The sweetest mail doesn’t all come on February 14th.
Ten tips for direct mail that gets response.

The hand-addressed Valentine or the generic business letter, which do you open first? The answer is obvious. Valentines are one of the most personal forms of mail you can get. While you can’t send Valentines (on a regular basis) to your member/customer list, you can send them messages of value. How these messages are received (and perceived) will have a profound effect on your response.

Contrary to what you might expect to read in an email newsletter, direct mail is alive and thriving. In a tight economy, direct mail may be more important than ever for businesses and organizations trying to build and maintain market share. Here are ten tips to help you make the most of direct response campaigns.

1. Target your audience with a custom message. The more targeted the audience, and the more personal the appeal, the more likely it is to be read.

2. Benefits, benefits, benefits! The second your mailing ends up in the recipient’s hand, it should present a benefit that convinces them it is worth their time to read further.

3. Personalize your mailing. Technology makes it easier than ever to personalize complex mailings—from first names down to the pictures and images. And live stamps (even for bulk rate mail) are a nice touch.

4. Make the right impression and be sincere. If your mail looks “junky” then it’s junk mail. If it looks, feels and contains a message of value then it is something of value.

5. Hit them more than once. The old adage applies: “Tell them what you’re gonna tell them, then tell them, then tell them what you told them.” Repetition creates impressions, builds brands and drives up response.

6. Tell ‘em what you want. Whether it’s ordering a subscription or a membership offer, include a call to action. Make it clear and simple to respond.

7. Plan. Start early and be flexible. Timing is key. If an appeal to the education market drops in June and sits all summer while school is out, you may lose out big time.

8. Think big picture. Use multiple media to build one brand and make your mail part of a bigger campaign. This can include print ads and a website. This will reinforce your message and your offering’s credibility.

9. Merge purge. Get your list in order. Your mailer can help with sorting and removing duplicates from your list.

10. Analyze your response. Include a method for tracking results so you can measure the effectiveness of the campaign.


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