Fine Tune Your Direct Mail Call To Action For Higher Response Rates

How to Increase Your Direct Mail Response Rates: Part 3

Call to Action Now that we’ve explained how targeting and personalization and persuasive messaging can be used to boost direct mail response rates, it’s on to Part 3 in this series. In this, we will discuss the importance of the call to action (CTA) and share a helpful guide that details how they are constructed.

CTAs are the all-important words that implore your audience to take immediate action, like “Join Today”, “Act Now”, or “Call Immediately.” On the web, you’ll recognize CTAs like “Click This” and “Click to Save Now.” It doesn’t matter if a marketing effort is created for use on the internet or through print—if the advertisement or campaign lacks a call to action, it is considered to be incomplete and ineffective.

Follow the 8 Step Call to Action Guide

Although intended for web usage, this guide from HubSpot is an excellent resource to consult when crafting a hard-hitting call to action. We’ll take the 8 steps listed in the guide and directly tie them into the direct mail industry. This will make clear why these steps need to be incorporated into marketing efforts of all types. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Make it Clear What the Offer Is

If the audience can’t quickly and fully understand what your offer is, how will they act on it? In direct mail marketing, the CTA needs to convey that clearly and quickly without taking a long time or a lot of space to do so. The mailpiece with the better CTA in it will tell the reader to “Call Today to Schedule an Appointment!” rather than “If Interested, Please Give Us a Call.”

Step 2: Make it Action-Oriented

CTAs that start with action verbs get better results. While web audiences are often steered to a landing page with additional information, direct mailpieces offer recipients a chance to find out lightning-quick just exactly it is that they’re supposed to do.  

Content that comes across as active increases the sense of excitement, urgency, and necessity of the audience’s response.

Step 3: Keep it Above the Fold

Whether it be a newspaper, a web page, or a printed marketing piece, the most important info or content is placed as a headliner. It should be no different for a CTA. Response rates can be increased by making it easy for recipients of your mailpiece to see the CTA at first glance.

Step 4: Make it Stand Out

The location of your CTA isn’t the only thing that signifies its importance. Ideally, your CTA should stick out from other elements of your mailpiece design. High quality CTAs garner attention by using contrasting color schemes, graphics, and other text effects…or a combination of these tricks.

Step 5: Make the CTA Match Your Landing Page Headline

Consistency is key. If a direct mail campaign contains a PURL (personalized URL) to drive prospects to a website, it really needs to match the CTA. The language used should remain direct and consistent to avoid potential confusion.

The best offer in the world still needs to be made clearly and in a coherent, consistent fashion to achieve maximum effectiveness.

Step 6: Tailor Your CTAs (and Your Messaging) for Different Stages of the Buying Cycle

As HubSpot notes, “different offers appeal to different segments of the traffic visiting your site.” In our case, the same is true. CTAs aren’t going to be received and interpreted the same way by audience members who have already bought your product, are thinking about doing so, or have no idea who you are or what it is you’re selling.

The beauty of direct mail, however, is that if you do your targeting and personalization right you should be able to tailor the entire piece – including the Call to Action – to identify with the needs of your intended recipients.

We’ll skip Step 7, as it pertains specifically to web-oriented marketing.

Step 8: Test, Test, Test

The other steps are all important, but this last step might be the most vital of them all. Is something working well? It could probably work better with a few minor tweaks. No matter what kind of response rates a campaign is earning, if the rate isn’t 100% then there is room for improvement.

Constantly monitor your campaigns, so that you can diagnose, fix, and enhance aspects of them on the fly. Your competitors are always looking for ways to make the sales you have your eyes on. Doing the same is necessary to get, and stay ahead. This is the mindset that every Allegiant Marketing Group team member possesses.

At AMG, we have a great deal of experience in direct mail marketing. We’re also continually learning and investigating how to get better every single day—just like you. Staying informed and committed to following procedures that generate higher response rates and increased sales figures is what we do for our partners. Let’s talk about how we can do the same for you. Give us a call at 800-648-3107 or fill out the form at the right and let’s partner together.


Look for our next installment in the series:
How to Increase Your Direct Mail Response Rates, Part 4
When is the Optimal Time for your Offer to Land in Mailboxes? 

Eric Weisgarber

Eric Weisgarber is the founder and President of Allegiant Marketing Group, Inc. His calling is helping business professionals grow their gross profits, net profits, and cash-flow through through marketing services, systems implementation and consulting. His business calling is aligned with his life\’s purpose – developing people and serving the community through discipleship.


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