Posts Tagged ‘direct mail design’

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

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

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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…)
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Personalizing Direct Mail Copy

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

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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…)

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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…)

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Understanding how people read your direct mail can increase response

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

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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…)

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

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

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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…)

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How to Kill a Perfectly Good Direct Mail Offer*

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

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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…)

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Is Your Direct Mail Brochure Helping or Hurting?

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

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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…)

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Successful Direct Mail Starts and Ends With the Outer Envelope

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

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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…)

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18 Ways For a More Effective Response Device

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

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The response device is one of the most important components of the mailing. After all, it’s used to complete the sale.

Yet too often, the response device is the last thing we get to when creating the package. Consequently, it’s rushed and doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

We work hard to make sure our envelope design grabs the reader’s attention. And we work and rework our letter copy until we get the reader fired up and ready to part with their money. Unfortunately, the sale is often lost once the (more…)

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How to Use Graphic Devices to Boost Direct Mail Response Rates

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

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This is Part 2 of the findings of an extensive series of eye-camera tests conducted by Professor Siegfried Vogele of the Institute for Direct Marketing in Munich, West Germany. The tests traced eye movements as thousands of men and women opened and read all types of direct mailings and, at the same time, studied emotional reactions by observing body and hand movements.

Once your reader opens the envelope, they take no longer that 11 seconds to decide whether to read your letter or trash it

During this 11-second preview, Professor Vogele found that the reader’s eyes fix only on pictures and headlines — never on the body copy.

The Professor’s findings demonstrated that illustrations play a greater role in determining how the recipient reads your direct mail than any other graphic device.

Before any word of text is even noted, the reader’s eyes will be pulled to photographs and/or drawings. And by understanding the affects of graphics on eye flow, we can boost response rates by directing our reader’s attention to (more…)

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