking part in a 2006 General Envelope Association study said that they would pay more “attention to an envelope and its contents if it were hand-addressed” over all other options. In an eBook titled, Research and Evaluation in Education and Psychology: Integrating Diversity with Quantitative, Qualitative and Mixed Methods, author Donna Mertens measures the success of response rates using print and web direct mail. She discovered that “handwritten mail seems to attract more attention than computer-generated address labels.”

These are just a few handwritten mail examples that get the best results. Are you interested in sending handwritten mail in your direct mail campaigns?

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