4 Call to Action Tips to Improve your Direct Mail Response

Posted by Dave Olesen on Sep 20, 2016 3:03:37 PM

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Have you recently sent out a direct mail campaign that did not generate the response rate you were targeting? One of the most overlooked components of a successful campaign is having a clear and direct call to action on your postcard. A call to action  or "CTA" is an instruction to the audience to provoke an immediate response. If your direct mail postcards do not have a clear CTA, why are your customers going to respond to your mailing? Is it clear to them what the next step is?

An effective call to action is as important as a standout card design.  People want to know what they need to do and when they need to do it.  Your CTA needs to be very easy to see and simple to understand.  Here are a few tips to make your calls to action work for you.

Make a compelling offer
Entice them with discount, a chance to enter a contest or provide something for free. Without a reason for them to respond why should they? The important thing to remember is that the offer has to have value to the individual. It might take some time to figure out what your specific target audience values. Keep adjusting your offer on future direct mail campaigns to dial in the best results from your customers.

Make it stand out
 Your call to action should be visually striking and pop. Identifying at first glance of the postcard should be easy. If your recipients have to search for it, your response rates will likely fall. An ideal CTAshould take no more than 3 seconds to identify. Use colors that contrast with the color scheme of the rest of your card to make your it shine.

Make it clear and actionable
 Keep your CTA short and action-oriented. A short phrase that contains a verb is usually most effective. For example, “Use DISCOUNTCODE at yoururlhere.com” or “Call us today for a free consultation.” Give them clear direction on what the next step is and what they need to do. Don’t assume the customer will understand what you want them to do, tell them. If you use a QR code, make sure to include instructions to “Scan Code to Receive Your FREE Sample.”  

Don’t cause confusion
One of the most common mistakes made with direct mail is to include multiple calls to actions on a single postcard. Doing so causes confusion for the recipient and keeps them from taking any action at all. When you make multiple calls, the attention of the reader gets pulled in several different directions. Your card should have a single, clear CTA you want the customer to take. Don’t try to jam every marketing goal your department has on a single postcard. Send a series of direct mail campaigns for each goal.

Having a clear, call to action that pops off the postcard is one of the keys to direct mail marketing success. Don’t forget to include a response tracking tool to follow your response rate and review the results. Figure out what works with your audience and what does not. Do A/B testing on your next mailing with different calls to action and refine based on your findings.

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Topics: Direct Mail Tips