Should I Put a Return Address On My Handwritten Card?

This is a question that comes up a lot when discussing with clients a handwritten campaign. It comes down to the business goals of the campaign because there’s a science behind each approach.

When to USE a Return Address

If you’re reaching out to existing contacts then it is absolutely beneficial to include a return address. Whether it’s in the form of a pre-printed envelope, stamped address, or using our handwriting services to write both the “to” and “return” address.

Some specific cases where it would make sense include:

  • Existing Clients to inform about a new product/service
  • Existing Clients to write a review for the businesses
  • Existing Donors to thank them for a recent contributions
  • Existing Donors promote an upcoming event

These are just a few examples but when the goal is to continue an existing relationship then it makes a lot of sense to include a return address.

When to MAYBE NOT USE a Return Address

While we would never impose how you want to run your campaign, there are some interesting things to consider when omitting a return address, specifically in the case of lead generation.

There is a psychological concept called the “Information Gap Theory of Curiosity” that was observed by behavioral economist George Loewenstein. He stated that when there is a “gap” between what we know and what we want to know, we would take action to “close the gap”.

That’s exactly what leaving out the return address does.

A recipient will receive the handwritten card and immediately notice the handwritten qualities. The lack of a return address will further pique their interest and compel them to open the letter. This will theoretically lead them to open the card and read the information inside.

We have observed that letters that come handwritten have a 99% open rate- much higher than most (if not all) pieces of direct mail.


When working with GhostHandwriter, you’ll quickly notice that we spend the extra effort to understand your business goals and help optimize your campaign using every possible tool and piece of knowledge at our disposal.

We’d love to help you reach your next business goals- give us a shout at

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