How to Create Sticky Direct Mail

By sticky, I mean direct mail that really resonates or makes an impression on your prospects and customers. When this happens, they are more likely to respond to your offer. After your first hurdle of grabbing attention so that your mail piece does not end up in the trash, your next hurdle is drawing them into your messaging. This is where the sticky part takes place.

So, what do I mean by “sticky” and why should your direct mail be sticky? By sticky, I mean direct mail that really resonates or makes an impression on your prospects and customers. When this happens, they are more likely to respond to your offer. After your first hurdle of grabbing attention so that your mail piece does not end up in the trash, your next hurdle is drawing them into your messaging. This is where the sticky part takes place.

Here are three ways to make your messaging sticky:

1. Testimonials

People trust the opinions of others more than they trust companies. When you add testimonials to your direct mail you make your product or service more trustworthy, and people are curious about what others say so they will take the time to read them. The testimonials provide you with an unbiased opinion of your products or services; this is powerful for people who are unsure if they should buy from you.

2. Stories

People enjoy stories. When you create direct mail messaging with a story concept, you draw in the reader. In order to keep them interested, you need to have a good story. Build up curiosity so they want to know what will happen. Of course your story needs to fit in with your brand and product or service — just adding any old story is not going to help you. Everything in the direct mail piece needs to tie together to be effective.

3. Emotional

Emotion is a powerful sticky point. When nonprofits tug at heart strings to get donations, it works! Use emotion to draw people in. Even for-profits can do this. Think of ways that your product or service can create an emotional appeal. You don’t have to focus on just sad emotions — try out each one to see what will work best for you by testing ideas with a focus group of clients or people outside of your organization.

No matter what the format of your direct mail piece is, such as a letter, postcard or self-mailer, the stickiness of your messaging matters. On postcards, you will have to be very concise while still drawing them in. Letters give you plenty of space for messaging — keep in mind that people like to read the P.S. lines, so have a great sticky message here. Images can also help your direct mail be sticky. When you are able to convey your message through powerful images, it creates a great way to draw people in. Make sure that you are not using language to disengage people. Stay away from clichés, boasting and arrogant messaging. No one wants to read that. Open, honest language is the best.

Consider the messaging you have used on past direct mail pieces. What could you do with that messaging to make it even better? Do you find any of it to be boring? One thing you can’t do is have boring messaging in your direct mail. That is a sure way to get it thrown into the trash. If you know you have used good messaging in the past, use it again — but not word for word. Change it up to keep it fresh. If you use testimonials, don’t always use the same ones — switch them out. Interest in your direct mail pieces over time tapers off, so freshen up not only your look, but your messaging too.

Create your sticky now to increase your 2017 results. When you send mail to the right people, create an impression and provide a good offer: You will get results.

Author: Summer Gould

A blog about Direct Mail Marketing, tips, tricks and what not to do.Summer Gould is President of Eye/Comm Inc. Summer has spent her 27 year career helping clients achieve better marketing results. She has served as a panel speaker for the Association of Marketing Service Providers conferences. She is active in several industry organizations and she is a board member for Printing Industries Association San Diego, as well as a board member for Mailing Systems Management Association of San Diego. You can find her at Eye/Comm Inc’s website: eyecomm.org, email: summer.gould@eyecomm.org, on LinkedIn, or on Twitter @sumgould.

2 thoughts on “How to Create Sticky Direct Mail”

  1. Thanks for the pointers. I’d add one more. “Timeliness” Is your message relevant to the person receiving it? (Besides, adding that second “T” creates an easy to remember acronym. 😉 T.E.S.T. As they say, always, “TEST”. Testimonials – Emotion – Stories – Timeliness.

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