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9 Easy Steps to Direct Mail Success

Aug 17, 2007
Many businesses use direct mail as a method of acquiring new customers. Your mailing piece must be well written to achieve the type of response that will make the effort worthwhile, especially financially, since postage and printing costs make it an expensive method of advertising .

But it works! Well-written direct mail can bring in hundreds and thousands of new customers . Your writing efforts are not merely a cost in constructing a direct mail letter in fact, you can help a company earn substantially more as a result of a successful direct mail campaign.

Effective direct mail creates an image in a clients mind. That vision is primarily one in which the persons life will be enhanced by the purchase of the product or service being advertised. This is your goal. to help the potential customer see how much better things will be because of what you are advertising in the letter.

Here are 9 ways to make a direct mail letter effective.

1. The opening of the letter should be treated with the same reverence as a headline. You have to grab the readers attention quickly and make them want to keep on reading. It may be the outside of the direct mail envelope that starts the process. If its good enough, the person tears open the envelope and begins reading. Then the headline andfirst paragraph of the letter must create the same effect. to keep the person reading.

2. There must be reasons to keep reading, usually in the form of some benefits. Because the person opened the envelope, there is a free offer. Then, when reading the first paragraph, more benefits jump out; the value of the service or product, perhaps. Put in a good benefit with each paragraph and keep the paragraphs short!

3. Do not offer benefits that are not believable. Do not make promises you can not keep. The idea is not to make people skeptical, but to make them see the tangible benefits that you offer are valid. To this end, be specific. General terms usually provoke disbelief, while actual specifics are shown to have more honest-sounding appeal.

4. Understand the product or service yourself. Would you buy it? If so, why? If you understand why you would buy it, you can set about convincing people using those same thoughts.

5. Use third party affirmations, if available. If it is only your copy, it will not leave as good an impression as the insertion of a few outside quotes from others, testifying to the effectiveness of the product or service.

6. Simplicity sells! Short sentences. Short paragraphs. Easy words. You are not out to win the Pulitzer Prize. You only want individuals to respond to your letter. They will if they understand the benefits of doing so. Keep it simple!

7. Be explicit with your instructions. The letter must not only detail the great benefits, but tell the person exactly what they must do to obtain them. Be specific and make it easy to respond, including a postage-paid card or a toll-free number are usually great methods.

8. Freebies earn responses. Giving something away usually helps the response dramatically.

9. Convince the reader that the product or service being advertised is backed up by a strong company that guarantees the results and benefits detailed in the letter. Readers must be convinced of the authenticity and the ability to back up the strong comments within the letter.

By following these 9 simple steps, you can create a profitable direct mail campaign.
About the Author
John F. Abate, MBA - Copywriters Software
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