Study: Handwritten Mail Increases Response Rates by 300%

Handwritten Mail and Response Rates



The main goal for business owners who use handwritten mail is to connect with customers.

Handwritten mail offers a personalized touch to any direct mail campaign. It gets the recipient’s attention and encourages them to act.

And even with the presence of electronic communication, handwritten mail continues to be the best way to communicate with clients, regardless of industry.

Let’s examine how handwritten mail increases response rates and how you can use it to help your business.

Study Proves Handwritten Mail Increases Response Rates

Handwritten mail is the oldest form of communication but still the most effective.

Though there has been advancements in methods used to communicate with customers, handwritten mail continues to be the best way to get your customers’ attention and to encourage them to open your mail.

As an example, let’s look at a study that tested the effects of using handwritten personalization in mailed out questionnaires.

Handwritten Post-Scripts in Letters

The experiment was conducted during a 1983-84 mail survey sample of Quebec physicians. Their surveys were “aimed at determining the level of physicians’ support for a number of patient care issues.”

The experiment lasted for six months. At first, all the group’s physicians received the same questionnaire in the same mailed out package – “a cover letter, the questionnaire, and a postage-permit return envelope sent first class in an outgoing metered envelope.”

The non-respondents were randomized into two groups for the first and second mailings. One group received a follow-up letter with their questionnaire. Their follow-up letter included a handwritten post-script which read, “Thank you, Doctor X, for your participation in the study.” The other group received the same follow-up letter, minus the post-script.

The result was that the handwritten post-scripted follow-up letters increased response rates by 40.7%, as 30.4% of the physicians in the group who received the handwritten post-script responded. This is compared to the 21.6% who responded and who received the follow-up letter with no handwritten post-script.

In a separate test, a real estate investor compared the amount of responses he received when he sent plain black and white printed letters to customers versus when he sent them handwritten yellow letters. He discovered that the yellow letter increased his response rates by 300%. Sending the letter in a handwritten envelope to clients off his targeted mailing list also helped increase response rates.

An Efficient Way to get Customers to respond to your Handwritten Mail

It’s clear that handwritten mail has many benefits when used the right way.

Regardless of your business, handwritten mail can increase your response rates. The key is to make your handwritten mail irresistible.

The first step is making sure you are sending your mail to individuals who can enjoy your product. Next is getting your customer’s attention. Finally, you want to get them to respond. One favorable way that has been working for many business owners is including an incentive to respond.

Studies have proven that offering an incentive to customers can positively affect response rates.

In a study testing fax, mail and web-based survey methods, they found “the inclusion of cash and non-cash incentives can increase response rates significantly.” (Shank, Darr, & Werner, 1990; Hare, Price, Flynn, & King, 1998; Dillman, 1999).

And in another study published by Cochran in 2009, they doubled their response rates by using monetary incentives while researching ways to increase response rates to postal questionnaires.

When paired together, handwritten mail and incentives can help your business and get you the increased in response rates you want.

Are you looking for ways to increase response rates using handwritten mail?

Letter Friend is experienced in creating handwritten mail that will get your customer’s attention. We’ve helped business owners increase their response rates and can do the same for you.

Fill out our Free Quote, and we will get in touch to work with you today.

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