Preparing An Effective Direct Mail Piece

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In this age of social media, text message marketing and online remarketing, direct marketing is still the most efficient way to get up close and personal with your past, present and future customers.

The cornerstone of reaching out and touching someone is creating a dynamic, persuasive offer. Here are some tips to help you create a strong foundation for your next direct mail campaign.

Know your objective

Even if an active response is not required, be honest and direct about what you are trying to accomplish. If a reply is desired, pinpoint the exact action you want the reader to take, build your response device first then coordinate other media around it.

Keep wording clear, concise and user‐friendly

Follow the time‐tested formula of AIDA:

  • Attention
  • Interest
  • Desire
  • Action

Messages structured around this model will be sure to get your point across effectively. Whatever your objective, don’t forget to ask for action. Whether it is simply to fill out and mail a reply card or to think positively about your product or service, a call for action is a must.

Once you’ve determined the desired results of your campaign, take advantage of the many features of direct mail that other media can’t match. Direct mail is a purely physical presentation, utilizing a myriad of visual and tactile senses to reach the reader. For example, direct mail is the only method for introducing powerful attention getters in the form of novelties like cutouts, pop-ups, odd shapes and patterns or actual samples of your product. Direct mail also offers total flexibility in production, with no limitations on space or format, use of color, etc.

The next best thing to personal contact, direct mail is the most effective medium for conducting test marketing or research on your potential customers. When coordinated with email or focus groups, direct mail can be a powerful influence on your marketing efforts.

Through the use of action devices, like business reply cards, postage‐paid envelopes, order blanks, coupons or surveys, direct mail can stimulate sales, increase your customer base, provide valuable information, generate sales leads and a host of other benefits.

Make the most of direct mail and its ability to deliver a mass audience message in a way that feels absolutely personal and confidential.


Bill Nichols

July 3, 2014

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