Direct mail refers to the sales letters sent to people on marketing lists. These sales letters, for everything from mail order companies to psychics to charities, try to appeal to customers directly through a letter. Many companies like direct mail campaigns because they allow companies to address customers by name and allow customers to respond easily – pre-paid envelopes are usually included. Companies such as Reader’s Digest have enjoyed phenomenal success with direct mail campaigns and you can, too. However, there are a few challenges with direct mail – since most customers get a great deal of direct mail (especially if they are on several marketing lists) you need to make your copy stand out by using a few professional copywriting tips and tools:
• Find out as much as you can about your target audience or market list: If you know what types of services and businesses customers have chosen in the past, what types of hobbies they enjoy and what their age and income bracket is, you have a much better chance of creating copy that will sell. After all, you will write very different copy in a direct mail letter sent to 40-year old avid hunters than you will to teenage girls with an interest in music.
• Start with an emotional appeal: Virtually all direct email copy begins with a strong emotional appeal that is meant to make your reader actually pause long enough to read your marketing message. Whether your initial header is an anecdote about how life can change thanks to your service or product or whether your initial “hook” is the suggestion of an emotionally charged benefit (such as “you may have already won $10 million dollars”) the important thing is that you offer some bonus or interest in your copy right away which will peak reader interest.
• Persuade, persuade, persuade: Your direct mail copy needs to be very persuasive. After all, it is only the words on the page that can sell your company – there is no multimedia presentation or personal sales person there to convince the reader. It is best if you appeal at every level. That is, make an emotional appeal to begin, but go on to provide many logical reasons as to why your business can help customers
• Batter down objections before your reader thinks of them: Customers reading your marketing copy may be intrigued about your business, but according to experts in the field of psychology, they may subconsciously or consciously be telling themselves why they should not give your business a try. Customers reading advertising message often find flaws or come up with reasons not to buy a product. Commonly, customers will think “I will look up this business later” or “I don’t really need this” or “this is too expensive.” Through your marketing research, it is important to find out what customers may be telling themselves that makes them hesitate and then instil some counter-arguments in your marketing copy. For example, you may encourage readers to act now because an offer is only valid for a limited time. You may provide exact prices or offer financing options to show readers that your company is affordable.
• Make the next action clear: Give your readers specific actions they can take to take advantage of the incredible offers you are providing. For instance, in the close of your copy, you may remind readers to phone in or mail their orders in today because the offer you are making is only for a limited time.
•Always offer an incentive: Whether it is a free gift, a discount, or some other bonus, make sure that readers are very motivated to contact you right away.
• Focus on the envelope copy or outside copy: Many readers scan the outside of envelopes only or just look at the first few lines of copy. You need to make these areas of your copy irresistible in order to make readers keep reading.