99 Tips for Direct Mail Marketing

Kick your marketing into high gear with these 99 ways to get customers to open your mail.

  • Give a free gift to increase response
  • Highlight the free-gift offer prominently
  • Use short copy to tease the reader to read further or respond
  • Minimize the use of buzz words
  • Make your offer easy to respond to
  • Prove any claims with details to add credibility
  • Ask for the order right away
  • Use graphics and color to support the message and text
  • Offer a free trial to eliminate risk
  • Hire a professional copywriter for your content
  • Hire a professional graphic designer
  • Make your offer easy to understand at a glance
  • Promise many benefits
  • Give many reasons to buy
  • Use all the formatting available with taste
  • Have your direct mail reviewed by an objective third party
  • Use colored paper to make impact and save on printing costs
  • Consult with a direct-mail specialist
  • Use a reply card or other reply mechanism
  • Put a headline on the envelope
  • Survey customers about what they’ll respond to
  • Include postage-paid return cards or envelopes
  • End a page with the middle of a sentence to encourage more reading
  • Personalize as much as you can
  • Use a Post-It note for greater impact and attention
  • Make the offer very prominent in the copy
  • Use a no-risk guarantee
  • Keep track of target recipients, replies and follow-up
  • Tell the whole story
  • Keep paragraphs short
  • Break up long copy with graphics or white space
  • Don’t dwell on history or background
  • Offer a free-trial period
  • State your geographical service area even if its global, national, regional or local
  • Keep the sales pitch positive and highlight the benefits
  • Include a call to action; tell your readers exactly what you want them to do
  • Use a “P.S.”–its one of the most frequently read parts of the copy
  • Make it easy to purchase: credit cards, terms, etc.
  • Offer a discount for a quick response and order
  • Make a simple order form for faxing
  • Always put a sense of urgency and deadline in your copy
  • Put a picture of a phone by your phone number
  • Put testimonials at the top of the content and by the call to action
  • Use typestyles that are easy to read, not a mix of them
  • Have a call to action at the beginning, middle and end of your copy
  • Use free information, free samples and a free demonstration as a marketing hook
  • Offer a free consultation in addition to the free information hook
  • Separate features and benefits (emphasize benefits)
  • Use bullet points and small segments of information
  • Use subheadings and subtitles
  • Include a toll-free number if you have one
  • Get your readers involved with a contest
  • Use a tear-out coupon or one with a printed perforation
  • Ask plain questions and offer a simple solution
  • Put in a photo of yourself or an associate’s to personalize it
  • Make promises; keep promises
  • “Free” is still a motivating word–use it and highlight it
  • Use handwritten notes or comments on your direct-mail piece
  • Guarantee customer satisfaction
  • Offer proof of the benefits
  • Include case studies and success stories
  • Restate your offer often, especially at the end of the communication
  • Use captions, sayings or titles under all photos
  • Order your mailing list or compile it way in advance of your execution date
  • Test your list and use “Address Correction Requested” to clean your list
  • Mail to vendors as well as target prospects
  • Outsource things you don’t do best: printing, mail prep, design, etc.
  • Put yourself on all mailing lists
  • Work with a list broker to tighten list specifications
  • Test different copy, headlines and offers
  • Use graphics on the outside of envelopes
  • Measure results and calculate ROM (Return on Mailing) dollars
  • Code your mailings to measure response
  • Mail frequently to a smaller subset of your list
  • Plan and prepare enough mailings for three months at a time
  • Use color
  • Do a co-op mailing with a fusion marketing partner or power partner
  • White space is good–a clean look is professional and easy to read
  • Print in large quantities to take advantage of cheaper printing prices
  • Use mailing pieces as handouts and for sales kits
  • Mail to PR contacts
  • Self-mailers are read more than stuffed envelopes
  • Postcards are very efficient; usually both sides are looked at
  • Print on the flap of the envelope to increase exposure
  • Create excitement: “Act Now!”, “For a limited time!”, “Hurry while it lasts!”
  • Deliver stacks of left-over printed items to trade organizations
  • Its OK to send the same piece over and over for consistency
  • Mail to educational institutions
  • Create fun for you and your prospect with your campaign
  • Tie other marketing to your mailings
  • Put your website address on all mailing pieces
  • Odd shapes work, too
  • Mail with stamps get opened before metered mail
  • Include pre-stamped reply envelopes
  • Don’t delay your mailing by trying to mail in bulk on one day
  • Include a business card in a letter
  • Lumpy mail gets attention–it gets opened and gets a good response
  • Have a conversation with your prospect
  • Publicize your direct-mail campaign

Read the original post at:  http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/193436