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Best Practices for managing Return Mail

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Believe it or not, return mail is an opportunity to reconnect with your customer while also cleaning out your database and updating details. When an envelope comes back to you hopefully these three simple tips to help you turn dead mail into something better.


Return mail is an opportunity to reconnect with your customer while cleaning out your database and updating client details.

Tip Number 1: Don’t leave return mail lying around – process it as quickly as possible.

Tip Number 2: Where you have a returned piece of mail but still have an active phone number – call immediately and say ‘Hey! We just sent you a letter with an offer in it and it came back to us!’. You’ll get customers that tell you to go away, don’t worry about them, be patient and wait as there will be customers genuinely interested in updating their details. Thank them and ask if you can send them the letter or invite them back to the store.

Tip Number 3: Throughout the year, make it policy to ask your walk-in customer if you can quickly double check their address details;

“Can I check your address details we have on record?” – This way you are establishing you already have the information, but it may need updating.

“Why?”, or “No Thanks!”; then;

“Every year we send out pre-sale promotion with an offer, you could call it a VIP sale, you get to see sale items before the general public.”


Yes, there are new privacy laws with phoning and emailing people (There’s no problem sending posted letters). If you already have their contact details I don’t believe it’s a problem? Providing an ‘opt-out’ is what you need to consider.

The REAL problem is people are inundated with calls / texts / messages / scams / phishing these days so it’s important not to make it a sales call – make it more personal – “How are you going to today?”, “It’s Brittany from the store on High Street and we haven’t seen you in a while have we?”. The trick is to be casual, aim for a conversation, make it natural, listen to them and be genuinely interested. You do it every day, so I know you how to do this!

Good luck!

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