Need a surefire way to boost your direct marketing response rates through the roof? Take a page out of the U.S. Census Bureau's playbook and make it a crime to disregard your mailing.
Here you see their envelope creative clearly stating "YOUR RESPONSE IS REQUIRED BY LAW":
Inside the envelope you find an 8-page survey with 82 questions such as, "what was the total amount of capital used to start or acquire this business?"
What happens if you don't respond? According to Title 13 of the United States Code, Chapter 7, Sub-chapter II, Section 224:
"Whoever, being the owner, official, agent, person in charge, or assistant to the person in charge, of any company, business, institution, establishment, religious body, or organization of any nature whatsoever, neglects or refuses, when requested by the Secretary or other authorized officer or employee of the Department of Commerce or bureau or agency thereof, to answer completely and correctly to the best of his knowledge all questions relating to his company, business, institution, establishment, religious body, or other organization, or to records or statistics in his official custody, contained on any census or other schedule or questionnaire prepared and submitted to him under the authority of this title, shall be fined not more than $500; and if he willfully gives a false answer to any such question, he shall be fined not more than $10,000."
So, if I understand this correctly, it will cost you $500 if you don't respond and $10,000 if you lie.
That's certainly a compelling "value proposition." I wish I could use that for our marketing programs !