Study: How effective are handwritten envelopes on open rates?

Handwritten Envelopes and Open Rates


The envelope is the first contact your customers make with your direct mail. It has been proven that when you send your mail in handwritten envelopes you increase your response rates by up to 300%. Handwritten envelopes are significant to all marketing campaigns regardless of industry. What follows are the studies and research that prove this.

The Effectiveness of Handwritten Envelopes on Open Rates

According to a survey by the General Envelope Association, 41% of test participants said that they would choose hand-addressed envelopes over all other options when “paying attention to an envelope and its contents.” The reason handwritten envelopes significantly increase open rates and response rates is because of the perception of handwritten mail.

Typically sent by friends and family, handwritten mail, more specifically handwritten envelopes, get the attention of your customers by differing from the other mail in their mailbox. In a study investigating direct mail findings, the study’s creators investigated the motivation behind consumers opening direct mail. What they discovered was that “handwritten envelopes and envelopes that looked like bills were typically opened.” What they concluded was that the “handwritten envelope offers a cue of personally knowing the sender.”

Both the above study and survey echoed the statistics regarding handwritten envelopes, and them being opened 72% more often than computer generated addresses.


What to Include on your Handwritten Envelopes to Increase Response Rates

Because hand-addressed envelopes are so personal, experts suggest using hand-affixed stamps on your envelopes instead of the usual metered-stamp. In an example mentioned in an article that appeared on Guerrilla Marketing, the writer mentions a non-profit organization that increased their response rate by 668%. How did they do this? By using handwritten envelopes and “using a commemorative stamp and a handwritten 25-word note at the end of the letter.”

Experts also suggest hand-addressing envelopes with blue ink instead of the traditional black. Because black ink is typically used by companies sending junk mail, blue ink on an envelope will stand out from your recipient’s other mail and motivate them to open your envelope to see what’s inside. You can also include teaser copy on the face of the envelope to give your recipient an idea of what is in the envelope. Last, consider using custom sticky notes to make your envelope even more unique.

Are you interested in using handwritten envelopes in your next marketing campaign?

Letter Friend is here to help! Our writers are experienced with creating handwritten mail including handwritten envelopes that will get your customers attention and increase your response rates.

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

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