The Top 5 Things Your Direct Mail Piece Needs

Direct Mail is one of the most effective tools you can use to market your business—according to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), direct mail boasts a 4.4% response rate, compared to email’s average response rate of 0.12%. If you develop a campaign keeping these five tips in mind, you can increase those response rates even more.

1. Write good copy that clearly outlines the benefits of your offer. A direct mail piece should contain the following copy elements:

  • An intriguing headline. Questions often garner high response rates, especially if that question hits on an issue your prospect is facing.
  • Copy that clearly describes the benefits of your offer. Make the copy about the problem you are solving for your prospect and the benefits they can expect. In a direct mail piece, features are of little interest to the reader. If they think you can provide benefit to them, they’ll follow up to learn about the features.
  • Subheads. Subheads break up long blocks of copy and are a good way to draw attention to specific benefits. You may not need a subhead on a postcard mailing, but on multi-page letters, you need to give your readers a guidepost.

2. Provide a call to action. You need to create a sense of urgency and a reason for your prospects to follow up. Tell them exactly what you want them to do, such as “Come into the store by May, 1 to get a 20% discount,” or “Call today to get our lowest interest rate.” Something like “See us online” isn’t compelling unless you can give them something when the visit your website.

3. Make sure the graphics support the message. Whatever type of image you want to use, it should relate to your message. For example, if you are selling gym memberships, an image of people working out in your gym is appropriate. If you’re offering a post holiday discount membership for your gym, an image of someone looking ill from eating too many cookies may work.

4. Contact information. This may seem obvious, but people have been known to forget to put their address, phone number, or website on direct mail pieces. Without a way to find you, your prospects can’t, well, find you. You should also have a return address on the piece so that you can get returns from the post office, which will help you clean up your list.

5. A good mailing list. Perhaps this one should really go first because without a quality mailing list, your offer won’t end up in the right hands. With the right mailing list, you can target your mailing to the people who want or need your offer. Do you refinance mortgages? Buy a homeowners list. Do you have a day spa? Segment your list by zip code and lifestyle habits. Whatever you need, a good mailing list provider can help you get it. Learn how to buy a quality mailing list here.

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