Direct Mail Systems

Direct Mail Systems provides tailored, flexible and effective mailing house solutions to meet clients needs, and exceed their expectations.

Founded in 1974, Direct Mail Systems is a Bristol based fulfilment and mailing house, providing organisations access to a complete range of mailing and data processing services.

Direct Mail Systems expertise is in rapid response mail production. Our 12,000 sq ft mailing house facility has a huge range of printing, enclosing & wrapping equipment to accommodate all your mailing needs.

Direct mail is an effective and tangible way to reach new and existing customers. Central to a successful direct mail campaign is a compelling call to action. In this blog, we’ll cover all you need to know when it comes to a call to action, in terms of what they are, how to craft one, compelling examples and much more. 

  • What is a call to action?
  • The importance of a call to action in direct mail
  • What makes a compelling call to action?
  • 5 steps to crafting a compelling CTA for direct mail
  • Examples of a compelling call to action
  • Design considerations for a call to action in direct mail
  • Crafting successful direct mail campaigns with DMS


What is a Call to Action?

A call to action, also referred to in the marketing world as a CTA, is a prompt that encourages the recipient to take a specific action. This could be making a purchase, visiting a website or calling a phone number. 

CTAs are crucial for all types of marketing materials, whether that be on a website, on a flyer or a piece of direct mail, as they direct the customer or recipient to take the marketeer’s required action. Without a clear CTA, it can be unclear to the customer what they should do next and therefore will likely not do anything. 


The Importance of a Call to Action in Direct Mail 

A call to action is important in direct mail as it guides the reader on what to do next. There isn’t a salesperson who’s by the recipient’s side to explain the next steps with a direct mailer, so the CTA must be clear. When a recipient is compelled by a CTA, it turns them from a passive reader into an active participant, engaging them with the direct mail campaign and increasing the likelihood of them carrying out the marketeer’s wanted action. 


What Makes a Compelling Call to Action?

When crafting a compelling CTA, there are five things to consider:


The clearer the action you want the recipient to make, the better. There should be no ambiguity on what action you want them to take. Phrases like ‘learn more’ without specifying what about tend not to be as effective. 

Use Actionable Language

It’s best practice to use strong, imperative verbs in CTAs that clearly tell the recipient what to do, such as ‘buy’, ‘call’, ‘donate’ or ‘visit’. Straightforward and direct is the way to go when it comes to crafting a call to action. 


Creating a sense of urgency is a great way to create a compelling call to action in direct mail as it motivates recipients to act quickly. Fear of missing out can often be a big driver in making a purchase so using language like ‘only while stocks last’, ‘for a limited time only’, or ‘ending soon’ is effective in reaping results. 

Convey the Benefit

The recipient of your direct mailer is much more likely to take your required action if they can see or understand the benefit to them in doing so. Whether it’s accessing a promotion, exclusive information or a free gift, the benefit needs to be clearly conveyed and the value proposition should also be relevant and compelling. 

Make it Easy 

Carrying out the action needs to be easy to complete, otherwise, the recipient is not going to bother or will give up. Reduce any unnecessary steps and provide them with all the information they need such as phone numbers, URLs and already paid-for postage slips. 

5 Steps to Crafting a Compelling CTA for Direct Mail

1. Define Your Objective 

It’s important to have a clear objective for your direct mail campaign so that you can define the action you want your recipients to take. This is likely to also be your KPI and a way of measuring the success of your campaign. For example, if your campaign objective is to increase product sales, your CTA will be directing them to ‘buy now’, and your KPI will be the number of sales of that product. 

2. Understand Your Audience

The CTA needs to resonate with your audience, their needs and pain points. Personalising the CTA to your audience is key for a successful campaign. Statistics show that personalised CTAs perform 202% better than basic CTAs.  

3. Focus on Language

As already mentioned, the type of language you use is crucial. Make sure it’s direct, strong and clear. Also, use words that create a sense of urgency as well as highlight the benefit of acting. For example, ‘sign up to our newsletter for 20% off your first purchase - for a limited time only’. 

4. Make it Simple

Make sure the instructions on what to do next are clear and easy to follow. If you want recipients to call you, make the phone number clearly visible. Alternatively, if you want them to visit your website you can add a QR code with ‘scan this to buy now’ written below it. 

Examples of a Compelling Call to Action

Here are some examples of compelling CTAs used in direct mail for different purposes:

  • Retail: “Visit our store this weekend for 20% off all items! Offer ends Sunday.”
  • Event: “Register today for our annual conference and save £50 on the admission fee. Early bird discount ends June 1st.”
  • Subscription: “Subscribe now to get your first three months at half price! Limited time offer.”
  • Charity: “Donate today and your contribution will be matched, doubling your impact. Offer valid until the end of the month.”


Design Considerations for a Call to Action in Direct Mail

The design of your direct mail and the placement of CTA is equally as important as the copy. Here are our design tips: 


Position your CTA prominently within your direct mailer so it is easily noticeable and accessible. This could be at the end of your letter, on a postcard, or in a separate insert.


Use contrasting colours to make your CTA stand out from the rest of the content. This draws the recipient’s eye to the action you want them to take.

Size & Font

The CTA should be large enough to read easily so use a bold font to emphasise it, ensuring it’s not lost in the surrounding text.


Surround your CTA with whitespace to make it stand out. Cluttered designs can detract from the message, while whitespace helps focus attention, backed up by findings that CTAs surrounded by less clutter can increase conversion rates by 232%

Crafting Successful Direct Mail Campaigns with DMS

Crafting a compelling CTA is both an art and a science. Once you’ve sorted your design and call to action, the team at DMS are ready to support you in the printing, production and postage of your direct mail campaign. We’re experienced in all aspects of direct mail and the team are also happy to answer any of your questions. 

Call us on 0117 934 1600 or click here to get in touch.  

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