Ten ways to Boost your Direct-Mail Response

Some of these pointers on successful direct mail may sound elementary, but don’t skip any of them. Marketing maven Barry Feig writes that not obeying them is a common, costly pitfall.

Sharpen your list select.

“If you want to make money via direct mail,” Feig observes, you are wasting at least 35¢ on every mailing piece when you send it to any person on your list who is not interested in your offer. A good rule to follow, Feig advises clients, is that if a person has spent $750 or more in your product category, he or she is ripe to respond to your sales pitch.

Test constantly.

If you are testing an “A” mailing, Feig counsels, always test at least a “B” version against it. And heed what the numbers tell you.

Personalize your mailing.

Your sales letter should carry as much personalization as your database permits. Advertisers report that a heavily personalized sales letter pulls up to 500% better than non-personalized copy for the same offer.

At the very least, Feig notes, address your sales prospect by name.

Concentrate on your letter.

If your letter’s first paragraph fails to sell your offer, your product or service won’t sell at all, Feig stresses. He reports 30% response lifts by tweaking sales letter copy alone. It is key to high response.

Do your homework.

Feig writes that famous mail copywriter Don Hauptman devotes more than 50% of his work on a mailing piece to research, and other preparations. He spends less than half his time writing, editing, and revising.

Make your pitch at the top and bottom of your letter.

State your most compelling reason to buy – which only testing can reveal – at the start and (in a P.S.) end of your letter copy.

Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes.

Feig writes, “You and your products are not important to the prospect. The reader opening your sales letter only wants to know, ‘What’s in it for me?’”

Use these two magic words.

“Free” and “You” are not overused, tired words. They are tried and true sales-makers. Avoid them at your peril.

Show how what you are selling solves your prospect’s problems.

Research can show you what bugs your prospects most. Your sales copy must promise a solution for his concerns.

Your envelope is your headline.

Nobody knows how many mailing pieces go – unopened –straight into the waste basket. Whatever the number, it is too high. A leading cause: a flabby (or non-existent) copy line on the outer envelope.

See also:

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