Before you write one word of copy, write down the purpose of your direct marketing piece. It should just be a sentence or two. Perhaps the mailer is designed to drive new customers to your landing page. Or, its purpose is to increase sales for the first quarter through a limited-time discount. Based on your clearly stated goal, write your marketing copy. Give the most important part of your message the most emphasis. Don’t, as they say in journalism, “bury the lead” in other words, fail to mention, upfront, the most important part of the message.
Use large, easy-to-read type and place the message where it will be seen and read quickly. The average U.S. household might spend 30 minutes with their mail each day according to a United States Postal Service survey, but chances are direct marketing is getting only a smidgen of the attention as folks review bills and bank statements and read magazines and birthday cards.
Why make something obviously impersonal when there are so many ways to personalize messages? Having a robust mailing list, with full names and other personal information, is elementary. Variable printing allows you to make messages personal by using people’s names and other personal information. If the address area is peppered with bar codes, find ways to make them less obtrusive. Move the bar codes away from the name/address block, perhaps near the bottom of the mailing. And use a postage meter or a real stamp instead of a postal imprint. People are always shocked to learn we use real stamps for direct marketing — we do it all the time.
In my next blog, I’ll fill you in on some neat ways to make your direct mail stand out in a stack of mail.
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