5 best practices for developing a direct mail strategy that will help reach your marketing goals On the fence about adding direct mail into your marketing mix.
Direct mail copy that sells is copy that focuses on what the audience wants to see and makes it worth their while to take the next step
There’s a lot that goes into creating a great direct mail marketing campaign, and perhaps the most important aspect is the copy. The way that you speak to your audience and communicate your offers determines whether the reader turns into a customer.
The keys to creating engaging direct mail copy are to identify your audience, get their attention, and present them with offers that they can’t refuse. Don’t let the copy become more complicated than it has to be: The fewer words you can use to get your offers to your readers, the better you can expect your campaign to perform.
Here are six more tips for making sure the copy in your campaign will convince readers to take the next steps.
1. Know your audience
The first step in developing copy that will sell your products is identifying your audience. Use a variety of factors, including age, income, location, and gender. It’s essential to do your research before developing your copy to guarantee you’re reaching the right people with your message.
Keep in mind that if your product or service applies to a variety of audience types, you can write multiple ad variations and use a variable printing technique to ensure the right copy gets to the right consumers.
2. Create attention-grabbing headings
Back in 1963, marketing revolutionary David Ogilvy suggested that five times more consumers read the headlines than the actual copy. This remains true today, so your writer’s job is to make your headings and subheads compelling, even exciting.
Make every heading short and to the point. Generally, you want to use eight or fewer words in your entries because that is the maximum number of words most readers can comprehend at a glance.
Your headings should state the benefits of your product or service because that is the most crucial part of your advertisement. Also consider asking the audience a question for which your product provides an answer. Asking a question shows that you understand your audience’s pain points and have a solution to the problem.
3. Explain the benefits of your product or service, not the features
Your direct mail copy should clearly explain the benefits of your product or service. While you may be tempted to list all the features of your product, remember that customers really care about how it helps them. Focusing on the benefits, how it solves the user’s problems, helps you connect with the customer’s needs.
Identifying the pain points of potential customers, the benefits of your product will be the ways that it provides help or relief to these problems. For example, if you’re advertising personal loans, your copy could tell readers how an influx of cash would make their lives better. Think twice before focusing on interest rates and other information that might make them second guess their decision.
By focusing on how the product benefits the reader, rather than going through its features, you make the product more attractive, increasing the likelihood of a sale.
4. Make every paragraph a short one
Your direct mail pieces likely won’t have room for a whole lot of text, so it’s vital to avoid large blocks of information. Try to keep each paragraph to three or fewer sentences to leave room for white space that will direct readers to the most critical information.
Each idea you present should have its own paragraph, as well, because putting too much information into any given section can be confusing. Be careful not to give your audience an overwhelming amount of information—the goal is to make a sale, not to tell your life story.
5. Include a can’t-miss offer
Do you have an offer that will make your direct mail stand out? Consumers see thousands of advertisements per day, so provide a tantalizing offer if you want your piece to stay out of the trash bin.
The key is to make your offer so valuable that the reader is unlikely to turn it down. The proposal should also require some sort of action by the customer to activate. Use engaging words like “free” and “exclusive” to show the customer that they’re receiving a good deal the general public will not see.
You might also consider creating a sense of urgency by limiting the offer’s timeframe or using the word “today” to make it seems as though the proposal will disappear if not activated immediately.
6. Have a clear call to action
Your call to action should clearly tell customers what you want them to do.
Is your goal to have them phone you? Then give them the number and tell them to call.
Would you like the reader to visit your website and place an online order? Present the web address and any promo codes that you’ve included in an easy-to-see location.
Adding a sense of urgency to your call to action is also useful because it lets the customer know that if they want to take advantage of your offer, they’ll have to act fast.
Remember, the purpose of your direct mail campaign is to make sales, so don’t beat around the bush: Tell your customers what you want them to do and let them know how and where they can do it.
Produce direct mail that works for you
Now that you know what your direct mail copy should include, put the material together and send it to your readers. As long as you keep your text simple and clearly state your product’s benefits while providing a special offer and a call to action, your audience will respond favorably to the campaign.
Gunderson Direct provides professional direct mail services that will keep your campaign on brand, on time, and on budget throughout the entire process. Contact us today to learn more about how we can get you the best return on your investment in direct mail marketing.