Case study: How BRFKredit achieved a 90% response rate


Handwritten envelopes have a significant impact on response rates, as demonstrated by a study in 2002, which found that handwritten addresses received nearly three times as many responses compared to printed labels. This effect can be explained by the fact that most mailboxes are filled with impersonal printed materials, like bills and advertisements, that show no appreciation for the recipient. These items often end up in the trash. In contrast, a handwritten envelope stands out and prompts the recipient to prioritize it, making it more likely to be opened. The expressed appreciation in a handwritten address makes all the difference.

The BRFkredit case study provides valuable insights into the power of handwritten envelopes. In this case, the goal was to effectively reach a specific group of customers to offer them advantageous refinancing options, creating a win-win situation. The challenge was reaching households in financial distress who rarely opened letters due to the associated psychological burden. Conventional methods of communication were ineffective in engaging them.

The solution was to use neutral, handwritten envelopes without a logo. All envelopes were addressed by hand to create a sense of importance and personalization for the recipients. The result was impressive, with BRFkredit achieving a response rate of over 90%. Nine out of ten customers (out of 1,300 recipients) responded to the letters. This successful campaign allowed BRFkredit to offer advantageous refinancing to the majority of their customers, relieving them of financial burdens and resulting in substantial savings of $18-27 million.

This impressive BRFKredit success story demonstrates that handwritten envelopes can yield extraordinary results by leveraging behavioral science. Using handwritten envelopes not only saves the company money but also alleviates customer concerns and difficulties. In many contexts, it is worth considering the strategic use of handwritten envelopes or letters to achieve meaningful outcomes.