Research: Increasing response rates with handwritten direct mail

Handwritten Direct Mail and Response Rates


Many business owners are turning to handwritten direct mail to connect with their customers in campaigns. Though it’s becoming popular, including personalized direct mail in marketing campaigns is more than a trend. Handwritten mail has been linked to increased response rates for many brands. Let’s review the studies and research that prove why handwritten mail works in direct mail campaigns.

Proof Handwritten Direct Mail Increases Response rates

Several studies have proven that handwritten direct mail can significantly increase response rates. The reason they are so effective is that they give recipients the impression they are receiving mail from someone they know. In three case studies mentioned in a Frugal Marketing article, business owners saw higher response rates when they sent customers handwritten mail like handwritten notes and letters. Similarly, a Midwestern restaurant owner reported receiving a 20% response rate increase when they sent customers handwritten notes. And a non-profit received 51 donations by sending a handwritten note to a list of 100 people.

As mentioned, the reason handwritten direct mail increases response rates is because they are often personalized. According to a group of psychologists who conducted a study for Avery, handwritten mail forms a closer connection between the writer of the mail and those receiving it. According to the study’s results, handwritten letters have a positive influence on the recipient’s subconscious. Because it is a personalized message, “It brings the writer ‘closer’ to the recipient in ways that other forms of communication cannot.” As one participant in the study’s focus group explained it, “There is just something much more exciting and engaging about opening a letter than an email.”

Types of Handwritten Direct Mail


Custom sticky notes better known as post-it notes have the qualities necessary in grabbing your customer’s attention. In a study, handwritten post-it notes in campaigns were investigated for their influence on recipients. It was proven that post-it notes increase response rates by 76%. Marketing experts at TMR Direct suggest placing post-it notes on envelopes. And on the topic of handwritten envelopes, studies have confirmed that hand-addressing envelopes can increase response rates by 300%.

Handwritten thank you notes and handwritten letters are great inclusions in campaigns as handwritten mail. Because they are perceived as selfless and gracious, your customers will appreciate the gesture and will remember the note long after it has been sent. In three experiments exploring the effect of thank you notes on encouraging alumni responses, it was determined that the handwritten thank you notes significantly increased the alumni’s survey response rate and return rate. The thank you notes also decreased response time. In a company spotlight of fashion company Hex, Forbes explained how the company mailed out 13,000 thank you notes to customers and not only did customers take notice and appreciate the gesture, Hex’s act of gratitude helped save his business.

As you can see, handwritten direct mail is a valuable asset to any direct mail campaign. Besides helping your business connect with your customer, handwritten mail also helps build solid and loyal customer relationships. With the variety handwritten direct mail offers, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from when figuring out how to include them in your direct mail campaign.

Do you want to include handwritten direct mail in your next marketing campaign?

Letter Friend can help! We are experienced in creating effective handwritten direct mail that will get your customer’s attention and encourage them to respond.

To find out what we can do for your company, fill out our Free Quote and we will get in touch with you to work with you today.

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