Applying Science to Direct Mail

By in ,
Applying Science to Direct Mail

Persuading your targeted audience to open your mail can be problematic. Can applying science to direct mail campaigns help at all?

Research Professor of Direct Marketing, Siegfried Vögele, used eye-tracking technology to discover how people react to direct mail packages. Foremost, the outer envelope or wrapping was of major importance to entice the respondent, he found:

• They checked to see if name and address were correct
• They looked for sender address or details
• The outer was examined for any further messaging
• The postmark was checked
• Finally, they would then either open or discard

Therefore, working with this mind, there seemed to be obvious steps to consider, maximising the effectiveness of a direct mail campaign:

One – Unlike a book the cover does matter

Firstly, according to the research, the average time spent deciding whether to open a letter or package is between 5 and 15 seconds. Crucially, you must elicit a response by making the outer more interesting and targeted. Secondly, use a teaser to arouse curiosity, hint at an offer or shout about what’s waiting inside. Finally, or as an alternative tease, ask a question which requires an answer, only achieved by opening the letter. In addition, consider a splash of colour to make your communication stand out from the rest.

Two – Make it a tangible treat

Direct mail campaigns are competing well with digital advertising. Moreover, with the need for inbound marketing due to GDPR, digital content is key. However, it is a highly-skilled, time-consuming job in a saturated market across all industries. Not all start-up businesses can afford to hire a professional. You may be sending out newsletters with no real impact. People can delete with a click and do – a lot.

A letter, hand-delivered to your home is a tangible communication which will almost be guaranteed 5 seconds of attention. Using an insert or a treat will entice the reader to view what you offer. Paton Brown specialise in preparing this kind of campaign. We will attach or insert your gift or treat which will gain you the transformation of seconds into minutes of focused attention.

Three – Charity Fatigue

A charity logo signals one thing – you are asking for money.

Sadly, in current times, people have charity fatigue and will be more likely to bin the letter to avoid the guilt. Again, by applying science to direct mail and using the two tactics above, you will get the letter opened. Next, you can win hearts with your story highlighting why they should take a moment to consider your request. Make the emotional connection with a well thought out strategy. Try to touch on how they could one be touched by the subject matter. Make it ‘real’ to them. Remember, a story on a different coloured insert with well-designed graphics showcasing a true-to-life situation will have far more effect than ‘please donate’.

You are limited only by your imagination

Instead, please come and talk to us. In short, we can help you get your message delivered, opened and acted upon. Call us today on 0161 672 5430 or email us at

(0 votes. Average 0 of 5)
Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *