As an event marketing company that targets potential customers on behalf of our clients, we always get the same question from our clients when we begin working on a program; should we invest in a direct mail (DM) campaign for our event or meeting? Our answer is a resounding “yes!” Direct mail can increase your event response rate significantly.

Direct mail can be an easy way to increase your response rate for events!For the past couple of years, direct mail fell by the wayside for many reasons including rising postage costs, campaign budget cuts, as well as ease and speed of sending an email. Yes, sending an email can be done for much less and much quicker than a direct mail piece, but are you truly reaching your target audience with an email? The answer is probably no.

98% of people check their mail daily, and 42% of recipients read or scan direct mail pieces.
—USPS Household Diary Study

A USPS study reported that 98% of people check their mail daily, and 42% of recipients read or scan direct mail pieces; which means that almost HALF of your target audience is stopping, albeit maybe even for a few seconds, to read your message. Compare that to the 0.14% click-through rate of an email and that direct mail campaign starts to look better and better!

Knowing that 42% of direct mail recipients read or scan a DM piece, it becomes even more important that your call-to-action is clear, that your packaging is catchy, and your message is worthy in order to increase event response rate.

Why is direct mail making a comeback, you ask? Let’s take a quick poll. How many emails do you get in a day? How many of those do you truly read? If you’re like me, you hit that big X numerous times throughout the day on unsolicited emails. Direct mail is making a comeback because people check their mail, unlike an email that is so easy to delete. Direct mail, if targeted correctly, speaks to the individual with a personalized message. An effective direct mail piece is tangible, targeted, personal, and showcases creativity. Careful thought goes into the design and the packaging. An email doesn’t do any of that. Sure, you can customize the subject line, use a cool font in the body of the email, maybe throw in an image (that won’t download unless the recipient pushes a button to download the image), but even then, you’re crossing your fingers that it doesn’t land in spam.

Tips for Direct Mail to Increase Your Event Response Rate

  • Start with a colored envelope – Stand out from the pile of junk and bills.
  • Forget the standard 4” x 6” – Different sizes, shapes, and textiles will enhance the recipient’s experience before they even open it.
  • Be creative – A 3D mailer will pique the curiosity of the recipient and make them more likely to open your DM.
  • Include a freebie in your DM – Who can say no to a giveaway?
  • Give it a thoughtful touch – Tie it together with a physical stamp and “handwritten” address.

Direct mail that will get attention and increase event response ratesCase Study

Brightspot recently completed a direct mail campaign for a client’s lead generation event. The DM was inside of a translucent vellum envelope that gave recipients a sneak peek of what was inside before they even opened it, and the invitation itself was a non-standard bi-fold piece. The front of the invitation was an event teaser and printed on the back were the shipping and return addresses. Since the envelope allowed the recipient to see the event theme, it piqued their interest and enticed them to open the envelope. We also included a save the date magnet with each mailer. After tracking registrations from the DM and the email, we discovered a 76% registration rate from the DM piece. Three out of four people registered for the event via the DM that they received, not the email!

Consider incorporating direct mail into your next meeting, lead gen event, incentive promotion period, or sales contest; you won’t be disappointed!

Shawna Reid

Author Shawna Reid

Program Manager | Expertise is discovering unique venues for roadshows and executing sales incentive programs

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