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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
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
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
For more information on their products and
informative articles, visit
their website at http://www.flood.com.
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