Posts Tagged ‘direct mail copywriting’

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

Your Direct Mail Letter’s “John Hancock” Can Help Drive Results

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Download as pdf

Your letter signer is a person with a story to tell. A story that may give you new ways to relate to your mailing’s recipients.

Successful direct mail is a conversation between two people – the letter signer and the mailing’s recipient.

The more information you have about the mailing’s recipient, the better the conversation you can have.

Your Direct Mail Letter's "John Hancock" Can Help Drive Results

Knowing your Letter Signer’s Story Can Help Drive Results

It’s like going to a party and meeting someone new. You can captivate his or her attention for a few moments by talking about yourself. But if you want to hold their attention, you need to ask about their interests and direct the conversation toward them.

This is why successful copywriters study mailing lists.

Understanding the demographics, interests and history of the mailing’s recipients is the listening part of the direct mail conversation.

But your letter also has a voice. It’s the voice of the letter signer.

The copywriter speaks for the letter signer. And by taking time to understand the speaker’s background (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

5 Common Direct Mail Mistakes to Avoid

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Download as PDF

We all make mistakes, but years ago a teacher told me, “If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not doing enough.”

Mistakes can be learning experiences, but as valuable as it is to learn from our own mistakes, it can be more profitable to learn from the mistakes of others.5 Common Direct Mail Mistakes

Throughout my 30-plus years of direct marketing, here are five of the most common mistakes I see mailers make. And regardless of our own experience, we can always profit from the lessons others had to learn the hard way.

 

1. Refusing to make a long-term commitment to direct mail

Successful direct mail is methodical. It requires a plan and the discipline to follow the plan. It is not a get-rich-quick scheme.

Not everything will go right on every mailing. Whether you are a startup or a mature mailer, some tests (more…)

Share

How to Help Your Direct Mail Copywriter Make You Money

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Download as pdf

Whether you’re promoting an idea, a product or a service, successful direct mail copy persuades the reader to take a desired course of action.

Years ago, the televangelist Don Stewart successfully wrote to his supporters saying, “Send $25 now. I’ll explain later.”

But today we live in an “age of skepticism,” and without facts to support the letter’s claims—and a clear understanding of the mailing’s purpose—the direct mail copywriter cannot write his or her most persuasive appeal.

Facts help build creditability, and every promise needs to be supported with believable data. But, to do his or her best work, the direct mail copywriter needs more than product information. Before beginning to write, your copywriter also needs (more…)

Share

How to Kill a Perfectly Good Direct Mail Offer*

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Download as pdf

Direct mail is a sales medium. We use it to sell ideas, products and services. And like any other form of sales, its success is based on trust.

Regardless of how much the prospect may value your offer, if he or she doesn’t trust the person attempting to make the sale, it’s not going to happen.

In direct mail, our salesperson is the letter signer. And to establish trust we use testimonials, money-back guarantees and clear, straightforward language.

By definition, an asterisk “indicates omission…”

An asterisk signifies that the claim being made isn’t complete. There are qualifications and/or limitations to what you’re being told. In blunt terms, an asterisk says that (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

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

How to Get More Value from Your Direct Mail Copywriter

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Download Article as a pdf

When I started my direct marketing career, I wanted to be a copywriter. Copywriters were the agency “hotshots”; it seemed like they were the star attraction.

Yet my mentor told me that the people of most value to the agency were direct mail “generalists.” Taking his advice, I spent the next six years learning how to initiate, develop and manage successful direct mail campaigns.

I studied list selection, graphic layouts, the letter’s structure, print production and lettershop capabilities. And I gave special attention to what and how to test.Empowering the Direct Mail Copywriter

Yet today, most of my income comes from direct mail copywriting.

Over the years, I’ve tested (more…)

Share