Handwritten Cards
 min read

How to Improve the Open Rate of Mail using Handwritten Cards for Your Business

Handwritten notes have become a rare gem in today's digital age where most communication happens through social media and email. 

However, they remain an untapped opportunity for businesses to strengthen their relationships with customers. The ability to literally reach a consumer’s hands and provide a physical touch and feel is an underrated marketing tactic - but businesses are slowly closing the gap. 

While there's less competition in this space, just sending a handwritten card today won't guarantee it gets read. 

This is because of how direct mail is being used by companies across various industries. 

After helping thousands of companies launch handwritten note marketing campaigns, we have identified a few things that work and some that are an absolute mistake. 

In this blog, we aim to share some tips on achieving higher open rates when sending handwritten notes for your business. 

Tips to improve the open rates on handwritten notes for businesses  

You've taken the time to craft the perfect handwritten note, but what happens when it falls into the hands of your intended recipient?

In a world where people are bombarded with emails and social media notifications, shunning away a promotional message or collateral is normal behavior. That’s why it's crucial to put in that extra effort to get your handwritten note noticed and opened. 

Here’s what you can do to improve the open rates on your handwritten notes for businesses: 

1. Use a 5x7 Card Size

The standard card size we recommend for handwritten cards is 5 by 7 inches, accompanied by an A7 envelope. This size is similar to standard greeting cards, including birthday and anniversary cards. 

Using a standard card size helps to create a professional and polished look for the handwritten notes. 

Clients may view cards that are non-standard or irregularly sized as less professional or amateurish, which can impact their perception of the company and the message being conveyed. 

Another reason we recommend this size is so that the cards don’t look like the bills that arrive in the mail. A 'standard' letter is actually an 8.5x11 sheet of paper in a #10 envelopes - however, when people get these in the mail, they automatically associate them with bills that need to be paid (and they dread opening those envelopes).  

2. Use a Handwritten Envelope with Human Handwriting Style

Using a truly handwritten envelope with a human handwriting style is a powerful way to increase the open rate of handwritten notes for companies. 

The reason for this is that when a recipient receives a handwritten envelope that appears to be written by a real person, they are more likely to be curious and intrigued about the contents inside.

At IgnitePOST, all of our handwriting styles have been inspired by real human handwriting patterns.

Unlike computer-generated fonts designed to mimic handwriting, our style is based on actual human handwriting.  In fact all of the styles available were actually someone’s real handwriting that we have mimicked and made available for you. In fact, if you want us to use your own handwriting, we can even mimic and recreate your own handwriting if you provide us with a sample!

In modern times, handwritten marketing strikes a personal chord as it offers a unique and exceptional experience that can trigger powerful positive emotions and create a memorable impact.

A third of Americans haven’t received a handwritten note in over a year, with 15 percent saying it’s actually been longer than five years since they got one.

Hence, the human handwriting style can make the recipient feel valued and appreciated, which can help to build a stronger relationship between the sender and the recipient.

Recommended read: 55+ copywriting tips for handwritten notes from experts

3. Replace Black Ink with Blue Ink

Using blue ink instead of black ink is a crucial detail in enhancing the open rates of handwritten notes. 

There are few reasons that justify the above mentioned statement.

Firstly, studies have shown that blue ink is more easily remembered and more memorable than black ink. This means that the recipient is more likely to recall the note and its contents, potentially leading to a stronger impression of the company.

Also, blue ink is often associated with professionalism, as it is commonly used by politicians and non-profit organizations. This can make the recipient perceive the note as more important and valuable, increasing the likelihood that they will open and read it.

Blue ink can create a more emotional connection with the recipient, as it is seen as more personal and human-like than black ink. This can make the recipient feel more connected to the company and potentially even result in increased business or customer loyalty.

Printed direct mail often uses a font that is written in black ink so when you use the same color, it automatically gets associated with mass direct mail that came out of a printer. On the other hand, if you use pen and ink, and opt for blue ink, recipients know that a real pen was used and will give your letter more attention.

4. Always Add an Authentic Postage Stamp

A real postage stamp on a handwritten note conveys a sense of value and importance to the recipient, and leads to a boost in the open rate of handwritten notes. It also adds a personal touch to the envelope and shows that the company has taken the time and effort to send a handwritten note.

A real postage stamp stands out more than mass postal markings or a metered postage, making it more attention-grabbing and more likely to be opened. This contributes to higher open rates, as the recipient perceives it as more valuable.

Using a postage stamp that is affixed to the envelope (as opposed to metered mail or printed endicia) enhances the authenticity of the note and makes it more likely to be opened and read, as opposed to being mistaken for junk mail or a mass mailing.

5. Use First and Last Names Instead of a Company Name

Using a first and last name on the return sender address details, instead of a company name, can influence the open rates of your handwritten notes. It also shows a level of professionalism and attention to detail that can create a positive impression of the company.

While it's not a requirement, it's considered a best practice as using your first and last name on the return sender address details shows that the note is personalized and that the sender  intended the note specifically for the recipient.

One key point to consider is that while using a company name can sometimes cause people to flag the mail as junk,  using a first and last name instead can help to avoid this problem and increase the chances of the note being opened and read.

6. Opt for Handwritten Notes Over Computer-Generated Fonts

Handwritten notes convey a personal touch that cannot be replicated by computer-generated fonts. In turn, this leads real handwritten notes to have a much higher open rate than computer-generated fonts.

Handwritten direct mail shows that the company has taken the time and effort to create a unique message, tailored specifically to the recipient.

Studies have shown that anything that is handwritten is more memorable and easily retained than any type of computer-generated font. 

This leads to a stronger impression of the company,  increased business, as well as better customer loyalty.

Handwriting is an emotional and personal medium that can create a stronger emotional connection between the sender and the recipient. 

Use handwritten notes to convey warmth, sincerity, and a sense of intimacy that cannot be replicated by computer-generated fonts.

Learn how Handwritten Direct Mail Pieces Outperform Alternatives


In conclusion, handwritten notes can be an effective way for businesses to connect with customers and improve relationships, but it's important to consider factors that can boost the open rate of handwritten notes.

By taking the time and effort to craft a thoughtful handwritten note, businesses can create a positive customer experience and stand out in today's digital age.

IgnitePOST helps brands break through digital noise and create magic moments at the mailbox.

Did you know that our open rates are 99% on average? This is measured by our clients and us in a variety of ways. 

With real pen and ink robotics, IgnitePOST creates a premium experience that looks and feels as if the notes were written with love by humans.  

Looking to see how IgnitePOST can help you create magic moments with handwritten notes and cards? Book a demo today!

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