direct marketing

Understanding the response device

When marketers say that direct mail has many advantages over email marketing, as many of them do, they often refer to the response device. Although it rarely gets invoked outside of the marketing world, the response device is an incredibly powerful business tool and one of the main reasons why direct mail remains an essential component of a marketing strategy.

What should you know about response devices and how they can help you improve customer relations, convert leads and increase your revenue stream? Here are three things to keep in mind.

The right instrument

Anytime you send a piece of direct mail marketing material, you should expect some type of response. Exactly what this entails depends on your goals – to convert a lead, retain a customer or promote a new product or service – but the instrument is always the same: the response device.

Consumers typically respond much more to offers when the process for doing so is as simple as possible. To that end, you need to make sure your response device is as easy-to-use and as compelling as possible. Without a solid device, even the best marketing material can fall flat.

In concert

Despite its importance, a response device is just part of an overall marketing approach. This means that you should design it to complement the rest of the package, whether promotional or transactional (or both!), and design a response device that fits naturally.

In an article for Digital Nirvana, Nancy Scott, the editor of Marketing AdVents, stated that a well-crafted, comprehensive direct mail package remains one of the most effective ways to engage consumers in the eyes of many marketers.

“You’ll hear direct mail advocates argue that nothing works as well as a targeted letter containing the perfect response device, mailed to the right recipient,” Scott wrote.

This point is important for companies to bear in mind, but it also raises the natural question: What exactly is the “perfect response device?”


Embedded in Scott’s advice is a useful way for thinking about this question. Effective marketing, she writes, is all about targeting and timing. Direct mail is so effective because consumers feel as if they are receiving something just for them, at the exact right time. Your response device should be no different – it should be personalized and applicable to your target.

To achieve this, many companies are turning to variable data printing, which allows them to craft unique, customized response devices. Call Objectif Lune today to learn about how our intuitive promotional printing software can help you make the perfect response device!