5 Essential Elements of Direct Mail

At its simplest, a direct mail campaign can be just a printed post card, with your sales message on one side and the prospect's name and address on the back. However, the most successful campaigns include a letter, brochure, newsletter, price list, or coupon etc. contained in an envelope. The best campaigns use a sophisticated combination of elements designed to:

Attract Attention – Stimulate Interest – Created Desire – Motivate Action

Here are the basic elements of a good Direct Mail Piece:

  1. The Envelope

    Yes, this is important. While a regular size envelope will save you money, a larger envelope, or one with a unique size or shape, will help to attract attention and get your prospect to open it!
  2. The Letter

    Other than the envelope, the letter is the most important part of the mailing. Write a good covering letter, personally addressed to the recipient, explaining your product or service. You can also include items such as a brochure, catalogue, price list, coupon or business reply card.

    Writing letters for direct mail is an art form and many people make their living writing them. If you believe you can write effectively, then go for it. There are many books available that can help you achieve success. However, you can save yourself a lot of time and money by hiring a professional copywriter. Their experience and skill could mean the difference between failure and success.
  3. A Reply Deadline

    You should always include a deadline for response. This creates a sense of urgency even if it is artificially fabricated, like those "order now before we run out" ads you see and hear on infomercials. Most successful mailings incorporate some kind of time sensitive offer, which encourages a rapid response. Without this, most people will put off replying to your offer - sometimes forever! A money off voucher, an order form, or a reply-paid envelope will increase your response rate.
  4. A Telephone Number, E-Mail Address Or URL

    You would be amazed at how many people forget to include their contact information. Make it easy for your reader and include this information in several places in your mailing.
  5. Testimonials

    Third-party endorsements are always more effective than your own sales pitch. Use quotes from satisfied customers (with their permission) and/or a celebrity endorsement to add weight to your claims.
  6. Give Something Away

    It doesn’t have to be much, but it should provide enough incentive or create enough desire for the prospect to reply. The alternative to giving away something is to offer customers a discount like “buy two – get one free.”

For more information about how to create a great Direct Mail Letter, please download our Free eBook. There are lots of great tips inside!

Next: Points To Remember About Direct Mail

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