Here’s 40 ideas that work! How do we know? We’ve tested them many times and every one of these ideas will help you boost response.
1. Know who you are! A unique brand personality makes you stand out, makes people like you, makes them want to do business with you.
2. Include some kind of letter. Even a fake “on-page” letter in a self-mailer or catalog. Packages with letters outperform letter-less mail 99% of the time. Even a boring, self-serving letter can be better than no letter. A well-written, 1 to 1 letter with some personality in it is better than anything. Get a pro to help you. It’s important.
3. Letter layout is almost as important as copy. Make it look inviting, easy to read. Use short sentences, short paragraphs, indents, double space between paragraphs, cross-heads, Johnson boxes, and a signature that looks like a human being wrote it. Not something like this: Marilyn Monroe
4. Make the signature any color you want, as long as it’s blue. It makes the letter look like it was signed by a real human being.
5. A lot of people read the P.S. before they get into the letter. It’s a great place for your single best point.
6. Urge them to respond now! Do it several times. Give them a reason why “now” is important.
7. All that white space in your letter margins is costing money. Use some of it for handwritten margin notes to make compelling points stand out. Looks more human, too.
8. Don’t let headlines just sit there. Pump them up with action words, solid promises, real benefits. Make them tantalizing. Get people curious. Usually we’ll write 20 headlines for every one we actually use.
9. Your outer envelope has only one job: to get opened by someone in the mood for what you have to say inside. Want to try a blank OE so they might think it’s from a friend? Not a good idea, because as soon as they get inside and realize it’s advertising, they’ll think you tried to fool them. Try really outrageous things on your OE. Big, interesting graphics, intriguing headlines, genuine promises, all work.
10. Test different OE creative. It’s not expensive and you might find that one OE kicks the pants off the rest.
11. Put your return address on the back flap of the envelope.
12. Turn your OE into a kind of brochure.
13. Put your offer prominently on the outer envelope, especially if it’s short, and a great offer! This really works with “glamour” products like jewelry, clothing and furniture.
14. Try putting an involvement device of some kind on your OE.
15. They won’t give you as much response as a traditional package, but postcards are a quick and easy way to test the relative merits of new lists, offers, personality.
16. Keep tweaking until your offer is irresistible. Remember it’s got to be unique, something they can’t get any other way. It’s your whole proposition, the combination of price, premium, membership, privileges, terms, future benefits, etc.
17. Restate your offer several times in your package: on the OE, in your letter and brochure and certainly on your response form.
18. FREE is still the best offer! In direct mail. For some reason it doesn’t work on the Subject line in an email.
19. A lot of people spend more time poring over creative than they do investigating lists. Creative is important, sure, but lists are twice as important. Get more list brokers working on your business and make sure you test new lists all the time.
20. Your best list is your current customer file. Your second best list is probably past customers. They’re your greatest direct marketing assets. Use them! But make sure the files are clean and up-to-date.
If you have any direct marketing questions, email Loisgeller@loisgellermarketinggroup.com