7 tips for boosting responses from direct mail

If you’re in need of some tips and tricks to boost the response rates from your direct mail campaigns, then look no further.


Here are our top tips for boosting responses from direct mail:


1. Clean your data (regularly!)


Dirty data will undoubtedly see you wasting money on print and postage to mail those who won’t receive it. And worse, you run the risk of causing distress (by mailing to a deceased individual) or damaging your brand by mailing someone twice – or getting their name wrong.

By cleansing your data regularly, you can capture movers and ensure that your data is in tip-top condition, meaning you’ll reach the right people and see a better return on your investment. Plus, you can rest assured that you don’t need to worry about breaching GDPR.

Here is our checklist for keeping data squeaky clean:

  • Mail preference service (general opt-out)
  • Mortality (to remove deceased individuals from your mailing list)
  • Goneaways (covering people who have moved house)
  • Obscene words (so you don’t offend anyone!)
  • Name enhancement (to ensure the format and spelling of names is correct)
  • Residency verification

Another hot tip for your data is to ensure that any partner handling your data is ISO 27001 certified – a very important certification for data handling and security management.


2. Use personalisation


Hyper-personalising each mailer to the recipient is a great way of grabbing their attention and encouraging them to spend more time engaging with the piece. Depending on the depth of your data, you might go further than addressing the piece to them and look to include features like bespoke offers and imagery based on previous spending history.

The more a direct mail piece appeals to the recipient, the better the potential is to see huge uplifts in response rates.


3. Take advantage of insight tools


Using the insights offered by tools like JICMAIL (the Joint Industry Committee for Mail) can really step up your campaigns. JICMAIL measures how people engage with mail in the home and the insights can be used to guide targeting, choose format and content, and spot opportunities to reach new audiences.

If working with an agency who can leverage the insights, look for a JICMAIL platinum certified member (we were one of the first!), DMA member or organisation with affiliation with Royal Mail.


4. Prioritise being environmentally-friendly


Customers are increasingly aware of the environmental impact of the brands they buy from. And it’s incredibly important for brands to take every opportunity to communicate with customers in an eco-friendly and positive way.

So why not opt for a sustainable stock, such as an FSC or PEFC stock, or go further and use recycled or carbon balanced paper?

Better yet, check out our climate positive mail distribution brand Enviromail – we’ll calculate and twice offset the carbon generated from your campaign for free.


5. Include a special finish (or two)


Adding an additional finishing can make all the difference in the levels of engagement a mailer sees. It can elevate an otherwise standard mailer into something a bit more special. Here’s a quick list of some examples:

  • De-bossing/embossing
  • Foil blocking
  • Laminates and spot gloss UV
  • Different stocks – going for something different or increasing the weight
  • Fold out 6pp cover or inner


6. Consider inserts


If you’re mailing something in (eco)poly, an envelope or paperwrap, you might consider including inserts in your packs. These could be vouchers for a special offer, order forms, or something a bit different.

You might even consider including third party inserts from complementary brands, earning you some extra margin and boosting the return on investment.


7. Finally (and quite importantly), integrate your mail campaign with your digital activity


We’ve saved our best tip until last. Planning your digital activity to work alongside your direct mail is a great way to increase response rates – both on your digital advertising and your DM.

In fact, according to MarketReach, people spend on average 30% longer looking at social media ads after receiving mail – so it really pays off to get your online and offline channels working together.

We’d recommend testing and testing again. And, combined with some of the insights available (see tip 3!) you can plan some really effective campaigns which leverage both online and offline to generate excellent responses.



If you’d like advice on how to get the best from your direct mail activity, get in touch and one of our expert Webmarteers will be more than happy to help.

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