INSIDE Direct Mail – 3 Easy Ways to GET OPENS

(Post 1 of 4 in the direct mail series.)

The whole concept behind Direct Response Marketing is to get a direct response from your ads.  While branding is a nice fringe benefit, we’re most interested in ACHIEVING IMMEDIATE RESULTS.

While EMAIL marketing is one of the top 3 results driven advertising methods in the world, there’s all types of problems that come with it.  To name a few:

–  IP addresses are expensive and hard to come by.

–  CAN-SPAM Act.

–  Off the shelf email programs such as iContact, Aweber or ConstantContact have tons of restrictions in place, making it hard to maximize your audience’s reach.

–  High-end programs such as Stormpost are VERY expensive and laborious to setup.

–  Deliverability.  Free email providers such as AOL, Gmail, and Yahoo are constantly optimizing their algorithms to put a halt to unsolicited mail.  The problem is that these algorithms often block solicited mail as well.  i.e.  Have you ever emailed a colleague an important business message only to have your message end up in their spam folder?  You’re stuck wondering why they blew you off, only to find out later on down the pipeline that they never received your message.  Fail!

In comparrison, Direct Mail:

–  Is inexpensive.

–  Has near 100% deliverability.

–  Enables you to legally send unsolicited messages.

–  Low barrier to entry.

–  Easy setup.

–  GET THIS: Little competition these days!

WHAT?  Little competition?  But I get tons of junk mail every day.

EXACTLY!  That’s the whole point.  These days most of the talented direct response marketers are exclusively focused on other advertising channels.  That means that there’s a lot less competition inside REAL mailboxes!!   Most of the direct mail going out is from grocery stores, local realtors, pizza joints, or other local businesses.  Again, NO COMPETITION.

Aight, down to brass tacts:

In the online space we aim to get the most amount of CLICKS to our ads that we can.  Logic follows that the higher the clicks ——> the more people that will see your offer ——> the greater the probability in a sale ——> the higher return on our investment.

In the direct mail space, the same logic follows.  The goal is to get your recipients to OPEN your mail.  The more that open, the higher the probability of GETTING A DIRECT RESPONSE.

Here’s a few tricks we use to get high OPEN RATES:

1.   Handwrite the address on the envelope.   These days almost all addresses on mail are printed.  When you receive a personalized, handwritten envelope, you are almost certain to open it.  The psychology behind the concept is simple: if someone took the time to handwrite your name and address, then the least you could do is open it.  Plus the message must be important because a “real human” wrote it.

2.  Don’t use a return address.  Now you’re really going to pique their interest.  Is it a letter from an anonymous fan?  Maybe an ex-girlfriend?  Or maybe it’s that one person you were hoping to never hear from again….

3.  Handwrite a message on the back of the envelope.

Here’s a couple messages I’ve found to be highly effective:

– “Highly Confidential”

– “Important – Call Me ASAP”

–  “Do Not Open Unless You Are (Recipients Full Name)”

4.  Use a standard envelope.   I personally like 3 3/4 x 6 3/4 envelopes.  Avoid spammy looking preprinted envelopes that SCREAM SOLICITATION!!!!

5.  Use a regular stamp.  This demonstrates that you spent some real money and time sending out the message.  Stamps need to be hand placed, again personal touch.


Here’s what’s coming in the next 3 posts:

1.  What to place inside the envelope to elicit a response.

2.  How to effectively data mine.

3.  How to create a drip direct mail campaign.

*  NOTE: I am a huge fan of email marketing, and have the honor to work with the most prolific mailers in the world.   Mastering email marketing is a must if you plan to take your campaigns to the next level.   While it is VERY difficult to master email marketing, however it is definitely worth the investment in time and money.

Rich Gorman is an internet entrepreneur. His primary focuses are on direct response offers and SaaS models. When not working Rich enjoys spending time with his family.