INSIDE Direct Mail – Big Surprises Come In Small Packages

(Post 2 of 4 in the direct mail series.)

Sweet!!  You’ve now discovered how to get the highest open rates on all of your direct mail pieces.  Nearly everyone that’s receiving your mail is opening it.  Your heart is beating wondering if you’ve found that “sweet spot” all marketers look for.  You can calm down my friend because I assure you that you have, so long as the message inside is constructed in a way to ELICIT a direct response.

Getting your prospect to open your direct mail piece is only half the battle.   In fact, it’s more like 25% of the battle.  The next battle is getting your prospect to respond to the inside message.

Before I delve into some of our internal secrets, I’m going to clear up some of the “theories” out there re what should go inside a direct mail piece.  Some mailers evangelize placing gifts, candy, and even real paper money inside direct mail pieces.  I’ve seen marketers place gag gifts or talking cards.  BOTTOM LINE: It’s All Bullshit.

When someone sends me a direct mail piece with a snickers bar inside, I take out the candy bar and eat it.  When I’m finished I take the wrapper and throw it back inside the package it came in, which is usually sitting on the side of my desk.

But what about the big and fancy brochures inside?  Didn’t you take a minute to at least read those Rich?

Sure, I glanced at them very quickly.  But then I looked at the 50 emails that piled up in my inbox, the 3 missed calls, and an alert for my next meeting.  There was too much work involved to read the message that was sent to me.  In an attempt to keep my desk from getting cluttered, I again took the snickers wrapper and threw it in the envelope it came in.  At the end of the day I picked the envelope off the floor and threw it out.

The #1 Direct Mail Message Tip:


Make Your Message Clear & Succinct, With An Easily Identifiable Call To Action

People are busy.  People are busy.  People are busy.

No one is waiting around for solicitations.   Remember, the average American is exposed to over 3,000 advertisements a day.   

Your ad needs to pierce through the sound.  Here’s how to do it:

1.  Include 2 Pages MAXIMUM inside the letter.  People are busy busy busy.  When they open your mail, and believe me they’ll open it, your message needs to be straight to the point.  If you can succinctly state your message on 1 page, then do it.

2.  Personalize The Message.  Address each message directly to your prospect by their first name.  When you start throwing in “Mr.” or “Ms.” your message SCREAMS solicitation.  Instead place your prospects on the same level as you, creating a friendly line of communication.  This will throw your prospect off balance and ultimately help you achieve your response goals.

Remember – your prospect has received junk mail throughout their entire lives.  Any single sign that your message is a solicitation will ruin your marketing efforts.

3.  Get Personable.  Go above and beyond personalizing the message to your prospect.  Get downright personal!

Nearly all of the direct mail we send out is for high ticket items – north of $5,000.   Therefore it makes sense for us to take time to get personable.  Our research team will pull up information on each individual prospect.  We add screen shots from sites they’re listed on, discuss things that they like, and tailor the script to their interest.  All prospects are pre-qualified as having interest in the offer (which I’ll show you how to do in the next post), making it easy to deliver a message that will get a reaction.

4.  Make Your Call To Action Easily Identifiable. 

–  Place a metal business card in each envelope.

–  How do you want your audience to respond: office number, email, website address, mobile?  The more options the greater the response.  People are weird about how they respond to direct mail, that’s why mailers get a better response with multiple contact options.

–  Place your call to action on the front page and back page of your message.  I like taking black font and highlighting it in yellow.  This draws attention.  Like this:


5.  Don’t Insult Your Prospects Intelligence.   While “FREE” is the most powerful word in marketing, cheesy tag lines like “FREE Gift Inside” SCREAM solicitation.  Be Real!  If you offer a FREE consultation tell it to them very casually: “By the way, we can start off with a free consultation.”

6.  Use Color Wisely.  Black and White is fine – don’t get all flowery with your colors.  Keep It Simple…Stupid  Duh! 😛

7.  Talk about Benefits.  Who cares about the features of your offer.  Focus solely on THE BENEFITS and you’ll get a solid response.


This is series 2 of 4 posts on Direct Mail:

1.  3 Easy Ways To Get Opens

2.  Big Surprises Come In Small Packages

3.  How to effectively data mine.

4.  How to create a drip direct mail campaign.

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.