<Using handwriting instead of text for typed mail.
In this study hand addressed envolopes gleaned almost three times as
many responses compared to printed labels. The study also references
another study - Clark and Kaminski (1988) that found that personal
mailings (real stamp out and back, and a handwritten cover letter) had
three times the response rates. Source: Getting permission: exploring
factors affecting permission marketing. Tito Tezinde, Brett Smith &
How to get more for your money in mail surveys - Clark & Kaminski ? abstract.
The full text of this study is available from Infotrieve at a cost of $12.
This report shows the effect of personalisation including handwriting
from various studies.
Table 1. summarises the results.
Some studies found a decreased response when handwriting was used
others found an increased response.
A study by Dodd & Markwiese (1987) found that a hand-signed signature
in blue ink increased response by 21%.
Personalised hand written cover letter, from cover letter salutation
?Dear AMA colleague?, facsimile signature ? increased response by 2%
Dillman & Frey 1974. In this study an individually typed name, inside
address, personal salutation, individually signed in blue ink letter
was compared to a pre-printed salutation, black copied signature. The
first letter had an increased response by 8% and a marginally
increased response time. Dillman recommends a pressed blue ball-point
Source: The effect of covering letter personalisation in mailings. Philip Gendall.
What makes you want to open an envelope and pay attention to its contents.
Looks hand addressed ? 41%
A study by the Greeting Card Association found that 64% of Americans
prefer handwritten greeting cards, notes and letters to E-mails and
Hand addressed envelopes are opened 72% more often than computer
generated addresses. Source: ACR.
A study by Pitney Bowes of 420 consumers investigated the factors that
influenced whether the consumer would open the envelopes. Handwritten
envelopes were the most likely envelope to be opened. The average
American more closely scrutinizes non-handwritten envelopes?generated
from typewriters, ink jet printers, and laser printers. The study
determined the most important factor of non-handwritten envelopes
envelopes was that the mail was addressed to a specific, correctly
spelled name. Type of postage was the second most important factor,
with a preference to stamps and an aversion to third-class permit
postage. The third most important factor in getting the envelope
opened is the presence of a return address. The least important
factors are envelope size, and the presence or absence of additional
envelope copy?a message to the recipient.
Pitney Bowes study 1998.
Here different combination of addressing correspondence are ranked. A
handwritten address on an envelope ranked fourth. Source: Pitney
A non-profit organization increased its response rate 668% by treating
its big donors special -- mailing to them with a handwritten envelope
using a commemorative stamp and a handwritten 25-word note at the end
of the letter. This may be referring to the study below.
Source: Small Business Television.
Case study ?fundraising letter ? 50% response rate.
This campaign received two awards from the New England Direct
Live first class American Flag stamps were used.
Each name and address was handwritten, the letters all personalized
and the sender?s name highlighted in green (one of The Home?s
?corporate? colors) on the outside of the envelope. All donors had the
option of signing up to receive periodic ?marathon training updates?
which kept people apprised of my progress by email.
141 letters were mailed. 71 replies were received ? just over a 50%
response rate. A total of $2,927 was raised with an average gift of
Source: A New Marketing Commentator.
When Handwriting Makes a Difference
Union Gospel Mission used a hand-addressed invitation style card, that
included a handwritten note asking for a special gift.
The article noted that their Easter 1996 appeal achieved a 6.33:1 ROI,
which compared to a more traditional window envelope package the same
time the previous year (1995) that achieved only 2.39:1 ROI. A
particularly interesting aspect of the article was the fact that even
though the cost per piece for the handwritten campaign was high ?
$2.16 each ? that apparently did not matter, since the campaign raised
more than 2 1/2 times more per dollar spent than the previous year's
cheaper window envelope package, that cost only $0.59 per letter.
The Detroit Symphony Orchestra got a 26% response rate with a
hand-personalized campaign, but theirs used simulated handwriting
instead of human hands writing in pen and ink. It apparently didn't
matter, because what they called Computer HandScript, targeted at the
symphony's entire mailing list, raised $160,000, and was recently
Source: Mal Warwick & Associates Inc.
The full text of When Handwriting makes a difference can be found here.
Life Outreach International of Fort Worth, Texas, for example, makes
one of its mailings strictly hand-written. The response is typically
double and sometimes triple the return of its other mailings.
Feed the Children, in Oklahoma City, drops roughly 100,000
hand-addressed thank you notes on December 25 to its $1,000-plus
givers to get that final gift of the year from donors. Its Christmas
Day mailing in 2000 garnered a 15 percent response rate.
Source: The Non-Profit Times.
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<Hope this helps.>