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Improve Direct Mail Response Rates With Promotional Products

Promotional products, when used in conjunction with a sales letter or as incentive to respond, can make a significant difference in direct mail response rates. The use of promotional products can also significantly improve a business’ effectiveness in converting leads to sales appointments. The following are findings from a 1992 direct mail study by Silver Marketing Group.


  • Adding a promotional product to a mail promotion increased the response rate by 50%.
  • The use of a promotional products as an incentive to respond generated four times as many responses as a sales letter alone.
  • The use of a promotional product as an incentive to respond reduced the cost per response by two-thirds.

The study was conducted in 1992 with 1,482 businesses divided into three groups. Each group received either a personalized sales letter, a sales letter plus a promotional product or a sales letter with the offer of a promotional product incentive.


To update an existing mailing list and announce a new Technical Information Service.

Strategy and Execution:
The 3-stage direct mail campaign was targeted to 700 electronic design engineers. In the first stage a stress balloon was sent with the message, “Quietly Going About Your Business”. The theme was selected because the company’s EMI filters make business products quieter. Phase two of the promotion was a catalog with a bounce back card asking for additional information that would be used to update Murata’s mailing list. In phase three of the promotion, respondents received a three-ring binder to hold future literature and another forthcoming catalog.

Murata reported 600 of the 700 targeted engineers responded.

Reprinted with permission of Promotional Products Association International, copyright 2005.

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