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How to Create Effective Direct Mail CTAs
May 16, 2023

How to Create Effective Direct Mail CTAs

A call-to-action (CTA) is critical to your direct mail campaign. CTAs drive the mail recipient to take action, such as visiting a landing page or calling a phone. With recent changes in technology, you can even ask the recipient to scan a QR code with a phone camera. Because CTAs encourage your audience to take immediate action, they can benefit your lead generation efforts, increase both online and in-store traffic, and lead to more sales.

In this blog post, we'll explore some best practices for creating effective CTAs for direct mail campaigns. We will also discuss how the type of direct mail campaign you're running can affect the CTA.

Best Practices for Crafting Effective CTAs

To improve the effectiveness of your calls to action, keep in mind these best practices. Following these guidelines will help you optimize your campaign for a higher return on investment (ROI).

  • Be Clear and Specific. A good CTA should clearly state what singular action you want the recipient to take. This could include things like calling a phone number or scanning a QR code. It should be short and to the point, using two to five words. At most, a CTA can use seven words. Don't be vague; it can lead to confusion. Use concise, easy-to-understand language so the recipient knows what they need to do.
  • Use Action-Oriented Language. Use action-oriented language to encourage the recipient to take the next step. Words like "Call Now" or "Visit Our Website" can create a sense of urgency and drive conversions.
  • Make it Stand Out. Your CTA should be clear and visible, standing out from the rest of your direct mail piece. Consider using a contrasting color or bold font to make it more eye-catching. The flow of the content will also help you determine the best placements for the CTA.
  • Use it in Several Places. Use your CTA at least three times on your mail piece. Think about where the reader's eye goes as they read the content. On a letter, for example, a CTA can achieve the best results when placed in the top right corner, the bottom of the letter, and somewhere tucked in the middle. Use the same CTA language for each use case. There should only be a significant change to the wording when you perform an A/B test.
  • Use Personalization. Personalizing your CTA with the recipient's name can make it more enticing. This increases the likelihood that they will take action. Tailoring the CTA instead of a generic one can make the recipient feel more invested. Using their name can help them feel recognized and valued as a customer. This will increase their likelihood of taking the desired action.
  • Offer Incentives. An incentive, such as a discount or free gift, can be a powerful way to encourage the recipient to act.
  • Include a “Respond By” or End Date. Adding a "respond by" or end date to a CTA creates a sense of urgency and encourages the recipient to act as soon as they can. When you limit the amount of time they have to respond, they are more likely to complete the intended action. Setting a deadline for the CTA can also help you know when to move to the next phase of the campaign. You can also track the effectiveness of the CTA by seeing how many people responded before the end date.
  • Include Accurate Contact Information. Make sure the CTA takes the recipient to the right place. Ensure that phone numbers, physical addresses, and web addresses are correct and trackable.
  • Run A/B tests. Perform an A/B test on the CTA to see which option performs the best. Testing variations will allow you to compare results from each of these tests. You can find the best language for your audience and the type of direct mail campaign.

How the Type of Direct Mail Campaign Affects Your CTA

The type of direct mail campaign will impact the language used in the CTA. The CTA must align with the campaign's goal to increase conversions. Here are some examples:

Acquisition Campaign

For acquisition campaigns, you are likely communicating with a prospective customer for the first time. You want to tell them who you are, what you do, and entice them to become customers with a strong CTA. Consider writing a CTA with a compelling offer that they can't pass up.

Retention Campaign

These campaigns focus on strengthening the relationship you have with an existing customer. The CTA should be personal, making your loyal customers feel special. This CTA can be a customized offer based on the customer's buying history. Another option is to craft a CTA focused on loyalty rewards, like points or discounts, that the customer can use for their next purchase.

Reactivation Campaign

A CTA on a reactivation mail piece should aim to get the recipient to re-engage with your business. Creating a sense of urgency can motivate them to act. Use strong, clear language in the CTA that encourages them to "Act Now" or get their "Limited Time Offer."

Event Promotion

If you're promoting an event, your CTA should get the recipient to register for and attend your event. You can emphasize that there are only a few spaces available. This can lead the recipient to register or RSVP as soon as possible to secure their spot. Use phrases like "Register Now" or "Secure Your Spot” to entice them to take immediate action.

Craft Response Worthy CTAs with Darwill

An effective CTA can be the catalyst that pushes the mail recipient to take the intended next step. Aligning CTAs with the campaign goal strengthens the direct mail piece. By using these tips and tailoring the CTA to the campaign, you can capture higher responses and drive more conversions. Take the next step with Darwill as your marketing partner.