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Direct Mail: Ten Ways To Get
The Most Out Of Your Copy

Once you've decided that it's critical for your business to implement a direct mail campaign, it's important to determine what you want to say and how you want to say it. After all, direct mail involves creativity and clear, concise writing. If you're unsure about how to approach the job or doubting your writing skills, check out the following ten ways to get the most out of your copy:

1. Sell benefits, not features. Your reader doesn't care how many paint brushes you own. He only cares how your paintbrushes will perform for them. Tell them what you can provide from their point of view. For example, benefits such as: professional results, friendly painters, always on time and schedule.

2. Sell him, don't tell him. Your reader doesn't have time to pursue the family history of your company. Sure, you can tell the company's story – but you should phrase it in the form of a reader benefit. For example, don't say “we've been in business for fifty years.” Instead, say “our customers have been profiting from our superior performance since World War II.”

3. Be conversational. When writing the copy for your direct mail campaign, write it like you would say it. Customers will embrace your knack for conversation and will find it easier to contact you first for an estimate.

4. Get to the point. If you waste copy and your reader's time before telling him what you have to offer, you'll lose his attention for sure. It's best to get to the point at the very beginning of the direct mail piece – preferably in the first five lines.

5. Always include a postscript. Research shows that if you send a letter as part of your direct mail piece, it is typically the first thing the reader looks at (besides the package). Additionally, the majority of people will also read the postscript before they read anything else. So, always include a P.S. – restating your proposition just as you stated it in the beginning of the letter.

6. Write clearly and concisely. When writing your copy, be sure not to write a novel. Readers won't even finish the first three paragraphs of the letter you sent them, if they see that they still have three more pages to read. Use short, concise sentences and write in an active tone of voice. Not only does this allow your audience to read with ease – but it makes you sound more professional and more proactive.

7. Know your audience. Remember that the average reader reads at about an eighth grade level. It's important to keep this in mind when writing the copy for your direct mail piece. You don't want to overwhelm your reader, causing him to feel defeated.

8. Use words that are “active” rather than “passive.” Increase response simply by using action-oriented copy. Rather than saying “I have done several jobs in the past and customers have been happy,” say, “The jobs I complete are beyond satisfactory and customers agree”!

9. Always follow AIDA. When writing your copy, remember the acronym AIDA – attract Attention, stimulate Interest, create Desire and create Action. Keeping these simple tasks in mind when writing your next direct mail piece will certainly add to your success.

10. Don't assume your copy is ever finished. A great author once said, “There is no such thing as writing. There is only rewriting.” After you type your project and edit your project, edit it again. And then allow your friends and family to edit the copy for mistakes that you weren't able to catch. Take a break even, and come back to your project to look at it again. Make the necessary changes and allow your friends to review it once more. Never go with your first draft – otherwise, it could end up being the last draft you ever write.

This article provided courtesy of THE FLOOD COMPANY,  serving the painting industry for over 150 years. 
They are manufacturers of high quality wood finishing products, preservatives, paint additives and more!

For more information on their products and informative articles, visit their website at

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