What Defines a Successful Call to Action in Direct Mail?

Call to Action in Direct Mail

Call to actions are arguably the most important part of any design when selling or promoting a service. Every direct mail campaign is, for the most part, sent with the purpose to get recipients to act or buy into a certain service and there are a few key design factors that need to be included. Your call to action has to be big, bold and straight to the point.

Design is Essential for your Direct Mail Campaign

If your direct mail campaign isn’t grabbing the attention of your recipients, it’s likely it will get lost in the rest of the mail mounting on your doorstep. You need to think of creative ways to push your mail to the top of the pile. Although there are several ways to create a captivating campaign, almost every design process can be broken down into three key questions:

  • What action do I want my audience/recipients to take?
  • What benefit am I offering them?
  • What do I want them to do next?

Every company will have different design processes, but these three questions need to be addressed and answered. It doesn’t matter if you have the best direct mail design, if you’re not driving an incentive, all you’re doing is sending art through a letterbox. Once you’re able to answer these questions, you can begin creating a direct mail campaign with a strong call to action.

The Benefits of a Strong Call to Action in Direct Mail

As our world becomes more digital by the second, direct mail call to actions have had to adopt a more innovative approach. Some companies have taken to turning their call to actions into links or QR codes, inviting prospective customers to head to their service online. Time is precious when it comes to selling, so it’s essential that your call to action is punctual and drives the reader to take action.

The Biggest Mistake When Using Call to Actions in Direct Mail

Language is arguably the most important factor within your design. You could have the most visually stunning campaign design, but if you’re not using the right language (i.e., effective call to action phrases), it’s likely your mail will end up in the bin before you’re message has been read. If your website and marketing materials are missing strong calls to action you are missing out on potential prospects.

While the typical ‘click here’ and ‘head over to our website’, CTAs are instructional, they don’t really offer any incentive, they aren’t tempting, they’re just telling the reader what to do. However, phrases like ‘50% off’, ‘new collection now out’ and ‘begin your course today’ are enticing, they’re inviting and they offer your prospective customer a sneak peak of what you’re offering. While call to actions like ‘buy now’ may seem actionable and engaging, they can sometimes present too much of a commitment to the reader. Instead, turning the phrase to ‘shop now’ or ‘look online’ is less far less invasive and encourages the reader to browse. Try and stay away from calls to action that allude to money or spending ‘immediately’, as these can come off as aggressive. Stick to low commitment, actionable phrases that don’t mention money or spending.

Designing your CTA

Your design and your call to action need to work together to get users to view your product or service. Some designs place the call to action at the bottom of their mail, and while the logic adds up (it’s the last thing you read, so you’re more likely to remember and take action), it’s not always the best idea. Instead, you may want to position your call to action higher up the page, so it’s immediately viewable and your readers understand that there’s an offer to take.

The Final Test

Getting your prospective customer to click, call or head over to your website is great, but your next and final step is carrying them over the finish line, i.e., driving a conversion.

Ensure that once your customer lands on your website, they know exactly what to do next and that the content, offers, design and everything in-between lead them to a conversion. Accessibility and usability are the most important factors here. If it’s too difficult to navigate or too slow, your customer will likely exit the page. It’s also a good idea to make sure your page is mobile-friendly, as mobile users consume more than 2x minutes than desktop users.