No matter what they say, people do judge books by their covers. The outward appearance supersedes the inner details. In the context of direct mail marketing, the appearance of envelopes or parcel being sent out to recipients matters.

We have already discussed in this section how to make the direct mail parcel look more tempting to the prospective customers. In this blog post, we are going to move this discussion further and talk about how subject lines can be used in getting the desired reaction from recipients.

Before we proceed, it is important to mention here that the subject lines in direct mails don’t work like your regular letters. You don’t add the subject line above the main text body. Instead, it goes on the envelope since direct mail is an unsolicited letter.


Bring about curiosity with your subject line if you are going to target a younger consumer base. Young people are more intrigued by novelty than the obvious. For instance, if you are selling sports accessories and targeting young customers through behavioral interest mailing lists, then you can use an incomplete quote from an athlete relevant to the given sports in the subject of the mail.

You can be creative in many ways to make recipients more inquisitive about your mail. Curiosity killed the cat but now it can improve your mail open rates.


Creating a sense of urgency also leads to positive results when you try to reach out to new customers. Relaying the feeling that customers might miss out on something if they don’t open your mail can do the trick to improve your response rates. However, make sure that you don’t just use a bland call-to-action like ‘act now’ to illicit urgency. Be innovative with your subject line copy.

One more thing — only employ the element of urgency when you are offering something that is genuinely worthy of immediate reaction from consumers.


With an ample variety of targeted mailing lists at your disposal, you can customize and personalize the subject lines as well.  Using details like the profession or age group of the recipients in the subject line can improve the open rates of your direct mail.  The cross-referencing of multiple targeted mailing lists can give you enough information to personalize the subject lines of your mail.

Taking the Direct Approach

If you are reaching out to recipients with some offer, then you can take a direct approach with the subject line.  Just mention your offer directly in the subject line. If you have launched ‘buy one, get one free’ offer for a certain product, just mention it directly in the subject line.

Besides these measures, make sure that the subject line remains short and simple.  Adding a whole paragraph as a subject line on the envelope won’t produce the results you are looking for. Similarly, verbosity doesn’t help either.

Get in touch with any experienced mailing list broker and start your targeted direct mail campaign. Read further to find out how you can improve the marketing message of your direct mail.