In this post I’d like to talk about the 3 most important parts of any direct mailing.
Get them right and you’ll dramatically improve your response. Get them wrong and your mailing will be a waste of time (and money.)
Let’s start with the first part of any direct mailing: The offer.
Your offer must be compelling
Paying for a mailing without a strong offer is a waste of money. If your offer stinks, no one will respond.
Ideally, you want an offer that sells itself – something so irresistible that your reader takes action that very moment.
Give your readers something they actually want.
15% off store-wide? You’re kidding, right?
Buy one get one free? Depending on what you’re selling, this might work.
It has to be something worth your customer’s time. If you want a really strong offer, you’re probably going to need to step outside your comfort zone a little.
If you’re not willing to put out a strong offer, there’s no point in doing direct mail. Do not waste the money. There are other ways to market your products or services.
Having a strong offer is non-negotiable if you want to see results. Make your offer irresistible, and your readers will respond. But the offer is only the first part. Mailing to the right list is also important.
Your list must be targeted
Your list and offer will account for most of whether your mailing works or doesn’t.
The key with list building is quality over quantity.
A larger list is not necessarily better. You want to mail to people who will find your offer compelling. If you’re a divorce attorney, you wouldn’t mail to a bunch of single 20-something’s would you?
What traits do your ideal customers share? Put together a list of people with those traits. If you’re not sure where to begin, there are brokers available to help you build a well-targeted list.
But what do you do once you have your list?
Finally, we come to everyone’s favorite part: Writing the letter.
Your copy should be easy to read.
A great offer does you no good if no one reads it. Your job is to make them read it.
You say you’re not a world class writer?
No sweat. You don’t need to be. All you need to do are two simple things:
- Write like you talk. If you can do this, you’ll be ahead of most everyone else out there. Don’t sweat the grammar. Read your letter out loud. It should sound conversational.
- Respect the white space. This isn’t your high school writing class. Keep your paragraphs short (2-3 sentences at max.)
Occasional one-sentence paragraphs are to be encouraged.
When you hit people with long blocks of text they tend to stop reading. When they stop reading, your letter gets tossed in the trash.
And there you have it. The three keys to a successful direct mail campaign.
Strong offer, targeted list, and readable copy – 3 essential pieces of any direct mailing. Get them right, and watch the response pour in.
Mess them up, and all you’re likely to hear is crickets chirping.