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Mail Design Part 4: Your Reply Mail

Feb 01, 2011

Mail Design Part 4: Designing Your Reply Card or Response Letter

To run a business successfully, you need input from your customers and prospects. But how do you get that crucial input easily, quickly and cost-effectively? With a specific call to action on a reply mail postcard or response letter, you ask your prospect to respond on the spot. Studies show reply mail dramatically increases your response rates - giving you the information you need when you need it. So boost your mail's success by making it incredibly easy for your recipients to respond.

Your first step in designing your reply mail should be to answer the question "What is my goal?" Are you trying to build your database of customer information, make improvements to your products and services through surveys, or create a list of qualified leads from a prospect pool?

For gathering additional contact information or surveying business clients, our 6 x 4.25 courtesy reply card displays images and headlines that are virtually certain to be seen. Our business reply postcard is ideal for customer follow-up or for surveys -identical in size and lay-out to our courtesy reply card, the business reply offers the additional benefit of pre-paid postage (so there's no cost to the client to respond).

Or, if you need to communicate more information while still eliciting a reply, we offer a response letter in a reusable eco-envelope. 100% recycled, this #10 envelope serves as both the original and the return envelope. It is an environmentally-friendly way to communicate your message and boost your response. This letter offers versatile formats and up to 6 pages of text.

Designing your reply mail for maximum response

For some innovative, winning ideas on reply mail design, we turned to master designer Chuck Green at Ideabook.com. Chuck offers some great ideas for making the most of your reply mailer, whatever you're using it for.

Consider your reply mailer a tiny billboard. Reply cards may be small in size, but they have big missions. Best of all, their open design eliminates the possibility of your prospect tossing a sealed envelope and missing your message. Maximize your reply card's effectiveness with a simple font and bulleted text. Take care to avoid overcrowding - "white" space can be a valuable design element.

Ask for a response, now. Every good marketing piece has a specific call to action; ask your prospect to respond on the spot. Request that they take a survey, complete a form or update their address. Be crystal clear in your request.

Respect your recipient. When you are requesting information from your customers and prospects, it is important to respect their time and effort and design your reply mail accordingly. You wouldn't insist that a new customer provide you with detailed information that won't help you better serve them. Chuck's mantra is "If you wouldn't do it in person, don't do it on paper."

Do some research. Who will be filling out the form? Do the fields need to correspond to an existing database? If so, title them accordingly. Be as specific as possible. If your card says, "Name" do you mean the respondent's personal name or business name?

Consider readability. Per USPS rules, the reply half of your card can contain only response-related content. But, as with all Click2Mail products, you are otherwise free to design the card in any way you want - including text, graphics and photos. Fewer fonts with fewer attributes (italics, bold, lower and upper case letters) produce better results. A paragraph of text in all upper case letters, for example, is notoriously difficult to read (and that can put the recipient off completely).

Tint wisely. Tints of black and color are useful to highlight important items. However, if you plan to copy your response cards, make certain your tints are copier-friendly.

Be instructive. Who should the respondent call for questions? Does the card need postage? Should it be returned by a certain date? Don't lose the response now - you want the reply card to make it to the mailbox.

So you've got your reply mail design ideas, now it's time to put them to work. There are a number of reasons why using Click2Mail to send your reply postcard makes sense:

It is easy. With the Click2Mail reply mail template, you don't have to guess about what goes where.
It is cost effective. For as little as 48 cents, you can send a double reply postcard, or a response letter for just about $1.
It is foolproof. Ask for feedback and you shall receive it.
It is immediate. Order by 8 P.M. EST and your reply mail is in the mail the very next business day.

Get started today with Click2Mail's easy-to-use reply mail templates, upload your mailing list, and click to mail!