Direct Mail and Marketing Tips


How to Win More with Direct Mail Responses


When a business uses direct mail as a marketing method, its purpose is either to generate a response or build brand equity by staying connected. It’s worth us saying that while this article focuses on generating responses, it’s not always the only goal, you are investing in building a relationship. 

If the goal is a response, it could be an immediate response that takes place as soon as the mail is received or an action that is the result of numerous smaller campaigns. 

A response is the main goal of most promotional direct mail and you as the sender must enable this to happen. It doesn’t matter if every single household that receives the mail reads your message, it’s the response that counts. It’s the response that you will use to measure the success of the campaign. 

Tell Them What to Do

Your business won’t receive a response if you don’t facilitate it to happen. This involves outright asking for one! Tell your customers exactly what you want them to do and how they should do it. Make it clear and concise. 

The simpler it is to do, the more responses you will receive. Complicated response methods, with unnecessary steps or lengthy forms, will only serve to put people off.  We live in a very fast-paced world where businesses that reduce customer effort will always win. This doesn’t mean you should leave out important information to reduce response time/effort. Make sure you collect all of the details you need in order to progress that potential customer on to the next stage of your funnel. 

Offer Multiple Methods

Don’t limit customers to one and only one way in which they can take that desired action. Not every recipient will prefer the same response method, so offer them choice and freedom. Although it might be more efficient for your business to receive calls or emails, and although you might have one preferred method, it doesn’t necessarily serve all customers. The same can be said for any response method. Consider requesting responses via email, phone, web forms, and social media inboxes too. 

Include a Physical Response Method

Something that might not seem worth doing is allowing customers to reply using a physical form or slip of paper. Surely this is complicating the reply method for the recipient since it requires more effort? 

Well a physical reply form, even when it’s not used as the chosen response device, acts as a reminder of what is required. It highlights that you the sender, expect a response and it can even increase the number of calls, emails, and other digital communications you receive.

Of course, some recipients will actually use the physical method of replying so you should make sure it’s an adequate way to receive the information you need, leaving plenty of space for the response you desire. 

Tempt Them In

An incentive could offer that extra push to action, where a lack of one wouldn’t. Good examples of incentivized offers in direct mail are things like free samples or trials (physical coupons or digital codes) and time-sensitive discounts and promotional deals that create a sense of urgency. 

Please give us a call if you would like assistance formatting any of the above elements within your direct mail design and message. Our team of Zairmail specialists is on hand to assist you with every step of sending out your first direct mail campaign. 



About the Author

Wilson Zehr is a Direct Mail Industry Expert, Direct Marketing Specialist, and CEO of Cendix (, the leading provider of Web-to-print solutions that increase sales both online and offline. He is also the founder of Zairmail (, the company responsible for many "industry firsts" in direct mail.


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