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How to Create Direct Mail that Delights Prospects

Direct mail is an often under-appreciated form of advertising. Let’s face it, our first instinct is to quickly toss it away so we can get on with our day. But direct mail shouldn’t be so quickly discounted in a marketing strategy.

The possibility for direct mail with good response rates is promising, especially because it stands out as different from all the online advertising we now consume. But competition is still tough—in between the other coupons, bills and magazines, people don’t make much time for leisurely mail reading. Keep your message short and sweet to increase the chances of recipients reading your entire mail piece.

And what do recipients’ mail reading habits mean for you? It means you have a couple of seconds (maybe less) to get noticed. So do just that. Here are our favorite tips for creating delightful, must-read direct mail pieces.

A little humor goes a long way. Add some human spark to the voice of your direct mail. Dare to be funny. But don’t let your humor get in the way of the original purpose of your mailing.

Make your offer up front. Don’t make readers dig for the benefit you’re offering—put it up top and prominent. Oh, and make it something of value to your audience. Turn the focus away from your business and back to the prospect.

Direct mail is strongest when partnered up with another form of marketing. Whether that’s a QR code, landing page on your website, or even making a traditional follow-up phone call, don’t rely on a single direct mail piece to do the whole job.

What’s more important than what you’re saying is who you’re saying it to. Make sure you have a reliable list of recipients and that you’re sending to a segment of your audience that will be interested in your offer.

Personalization helps response rates. Consider employing variable text and images based on the information you have about your prospects. If you know their gender, for instance, you can select appropriate photos for either a man or woman.

Follow these tips and your direct mail will have a fighting chance. Channel your inner Godfather and “give them an offer they can’t refuse.” (Sorry, we had to.)

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