Direct Mail 101: Develop a Compelling Offer and Call To Action

Direct Mail 101: Develop a Compelling Offer and Call To Action

The offer is something of value that you provide to your audience in exchange for their response. 

You should ensure your offer clearly tells your audience what are the benefits of your product or service and how it will help them. You also need to include a strong call to action (CTA), which tells customers how to get your offer.


Types of Offers

The type of offer you choose depends on the goals of your direct marketing campaign. Normally, offers can be have three different objectives:

Promote sales: Encourage the audience to place an order for a product or service;


Generate leads: Discover prospective new clients or offer up-sells and cross-sells to current ones. This type of offer can also promote your referral program.


Generate Traffic: Encourage customers to go into your physical location or website. To increase website visits, you may use a QR code or PURL (personalised URL), which will also help you to monitor your response rate.


Soft or Hard Offers

Offers can also be divided between soft and hard offers, based on the level of commitment they ask of the audience.

A soft offer requires low commitment on the part of the reader. They can be, for example, a free gift for responding, like a discount or free delivery. They are great for lead generation, to start a dialogue with new prospects, and to generate traffic.

Soft offers usually generate a higher response rate, but a lower conversion rate – the number of people who actually become frequent customers.

Harder offers involve a bigger commitment from the audience. They may ask people to meet with a sales representative, book a meeting or make a call. Hard offers normally generate a lower response, but a higher conversation rate. They work especially well with current customers and for services and products which people already are familiar with.

What to Offer to Drive Sales

If the goal of your direct marketing campaign is to produce orders for a product, consider an offer based on:

  • A special, limited-time price, product or service

Discounts based on volume or quantity


A gift with the order.

What to Offer to Generate Leads

To generate leads for your product or service, you can focus on offering:

More information about the product or service and its use in various situations;

A free sample of the product;


A no-commitments free trial of the product or service for a short period of time;


A free assessment or evaluation;

Educational information, such as case studies, guides, eBooks and others.

What to Offer to Drive Retail Traffic

To generate in-store or online traffic, create a direct marketing offer based on immediate, time-bound offers

Free gift with in-store or online purchase;

Free gift or bonus to the first X number of customers who come to the store;


Limited-time discount on the purchase (typically via a coupon);

Buy one, get one half-off or free;

Invitation to a private sales event for select customers;

Invitation to an in-store event with a special guest, celebrity, food, or entertainment.

How to write an effective call to action for direct mail

Personalise It –  Personalised calls to action tend to perform more than 200% better than standard calls to action. By using Variable Data Printing, Azure Communications can help you to create a unique mail piece to each of your recipients. You can segment your audience and change different aspects of your mail piece, from message to imagery.


Create Urgency – Use time limited offers, or limit the availability of the offer.

Keep it short and simple

Make sure your CTA stands out – ensure your CTA is easily identifiable in your design. You can use a contrasting colour, boxes or even white space to emphasize your Call to Action.

Contact us!

Azure Communications has the experience and expertise to help create your next mailing campaign.  Call us at (0)1 531 2695 or email