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Pen Mail's Guide to A Successful Handwritten Mail Marketing Campaign

Updated: Aug 1, 2022

In a marketplace where almost everything is digitized and accessible with the click of a mouse, writing letters by hand is ancient and a big expense of time.. and for successful business owners, time is money.

Since the way businesses market to their customers is constantly evolving with the integration of digital marketing, businesses must stand out from the advertising noise in order to thrive.

In the early 2000s digital marketing was almost always a secondary part of businesses marketing mix, but nowadays, digital and online is the starting point of any marketing campaign. Marketers lost the need to spend time on personally handwriting letters, slowly making handwriting something of a lost art form.

Fortunately, a few years ago, California-based DIY hardware manufacturer Evil Mad Scientist decided to revive the spirit of handwritten marketing. They created a robotic pen plotter with one purpose: to guide a pen along a surface.

Starting from a simple concept, companies worldwide rushed to develop a business model around handwriting machines. This solution proved to be difficult and expensive to scale, so the need for a superior technique grew.

Pen Mail decided to take advantage of this advanced equipment to develop a solution that offers personalized handwritten mail pieces at a level that is scalable for large companies.

What is handwritten direct mail marketing?

Handwritten marketing is a marketing approach in industries where personalization is highly regarded. Proprietary software is used to guide the pen plotter to produce personalized letters for clients. These robot-based solutions try to mimic the nuances of human handwriting while keeping the costs of production low, saving you time and money.

Handwritten marketing is most commonly used by sales and marketing teams aiming to create and keep a strong relationship with their customers, improve customer loyalty, improve open rates, and establish brands built on trust. Depending on the mail campaign, the paper sizes range from your standard A4/letter, to A7/Invitation sizes and even handwritten postcards and handwritten door hangers.

Reasons to use authentic handwritten marketing

  1. It's a memorable way to get your message across

  2. It's a personal way to build trust with your initial contact with leads

  3. It's a sureproof way to get the attention of homeowners among all the marketing noise

  4. It's an affordable way to target and convert high-value leads

  5. It's an effective way to follow up unclosed deals

Why handwritten notes outperform printed mail

1. It's indistinguishable from you handpenning a letter which prevents your note from being labeled as marketing.

One of the most difficult areas to master in direct mail marketing is how to get your letter past the company’s gatekeepers. The role of the gatekeeper is usually performed by team members such as executive assistants, receptionists, or secretaries. Their job is to screen calls, mail, and visitors, and deflect those that they believe are not worth the company’s time. These gatekeepers are basically the ones who decide whether a campaign is a success or a failure. As most direct mail marketing materials are digitally printed, even using a printed stamp, it’s a fairly easy job for gatekeepers to filter them out. One main advantage that handwritten has over direct mail is the impression of authenticity found in the handwriting on the envelope and the forever first class stamp hand placed onto the envelope.

2. Homeowners tend to keep these personal notes.

We have countless cases where Sellers of a real estate transaction will bring the note, along with all other documents to the closing table. Most times, people pitch printed mail into the trash.

How to integrate handwritten marketing in your mix

Like any other business looking to grow, you will need to have clarity on where your business is at, where you want it to be and how to get there. Follow these steps to learn how to make handwritten an integrated part of your marketing strategy.

Evaluate your current marketing & sales performance

Everything starts with a clear understanding of your marketing performance. There’s much more than just the number of visitors on your website, so dig in to find some advanced statistics. Use these formulas to understand how well your marketing and sales work together.

Return on Investment (ROI)

This metric represents the ratio between a profit or a loss made on a marketing investment. Think of how much you spend on a marketing campaign (investment) and how much you get out of it (revenue).

This example shows an investment of $10,000 in a handwritten marketing campaign, and a $50,000 return in revenue. This means your ROI is 400%.

((Revenue - Investment) / Investment) * 100 = ROI %((50,000 - 10,000) / 10,000 ) * 100 = 400%

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

One of the most important metrics of a growing business is the Customer Lifetime Value, or the CLV. This tells you how much a customer spends with you until they stop using your service. It uses the amount your average customer spends over a period of time, the average time a customer uses your service, and the amount you spent on converting the average customer.

Average Customer Spend * Average Lifetime - Cost of Acquisition = CLV
$3,000 * 4 - $400 = $11,600 Lifetime value

Lead to Customer Conversion Rate

Understanding what percentage of your leads go on to become customers can help you identify points of friction in your lead management system. This is calculated by dividing the # of customers by the # of leads. Multiply the result by 100 to get the rate. Let's say you aim to target 2,000 leads with a handwritten marketing campaign. If 10 leads get in touch with you and buy your service it means your conversion rate for that campaign is 0.5%.

( Number of Customers / Number of Leads ) * 100 = Conversion Rate %
( 10 / 2,000 ) * 100 = 0.5% conversion

Find the points of friction in your lead management system

Check your lead management funnel to see where your leads seem to drop. Usually, the funnel is made of 5 stages that a lead has to pass through to become a customer:

visitor (viewing your website),

lead (filled in a contact form),

qualified lead (your salesperson has qualified them),

opportunity (you've presented an offer), and

customer (they accept the offer, value is exchanged).

From one stage to another, calculate the conversion rate to understand where most of your leads lose interest. Here’s an example.

(Lead / Visitor ) * 100 = Conversion Rate %
(10 leads / 150 visitors ) * 100 = 6.67%

Target the right part of the lead management funnel

Depending on the area of the funnel where your conversion rate is particularly low, you will need to find the underlying issue and address it.

Lead management funnel

TOFU - Top Of Funnel

An issue here probably involves building awareness about your company or the problems that you try to address. Try explaining more how your product/service meets the needs and wants of your target audience. Examples of how handwritten can help in this segment include sending handwritten notes to introduce your business, or handwritten notes targeting their needs.

MOFU - Middle Of Funnel

This section of the funnel is linked to teaching people how to choose a solution to fix their issues. Here’s where you try to convince the audience that your product is one of the best on the market. Sending handwritten notes explaining some of your products features, or handwritten invitations for a free trial could work well for you here.

BOFU - Bottom Of Funnel

The last part of the funnel is where you talk about your product and why it is the best solution of them all. If you see low conversions at this stage, it means you have not given enough reasons as to why you are the best solution for them. Try sending handwritten invitations requesting an appointment. This will give you time to understand your lead’s fears and address them directly.

Choose if this is a one-off campaign or recurring periodically

There are two ways you can build handwritten campaigns. In one-off campaigns, handwritten letters are sent only one time to a list of select addresses.

Recurring campaigns use dynamic address lists that are updated to send several handwritten letters over time.

Design a template that will represent your brand’s personality

Your handwritten marketing campaign needs to compliment your current marketing efforts and be consistent with your brand guidelines. From logos, through colors, right down to the handwriting itself.

Contact us to get started!


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