We often say that what really is important is what’s inside and not what’s outside. Maybe this is true in a lot of things – relationships, people, book packaging, food packaging, and all sorts of packaging. But one thing is a strong exception to this rule (or truth): direct mail and email marketing. With these programs, the value of your efforts will depend on the very first impression that the reader (your mail’s recipient) gets based from looking at the mail.

The first few seconds are vital, which means you need to put in loads of effort and dedication to create the most appealing – yet with relevant content – mail ever. Use color. Use clever quotes or lines. Most of all, practice brevity. The moment a person sees that the message needs more than a couple of minutes to finish reading, it’ll go straight to trash. So go straight to the point. Avoid fluff words and beating around the bush. Cut the bush altogether if you have to.

If you are new at these things, it is best to hear out the advice of those who have been in the business for some time and have been successful at it. Experimentation is good, but only for so long. You don’t want to lose more money than you’re able to make.

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