In Part 1, we discussed the first five ways for you to maximize the response rates for your direct mail campaigns. Here are some more ideas for generating interest among clients and prospects:

Idea 6: Send a follow-up mailer.
You can significantly increase responses when you send a follow-up mailer. For example, if you mail an invitation to a retirement planning workshop, send a reminder postcard one or two weeks later. On the postcard, give a deadline such as, “Please RSVP by November 1.” You may lift your response by as much as 20%.

Idea 7: Test different types of envelopes.
Most people review an outer envelope for about 2-4 seconds and will only allow about a 20-second window of opportunity to decide whether or not to open the envelope and review its contents. To help ensure that your mail gets opened, it’s important to test different kinds of envelopes. Some things that encourage people to open envelopes, during those few precious seconds, include positive personal recognition, curiosity and self-interest. People are also more likely to open and respond to mail that includes some type of mental, physical or emotional involvement such as removable stickers, scratch-off items, an intriguing question or a thought-provoking photo.

Idea 8: Test a dimensional mailer.
Have a special prospect or high-net-worth client? Want to get the attention of a small business owner? Try a dimensional mailer. A dimensional mailer is a special mail package that uses a nontraditional envelope, a box or another type of container that supports your key message. It usually contains an item that ties into your promotional message. For example, you could send a dimensional mailer that includes a photo frame or a disposable camera. The promotional message might be: “How do you picture retirement?” And the offer could be a complimentary retirement income analysis: “This free report can give you a snapshot of your retirement income needs.”

Idea 9: Try an unconventional holiday mailer.
Many agents send holiday cards during holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s Day. But how many agents send cards for occasions such as Tax Day (April 15), Grandparents’ Day, or Valentine’s Day? Sending an “unconventional” holiday mailer can be a great way to send a special greeting that captures your clients’ attention and response.

Idea 10: Send “handwritten” mailers.
Using a handwriting font on your envelopes is a great way to personalize your message and increase the likelihood that your mailer will be opened by your recipients. Handwrite the sender’s address and your return address. For the return address, use your first and last name versus your company’s name. If you have a large direct mail projects, try a handwriting font or a service that will do the handwriting for you.

Amy Kennel is communications director for Brokers International, Ltd.