10 Elements Every Direct Mail Piece Should Have
by: Joe Niewierski
Don’t want your direct mail to end up in the trash with the rest of the unread mail? Studies show an effective direct mail campaign should draw a .5 to 1 percent response. These 10 tips will help you get the results you want:
1. A clear, bold headline. On the envelope or front of the mailer there should be one central message. The best way to achieve that is with a bold, clear headline that’s not cluttered up with other text. A good guideline is to have the headline fill up at least 15% of the front of the mailer.
2. A graphic that supports the message. The graphic should be easy to understand and add to the message the headline is trying to convey. For instance, if you are trying to get people to list their home you would want to show a home with SOLD sign clearly visible out front. That graphic reinforces the message more than a simple picture of a home.
3. Color that pops. Make the headline and other text stand out by using a color that stands out from the background color. When you look at the card, ask yourself, “What do I see first?” If your answer isn’t the headline, you might want to tweak the colors.
4. Subheads that lead into text. If you have a couple of paragraphs of text with no lead in, there’s nothing to entice people to actually read the copy. A subhead will give people a place to start reading. If you have only a 100 words or so you may be able to get away with it, but if the text gets any longer than that the average reader will want to have some guideposts along the way.
5. Benefits, benefits, benefits. One of the biggest errors people make in advertising is stating features, rather than benefits. For example, never assume recipients know what benefit can be derived from a lower interest rate on their mortgage. Let them know how their monthly payments will go down.
6. The offer. An offer is always a good idea and should represent a specific reason to call now, such as “Limited supply” or “Interest rates are climbing.”
7. Your company name and logo. Although this needs to be on the mailer, it shouldn’t overshadow the offer. Customers care most about what you can do for them.
8. Call to action. Tell prospects exactly what you want them to do. “Call today for more information” or “See us online” are two of the most common desired actions.
9. Contact information. Provide your name, phone number, and Web address directly following the call to action. Whatever you ask prospects to do, give them the means to do it easily.
10. Return address. A return address ensures you’ll get returned mail from the post office and sends a message that you’re an established professional. People feel better knowing the company they’re dealing with has an actual location.
About The Author
Joe Niewierski, the VP of Marketing & Promotion at PostcardMania, became a published writer after graduating with a BA in Advertising from the University of South Florida. Joy Gendusa founded PostcardMania in 1998; her only assets a computer and a phone. In 2004 the company did close to $9 million in sales and employs over 60 persons. She attributes her explosive growth to her ability to choose incredible staff and her innate marketing savvy. Now she’s sharing her marketing secrets with others. For more free marketing advice, visit her website at www.postcardmania.com.
This article was posted on February 21, 2005