Graphic Design

Use These 11 Easy Tips To Make Your Direct Mail Letter More Readable

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Download as pdf

When we write a successful direct mail letter, we’re creating a conversation between the letter signer and the recipient. A conversation that persuades the reader to take a certain action.

But to persuade the reader, you must first get them to read your letter.

Here are 11 easy formatting tips that will make your letter more “inviting,” easier to read, and generate greater response.Make your direct mail easier to read and increase response

  1. Make the letter look like a letter. In most cases, you’ll want to print the letter on the organization or company’s letterhead. Practically everyone will recognize the letter as a “mass mailing” but create the perception of a personal letter.
  2. Include a salutation. You wouldn’t start a conversation without a greeting so include a salutation with your letter. And assign title codes. There is nothing more impersonal than “Dear Mr. Tom Jones.” (Even if you only have title codes for half your prospects,use them. Addressing half of your letters by name is better than (more…)
Share

Personalizing Direct Mail Copy

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Download as pdf

You have probably seen how personalizing a direct mail letter can lift response and increase profits.

Personalizing our letter often means having a computer extract information from our database – the recipient’s name, address, past purchases, contribution history, names of elected officials, etc. – and inserting it into the letter copy.

We know this works. It’s been tested countless times and we regularly see the added cost of computer personalization justified by increased profits.

But when used incorrectly, attempts to personalize the letter can actually depersonalize it.

For example, my pet peeve are letters that begin (more…)

Share

How Your Direct Mail Letter’s Layout Can Increase Readership and Response

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

When you get down to basics, a direct mail letter is a conversation between the letter signer and its recipient.

A successful direct mail letter is one that motivates the reader to take a specific action. And to motivate the reader, you’ve got to get them to read your letter.

Yet too often, we receive direct mail letters that are offensive to the eye. Big blocks of text crowd the page. Narrow left and right margins choke the life from the words. And small sans serif type printed over a colored background makes the copy difficult to read.

At best, these letters are uninviting – even intimidating – to read. And with only a few seconds to capture the reader’s attention, any distraction to the reader’s eye flow can doom the mailing.

Higher readership equals greater response

But by applying a few proven techniques to your letter’s layout, you can get the prospect to read further along in your letter. And the more time they spend with your letter, the greater the likelihood of persuading the reader to take the desired action.

Few people – even those who respond – will read the complete letter but you can increase readership of your direct mail letter and achieve a more profitable mailing campaign by following these 11 simple steps. (more…)

Share

Understanding how people read your direct mail can increase response

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Download as pdf

The purpose of a direct mail letter is to motivate the recipient to take a specific course of action. But to persuade the reader to take action, we must first get him or her to read our letter—or at least its key parts.

Readers typically start at the top of a direct mail letter by reading their name in the address and salutation. From here, they go to the end of the letter to see who signed the letter. After the signature, readers typically go to the P.S.Direct mail in mail box

Let’s see how we can use this reading pattern to increase response.

 

Addressing your letter

Your direct mail letter is a one-to-one conversation between the letter’s signer and the recipient, and nothing assures the recipient that your message is intended for him better than seeing his name at the beginning of the letter.

People love to see their name, and today’s technology makes it cost-effective to personalize your mailing. But when you do personalize, use title codes—Mr., Mrs., Rev., etc.—in the salutation. There’s nothing less personal than a letter beginning with “Dear Hugh Chewning.” Without a title code, the attempt to personalize seems insincere and (more…)

Share

How to Make Your Direct Mail More Readable and Achieve Greater Response

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Download as pdf

Too often, we receive direct mail that’s offensive to the eye.

Big blocks of text crowd the page. Narrow left and right margins choke the life from the words. And small sans serif type makes the copy difficult to read.

Visually, these letters are uninviting.

Tips to Increase Readership

Tips to Increase Readership

Graphic designers may love the look of grey-colored type, but readers need text printed with high contrast. Illustrations and graphics can enhance a mailing, but when overused they pull the reader’s eye in so many directions that it’s virtually impossible

What might appeal to someone’s sense of design doesn’t necessarily help the reader. And with only a few seconds to capture the reader’s attention, any distraction to the eye flow can doom the mailing.

Even when you mail award-winning copy with an offer that meets the recipient’s every need, few people—even those who respond to your mailing—will read the entire direct mail letter. But when you follow a few proven techniques, you can lead more readers to the letter’s most (more…)

Share

For Direct Mail Success, Sweat the Details

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Download as pdf

Too often, people and organizations put all their attention into getting the big things right, but ignore the details.

There’s a word to describe this. It’s “mediocrity.”
For direct mail success, sweat the details
Giving attention to the details can’t ensure your success, but ignoring the small stuff can quickly bring about your downfall.

Every detail has bottom-line repercussions and it’s irresponsible to think of any aspect of direct mail as trivial, unimportant or inconsequential.

Here are a few fine points often overlooked in a mailing. None will ensure your success, but collectively, they can make a huge difference in your (more…)

Share

Is Your Direct Mail Brochure Helping or Hurting?

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Download as pdf

With direct mail, it’s often said, “The letter sells while the brochure explains.” With this in mind, it’s important not to let your explanation get in the way of making the sale.

I do a lot of “Beat the Control” work, and whenever I’m up against a package that includes a brochure, my first instinct is to test eliminating the brochure. More times than not, dropping the brochure will increase the mailing’s response.

Why? Because when people are reading your brochure, they aren’t responding. Too often, the brochure becomes a distraction and diverts the reader’s attention from the letter’s call to action.

Yet, there are times when it makes sense to test a brochure.

With some products and services, you can better communicate their benefits with a picture, illustration or (more…)

Share

18 Proven Ideas for a More Effective Order Form

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Download as pdf

Whether you call it an order form, a response form or a response device, it’s one of the most crucial components of any direct response mailing.

The response form is the tool the prospect uses to complete the sale. Yet when creating a new direct mail package, we don’t always give the order form the time, attention and respect it deserves.

Too often, we write copy that excites readers and motivates them to accept our offer only to lose the sale (or contribution) with simple, easy-to-correct design flaws in the order form.

Here are 18 tested and proven ideas you can use to make your response form more profitable. (more…)

Share

Successful Direct Mail Starts and Ends With the Outer Envelope

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Download as pdf

When receiving direct mail, the outer envelope is the first thing we see. Yet too often, its design is an afterthought.

But without a convincing envelope, even the strongest offer and best-written copy will take a quick, one-way trip to the trash.

When creating a new direct mail package, I try to think like a door-to-door salesperson. The outer envelope is my knock on the door and how effectively I use it, will determine the mailing’s success.

ELEMENTS OF THE ENVELOPE

Eye-study research reveals that recipients will spend no more than 7 seconds deciding whether to open the outer envelope. Fortunately, we have five tools we can use to convince the recipient to look inside. These are (more…)

Share

How to Boost Your Direct Mail Profits by Spending More

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Download file as pdf

When times get tough, everyone wants to cut direct mail costs. After all, if we can bring in the same amount of money and spend less, our profits increase.

And there are ways to cut costs without necessarily hurting the effectiveness of your mailing.

Cutting Direct Mail Costs or Making Money

Cut Costs or Make Money?

You can, for example, trim your package format by ¼ inch or so to make it run better on your printer’s press, use a cheaper paper, test smaller formats, omit package inserts or eliminate the premium.

But don’t act too quickly.

Before getting caught up in the rush to cut expenses, we need to remember the objective (more…)

Share