Make your direct mail campaign into the workhorse it was always intended to be by following these few tips:
Do your homework. Study your customer in detail and learn everything you can about your audience. Do not only learn about your audience, respect them. This research is invaluable.
Simplify the content. A common writing acronym is “KISS — Keep it short and simple.” In other words, you do not have a lot of time to get to the point before your reader loses interest.
Just as it is with fishing: If you can’t effectively hook ‘em, you’re probably gonna lose ‘em. (People do still read long copy—depending on the subject—but the expression, “The more you tell, the more you sell” doesn’t necessarily translate in direct mail.)
Get to the heart of the matter. What does the product do and who is it for? Since most people scan copy—draw attention to the important pieces of information (and repeat it for effect).
Boil down the basics. Focus on the offer. Tell the reader what is in it for him or her, stressing the benefits, not the features. How will it improve their lives?
Back your claims to create trust. Reliable data will build trust and credibility. Use facts and stats, case studies, testimonials, and success stories. Real quotes personalize your story.
Write headlines that compel people to feel … and ACT. According to advertising legend David Ogilvy (founder of the New York-based ad agency Hewitt, Ogilvy, Benson & Mather, which eventually became Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide), “On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” Words pack a punch. Make your headline a knockout.
Give it eye appeal. Write the copy so that it’s not only attention-grabbing but easy to digest. This means large blocks of copy should be broken into smaller blocks whenever possible.
Also, avoid clutter in the design. A clean, streamlined design with large images or infographics is much more visually appealing than a busy layout. Make every photo relevant; make design elements count.
Include a strong CTA. The call to action is key. What action do you want your readers to take? What’s their incentive? What’s the value?
When done correctly, the right words in a direct mail campaign can give consumers a reason to want to buy a product or take advantage of an offer, providing you with a better chance of reaching your goal.