Creative Printing, Personalized Direct Mail to Boost Consumer Responses

The typical consumer is bombarded by direct mail and email pitches. Marketers who want to stand apart from the competition and realize a strong return on their investment should heed the findings on the latest research from Nielsen and German ad agency, RAPP. These days, being different – especially in the look and feel of the collateral – along with personalizing the pitch, gets a marketer noticed.

Researchers set out to prove that advertisers who use creatively-​printed envelopes and personalized names of recipients stand a much better chance of avoiding the trash barrel. In the study, a fictitious company mailed out a direct mail pitch formatted in a number of different ways. But in every case, the goal was the same — to interest consumers in a beach vacation. The forms of direct mail used, along with the respective open and read rates, are as follows:

  • Standard envelope: 75.6%
  • Self-​mailer: 71.4%
  • Wrapper: 71.2%
  • E‑mail: 80%
  • Customized envelope and brochure (mailed in bright envelope printed with company name and logo and photo appearing on brochure): 84.5%

As the numbers show, the customized envelopes and brightly printed brochure produced the highest yield. In addition, about 14.2% of recipients passed this format along to their friends and family members in case they were interested in the offer. Analysts emphasize that the personalization and high quality of the format generated the top scores.

In an interesting twist, analysts also report that older consumers had a higher e‑mail open rate than younger consumers. Analysts attributed this behavior to the fact that “younger people tend to find physical mail more genuine and appreciate the change in mediums living in a technology driven society.”

As marketers begin to craft their direct mail promotions, they may want to keep the lessons of this study in mind and spend a little more to produce an attractive piece that will catch the attention of today’s busy consumer.

[Source: Marketing Success Determined by First Impressions and Specialization. Outbound Marketing Agency. 15 May 2012. Web. 24 May 2012] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.