5 Key Success Factors of Authentic Handwritten Direct Mail Campaigns

Five Success Factors for Handwritten Direct Mail

Executing an authentic handwritten direct mail campaign has never been easier thanks to Pensaki. We usually handover for shipment over 2.000 authentic handwritten letters – written with fountain pens –  within 5 business days. However, even the most beautiful handwritten notes can only become a very successful direct mail campaign if a couple of key success factors have been considered. Handwriting is simply not a sufficient condition for success.

Boost your conversion rates and customer engagement without ever lifting a pen, by considering the following key success factors of handwritten direct mail campaigns.

Cover the bases: Use authentic handwriting or let it be!

Obviously writing these handwritten notes by yourself is always the best approach when you want to surprise and delight your customers. Handwriting can even become a contemplative practice, a generator of insight any joy, if you have the required time. Writing 100 letters can be done manually, with some time and motivation. Writing 500, 1000 or 20.000 handwritten notes on the other side becomes quickly a mission impossible. This is exactly where Pensaki can provide the biggest value, because with Pensaki you are able to combine the beauty of authentic handwritten notes with scalability. Everything is written with fountain pens in the human writing speed, therefore the results are so amazing. The authenticity of the handwriting is the single most important key success factor, but since this is so obvious we haven’t even put it in this ranking. It is simply NOT POSSIBLE  to EXPRESS GRATITUDE with handwriting fonts or any fake handwriting style that has been produced by simple plotters or the like.

  • 1. Content

  • 2. Personalization

  • 3. Paper & More

  • 4. Call to Action

  • 5. Follow-up

Our clients achieve consistent response rates of 10 – 40 % with Pensaki, provided they consider these success factors. 

„Writing is easy – all you have to do is cross out the wrong words.“ Mark Twain

This is why you want to invest ample time and effort into form and content of your text upfront. You want to avoid stringing together buzzwords and platitudes, annoying your audience with PR text bubbles. Personal greetings will never contain advertising elements. Those elements should be placed on a flyer which we will be happy to enclose to your mailing.

However, lead generation letters are not a sure-fire success or even the „holy grail“ for sales-related success in the digital era. In order for you to achieve extraordinary success with handwritten letters, cards, or invitations, the following factors of success are crucial.

1. Content is King

The most beautiful handwriting only has an effect on its reader when the message is consistent as well and the recipient feels personally addressed. For this reason you want to spend some time upfront to think about the form and content of your text.

Express your special appreciation for your recipient or surprise them in a humorous manner.

Think about the message you want to convey to your reader and how to address them personally.


Ideally, handwritten notes always contain a personal message with appreciation und do not contain any marketing lingo.

  • 1. Content is relevant

    Content has relevance for the recipient, doesn’t contain advertising content, but a true personal message in a way you’d write it yourself. From individual to individual.

  • 2. Benefit has priority

    Show which benefit you’ll bring for the recipient or just express your appreciation.

  • 3. Be brief!

K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple and Stupid) – Concise and simple wording is easier to grasp and better to understand. Avoid stringing together empty phrases and don’t annoy your reader with marketing and PR buzzwords.

  • 4. Sender is a person, not an organisation

    Humans write letters. Organisations send impersonal printed direct mail.

2. Personalization makes a huge difference

Of course, every successful personalization starts with a correct and complete postal address. You want to check the completeness of your master data before sending high-quality handwritten sales letters via mail.

Another requirement necessary for correct personalization of your mailings is the correct personal address form. In the English use of language there are essentially two options:


  • „Dear Mr. Jones“ (using the last name) or
  • „Dear John“ (using the first name)

Under no circumstances you want to use an impersonal form of address. This way you’ll never be able to express a personal relationship or appreciation, as appreciation can only be expressed towards specified persons. If you still use this form of address, you make it very clear that you did not have the time or did not want to invest the time for a more detailed look at the company.

So please never use something in the lines of „Dear Marketing Department“.

3. Paper & More

Paper quality is essential as a factor of success as also your choice of paper conveys appreciation.

Handwritten direct mail by Pensaki offers a unique opportunity: The high-quality superficies catches the reader’s attention. The paper quality you’ve chosen should be in line with the appreciation you show with handwriting and your verbal expression. Please remember that your recipient will feel your choice of material with his hands. Important haptic factors are size, outline, surface texture, weight, firmness, etc. Cheap paper will always appear cheap.

„I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.“ Blaise Pascal

4. Call To Action

Present a clear call to action („visit us“, „get in touch with me“, „support us by…“), express your gratitude or appreciation („it was great meeting you“, „we’re looking forward to working with you“), or send your good wishes for a particular reason.

5. Follow-up Activities

Only a fraction of your (potential) clients will have a demand for your offer right now. Thus your sales success depends strongly on your success in your follow-up activities with your existing contacts. Without follow-up activities, you leave your success to chance.

“Approximately three percent of your market is buying at any given time, the rest is not.”

Without follow-up activities, even the best B2B campaign with handwritten letters will not lead to response rates of 90 %. It’s best to call your contact and check via phone, if they’ve gotten the invitation, not least because there are often problems with delivery of mail.

90 % of the recipients of handwritten letters by PENSAKI will keep a positive memory about the reception of the letter.