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Get Better Direct Mail Results Using the Right Messaging

Effective and persuasive writing increases your direct response rates and helps make your direct mailer more successful. Although it helps to have some copy training and marketing know-how, there are a few basic rules to writing direct mail copy that you can follow to get the best out of your messaging.

Writing a good mailer comes down to effective messaging. From headline to call-to-action, you must make clear the value of what you're offering.


1. Be direct in your headline ­ make your intentions clear and precise


Don't purposely try to be clever, subtle, or ingenious. Whatever you're selling, make this immediate in the first line of your copy.

Many people fail to get the right results because they are trying too hard to be clever, subtle, or sophisticated with their headlines and messaging. Subtle and clever doesn't work for local businesses and small businesses (leave that to the big companies and their multi-million-dollar branding campaign). When a person receives a direct mail promotion, there is a certain expectation that they are receiving some kind of offer or benefit. This offer may end up in the trash unless it's crystal clear in the first few seconds of viewing, what the viewer is getting.

Here are some examples of good headlines. Although they are very obvious, they are also honest and they're not trying to convey any hidden meaning or cost.


Good examples of headlines:


•  Get 25% Off All Coats & Jackets in Our Winter Sale!

•  Here's a $20 Gift Card to use Storewide!

•  Professional Wedding Photography Prices Start at $500

The next headline examples offer little incentive or quantitative value.


Bad examples of headlines:


•  The Best Quality Coats & Jackets for Less (Non-quantifiable, no offer, no value)

•  Use the Gift Card Below for Cash Value in Our Store (Unnecessarily long and literal, forgot to advertise the                quantitative value, clumsily worded)

•  Great Wedding Photography in a Snap! Affordable prices! (Trying to be clever, bad pun, non-quantifiable value)

The benefit that you are offering a customer should be made clear in the headline. Be obvious and trust in the strength of your product and offer to get the viewer to act.


2. Start a conversation


Your direct mail copy will be more personal and convincing if you write it as if you are talking to a specific person.

•  Write as if you are talking to one of your "typical customers"

•  How will your product or offer help them?

•  How will it fulfill his/her needs?

•  Write about benefits and use of your product or offer to support the benefit claims

•  Keep it short

•  Make it easy to read by using bulleted lists, subheads, and bold

An example of conversational copy:


Tear off the in­store gift­card below and get a massive 25% off whatever you like for your baby or toddler throughout July! It's the perfect time to shop at Baby Bows & Bonnets. We are currently selling a brand new range of the following articles:

•  One-pieces

•  T-shirts

•  Pajamas

•  Toys & Gifts

•  Nursery Accessories


3. Call them to act!


What action do you want the viewer to take? Write, call, or buy your product and service?

Your mailer, just like all other marketing materials, should contain a clear direction and (CTA) call-to-action. The viewer should know by now what the promotion is and why it will benefit them. The final piece in the jigsaw is to tell them what you want to do with this information. Where do you want them to go? Try to convey a sense of urgency into your copy.


Here are some examples of call-to-actions that give clear direction:


•  Call 1­800­990­2292 to make an appointment with professional photographer Tony Maher. Call NOW! Summer bookings are running out fast!


•  Use discount code "STROLLERMOM" in our checkout to get 10% off strollers and accessories at


•  Hurry! Offer only lasts until 8th March 2012!


•  Sale ends Mon, April 25th! Get to our store TODAY and make major savings on all our most popular bed linens,duvets, and mattress toppers!


Remember to present all your contact numbers, address, email, and other useful information when creating your mailers. More information is always better. Give customers every opportunity and reason to contact you.

Use these helpful tips to create your own promotional messages! Upload your design today, or design your postcard online using our professional design tool.