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Tips for sending handwritten direct mail campaigns

By Handwritten Letters, Jan 18 2017 11:38AM

First and foremost, as with any successful direct mail campaign, planning and defining your objectives is important. Think about what you want to achieve from the campaign, whether it be sales-focused sign-ups, brand awareness, customer loyalty or even staff motivation and retention.

The next thing to consider is your list. Whether it is an internal database or a purchased list, accuracy is vital. You need to be sure that every name and address is correct and up-to-date, with a full postal code to ensure accurate delivery.

Once you have compiled your list, the individual messages will then need to be composed. Segment your target prospects into groups and think about who you are writing to, what will interest them, why they should respond and how. When producing a handwritten direct mailshot, take the opportunity to make each message uniquely personalised. Mention a recent meeting or event, refer to previous interactions, but above all when composing the message think about the individual you are speaking to and what they want from you.

Timing is the next important factor when planning a handwritten direct mail campaign.

Although you may not need to spend as much time getting designs and artwork produced and signed off as you would for a printed campaign, you will still need to consider what type of stationery, cards or invitations you want to use and may need to allow time to have logos, corporate branding or bespoke elements such as embossing or foil blocking incorporated into the mail piece.

Handwritten notes on plain paper or card with matching envelopes can be a good option if you are short of time. The feel and weight of really good quality paper, with a simple handwritten message in real ink, can often be just as effective as branded alternatives.

Getting the letters, notes, invitations and envelopes individually handwritten will generally take longer than producing a printed or email campaign, so you need to plan ahead.

Printing a mass mailshot or sending an email campaign can be done at the touch of a button. Handwriting individual messages and envelopes will take a little more time and effort, but then that’s why you’re doing it and why your recipients will appreciate it.

As with any direct mail campaign, sending handwritten mail relies on the delivery service. In the UK, the Royal Mail aims to deliver first class letters the next day and second class letters in three days, however the service does vary depending on where you are based.

If you are sending mail overseas, for example to the USA, Royal Mail International Standard service aims to deliver in around 7 days, however this is not guaranteed and can take longer depending on where in the USA you are posting. They do offer an International Tracked and Signed for service, with online delivery confirmation. The Royal Mail offers guaranteed, signed for and next day delivery service options within the UK, which are worth considering for small bespoke mailings where delivery is time critical.

Of course for that extra touch of luxury, if you operate in a small area you could deliver your letters by hand, use a courier service, or, find one of the more unusual delivery solutions such as Velopost and have it delivered by bicycle!

Finally, test. The beauty of handwritten mail is that it is possible to individually personalise every element and to produce it in very small quantities. Send a few letters, see what works best and refine if needed.

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