Julie and I recently created the first direct mail piece for Hallett Peak Copywriting. Although it wasn’t a walk in the park, it was less time consuming than creating our marketing mailing list. Our first direct mailer went through multiple edits, and was held up against a number of recommendations from professional writers and small business owners. Here are three of the most important things to keep in mind as you create your own direct mail:
Include only ONE call to action
Small business owners want to get as much bang for their buck as possible. Hallett Peak Copywriting is no different. That’s why we chose three important calls to action … and then we picked the most important ONE to include on the direct mailer.
Our initial list included a request to contact us for a free assessment, a plea to follow us through social media and an appeal to contact us for a quote. Knowing that having more than one call to action is like having NO CALL TO ACTION, we landed on: contact us for a risk-free quote. The entire piece is written around this one key concept, and the reader knows exactly what we want them to do.
Leave out the HYPE
Every direct mail piece needs snappy headlines and quick, easy flowing text. What it doesn’t need is unnecessary hype that over-promises and under-delivers. One simple test to make sure you aren’t breaking this rule is to mail yourself a sample of your direct mail piece (this also ensures your piece is the correct size and that the post office won’t leave a mail code mark on top of your logo). When you receive it in the mail, critique it as you would any other direct mail piece. Are the statements over the top? Do you believe everything you’ve read?
Make it about the READER
The most important word in email and direct mail marketing is you. One recent study indicated YOU was even more compelling than the word FREE. When creating a direct mail piece, make sure the content is about the reader and what you can do for THEM.
In this particular piece, our headlines are in the form of a question. The questions draw in the reader and immediately make the entire piece about what we can do for them. This won’t work in every instance, but for our first piece it helps overcome the obstacles and preconceived notions of our audience.
Want to see these concepts in action? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add you to our mailing list.
Bryn is co-founder of Hallett Peak Copywriting, a Central Illinois based freelance copywriting business. For more information on Hallett Peak Copywriting, visit hpcink.com. Follow Hallett Peak Copywriting on Twitter @HPC_Ink for updates on our business and our blog.