How to Persuade Buyers With Your Direct Mail

Direct mail marketing is a very powerful response driver when used correctly. If you have not been getting the results you need, there are many different choices you can make to change the outcome based on several possible problem areas.

Direct mail marketing is a very powerful response driver when used correctly. If you have not been getting the results you need, there are many different choices you can make to change the outcome based on several possible problem areas.

The problem area we are going to highlight today is your copy and messaging. If your copy and messaging is not compelling, you will not get a good response to your mail.

How can we best create compelling message and copy?

  1. Storytelling – The first way to draw people in is with storytelling. You need to make sure that you are telling real stories about real people. If you are not authentic, your prospects and customers will know. Keep in mind that details make it seem more real and believable.
  2. Emotional associations – These are very important especially if there has been a strong negative association with your product or service. You can counteract these associations with good emotional associations you create. The simpler they are to comprehend the better. Emotions often trump logic, so make sure you manage emotions in a positive way.
  3. Statistics – Statistical evidence is a credibility builder, and should be used to illustrate a relationship. It’s more important for people to remember the relationship than the actual number. Keep in mind that statistics are not inherently helpful; it’s context that makes them helpful. Use them correctly in your copy to convince people to buy.
  4. Recommendations – Authorities are a reliable source of credibility; we trust recommendations from people we know, like, and want to be like. Use these testimonials on your mail pieces to show how great your product or service is.
  5. Details – Identify details that are compelling and human as well as meaningful; details that symbolize and support your core idea. Don’t be long winded.

This can seem like a lot of information you need to convey on your mail piece, but you can do these things in a concise way. You also don’t have to do all five on every piece. Pick the ones that will work best for what you are trying to say. You also need to consider the type of piece you are using. A postcard will have less room for copy than a letter.

The most important thing is to be authentic. Direct mail is the most trustworthy form of marketing according to consumers, but you can override that inclination with misdirection or shady copy. Don’t be the “used car salesman” that no one likes — be the honest, helpful marketer and win the business. Did you know that 62% of people who responded to direct mail made a purchase? Are they purchasing from you or your competitor?

Good direct mail drives increases in response rates, so make sure that you are creating the best direct mail with compelling copy and a great call to action. Consider trying one of the options above on your next campaign, to see for yourself what works. Are you ready to get started?

Take a Break and Carry On: Adjust Your Mindset and Messaging During Coronavirus Pandemic

Timing is everything, perhaps now more than ever during this pandemic. As we watch the world around us change drastically, on a daily basis, it’s hard to know what to do. Do we ramp up advertising and customer messaging? Do we push out more offers? Do we create new discounts to keep sales coming in? If there was a crystal ball we trusted at times like these, what would it tell us to do?

Timing is everything, perhaps now more than ever during this pandemic. As we watch the world around us change drastically, on a daily basis, it’s hard to know what to do. Do we ramp up advertising and customer messaging? Do we push out more offers? Do we create new discounts to keep sales coming in? If there was a crystal ball we trusted at times like these, what would it tell us to do?

Nothing.

Yes. Do nothing different. Instead: “Carry on!”

No, I’m not in a state of denial, or naivete. Hear me out:

When everything around us seems to be in a state of chaos and uncertainty, we seek something solid to assure us that not all we know is pushing the “cancel” button, and that some parts of our lives will continue as normal.

When we see brands or businesses or organizations doing “business as usual,” or messaging positive news and actions, we find hope and relief and start to gravitate toward them. Whether they are right or wrong, it doesn’t matter. We need hope, assurance, and a little bit of our current normal, or we fall into states of despair and paralysis.

When we see the organizations or brands in our daily lives panic, we want to avoid their same dilemmas and tend to distance ourselves from them and find alternatives. Our trust in those organizations to be beacons for us during hard times and good times is forever changed.

Not only is our trust changed for those that panicked and gave up during those tough times, so too often is our loyalty.  We find alternatives and quite often those alternatives become our new normal. And when stability comes back to our lives, we stay with that new normal quite often vs. go back to those that panicked and let us down.

As long as you are able, stay the course in terms of keeping stores open and services available, while also abiding by what local and federal mandates require of you, of course. And most importantly, keep communication relevant and timely, while also avoiding overwhelming those you’re messaging. Remember, we’re all receiving a lot of information now, and it can be a lot to digest.

So, how do we “do nothing” effectively? Stay in touch.

Here are some thoughts on staying connected during uncertain times in ways that keep customers aligned with your brand, trusting your position, and ready to come back when life resumes as usual, once again.

Consider:

  • Keep communicating: If you send out weekly emails with product ideas, promotions, account statements, keep doing it. But instead of trying to sell to someone who is scared of life as they know it is over, peddle sincerity, compassion, and interesting stories.
  • Don’t make light of the situation: There is nothing funny from any angle so remain sensitive and stay real. Coors had plans to run an ad on being the best “work at home” beer, originally positioned for March Madness, but pulled it (ahead of the announcement of the tournament being canceled). While the ad was never intended to make fun of the current situation, it could have easily been taken the wrong way, if Coors had not pulled it.
  • This is not an opportunity: Don’t offer coronavirus specials, and don’t push to get in the news by giving away free toilet paper or make shift masks. Don’t use social media to increase impressions with insights about the situation unless you really have helpful information that makes a difference, and you are a credible source for the topic at hand.
  • Provide a healthy distraction: Stressful times are not prime for promoting sales, as efforts are not likely to achieve as much as they would during less uncertain times. It is, however, a great time to tell stories about your brand, your employees, your community causes, your vision. Take this time to be uplifting, again, where appropriate.

Regardless of what business you are in, take a break. Take a break from the routine of pushing sales and counting acquisitions. It’s not going to pay off and your frustration level will just elevate. Stay focused on what you can continue to have a positive effect on: relationships. Keep your brand relationships alive with positive communications, stories of hope and community, and more.

Stephanie Meyer, author of the Twilight Series, sheds a good light on this situation: “I like the night. Without the dark, we’d never see the stars.”

Embrace the dark. Look for the stars. And “Shine on!

 

How Brands Should Communicate During Uncertain Times

Today, every company is dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak in some way or another. Companies need to be thinking about their brand communication with stakeholders and how they manage their reputation during these challenging times.

Earlier this year, I wrote about the greatest reputation risks brands face in 2020. At the time, the threat of COVID-19 — the 2019 novel coronavirus — wasn’t prevalent, as it is globally today. I emphasized in my post that compromised health and safety poses a threat to brands, and negligent companies will face devastating reputational consequences.

Today, every company is dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak in some way or another. And it has nothing to do with negligence.

For starters, the coronavirus has an impact on employee well-being, leading many companies to put travel restrictions in place and encourage remote work. Additionally, there is significant impact on customer relationships and financial performance. Therefore, companies need to be thinking about their brand communication with stakeholders and how they manage their reputation during these challenging times.

Start by Communicating. Period.

Now is not the time to stay silent with your employees, customers, and other stakeholders. While you may not have all the answers, rapid and regular communications can help alleviate potential concerns. If you don’t let your employees and customers know how you’re handling the current state of affairs, they will wonder if it’s a priority to you at all. Reassurances matter.

Employees will want to know how expectations are changing and about accommodations to keep them healthy and safe.

Customers also will want to know how brands are addressing the risk of COVID-19, at brick-and-mortar locations, with their employees and otherwise.

Make Responsible Decisions

My inbox is flooded with communications from companies I have relationships with providing information about their new protocols due to the coronavirus.

For example, my local health club shared information about how they’re increasing their cleaning and sanitization procedures. I received a similar communication from a transportation company, highlighting the precautions they’re taking with their vehicles and drivers.

Near-term expenses, such as additional cleaning, added resources, and paid leave for sick employees, will ensure the health and safety of customers and employees. These investments will also help to maintain and improve brand reputation and increase customer retention and loyalty.

Use a Variety of Brand Communication Vehicles

Brands tend to over-rely on email because it’s inexpensive, and production times are short. However, consumers’ inboxes are overwhelmed with marketing messages. To ensure you reach your audience with time-sensitive, developing information, leverage a variety of owned, paid, and earned channels.

Post updates on social media and create a destination on your website to reflect the latest information. Train your employees on the front lines so they can deliver reassurances to customers directly.

Be Earnest, Helpful, and Sensitive — Don’t Exploit the Epidemic

I’ve written about Elon Musk’s poor judgment as a brand spokesperson, but continue to be shocked by behavior like his insensitive coronavirus tweet.

For most people who contract COVID-19, it will be like a mild flu. Some populations, however, are particularly vulnerable, and brands need to be sensitive to the fear, anxiety, and threats many people currently face.

Certain brands and categories, such as hand sanitizer, are subject to strict FDA regulations in terms of how they communicate and market concerning the coronavirus, so it’s essential to understand what’s appropriate and permissible.

Now is not the time for coronavirus discounts or apocalyptic sales. Brands should focus on providing helpful information and reassuring their stakeholders. Clorox, for example, has created valuable educational content on its website.

Leverage Reliable and Credible Sources

It’s always important to present factual and accurate information — but right now it’s crucial. The speed and availability of information in times like these is unprecedented, thanks to social media and digital platforms. Unfortunately, there is a tremendous amount of misinformation circulating. Corona beer has nothing to do with coronavirus. Lysol didn’t know about the outbreak before it happened.

The CDC and the World Health Organization  (WHO) provide the most accurate and timeliest information.

As a brand, take this time to commit to a communications strategy that informs, educates, and provides reassurances. It will make a difference.

Healthcare Marketing Messaging: Science Is a Cornerstone of Health

As lawmakers in California debated tightening vaccination requirements for schoolchildren, a protestor threw a menstrual cup with red liquid across the Senate chamber. Although that person’s goal was to disrupt a vote on the bill, it became law. The anti-vax movement is a sign of a larger issue facing healthcare.

In September, as lawmakers in California debated a proposed new law to tighten vaccination requirements for schoolchildren, a protestor threw a menstrual cup with red liquid across the Senate chamber. Although that person’s goal was to disrupt a vote on the bill, it was passed and signed into law. The anti-vaccine movement is one sign of a larger issue facing healthcare — growing public mistrust of science. This wave of doubt should concern all who work in healthcare.

Science is foundational to healthcare.

Yes, compassion in healthcare is essential. Yes, health insurance is an important mechanism to provide access. And yes, the cost of care will continue to challenge state and federal budgets. But what is the future of healthcare, if we turn away from science?

September also marks the annual Rally for Medical Research, an event where scientists from across the country gather in Washington, D.C., to urge lawmakers to increase funding for the National Institutes for Health (NIH). Each year, the NIH invests nearly $40 billion in the pursuit of basic, translational, and applied science through grants to more than 2,500 universities, medical schools, and research centers. Lives are saved, improved, and extended with the scientific knowledge developed by this financial support.

What Healthcare Marketers Need to Ask Patients and Why

When we show up to a doctor’s office or hospital as patients, we expect there to be a treatment for whatever ails us. It’s easy to forget that today’s commonplace treatments were developed by the application of science to the human condition. So when we begin accusing pediatricians of harming children with vaccines, or denying that climate change is real, or mocking the science that tells us that too many chemicals are entering our water and food sources — we are harming ourselves. The emotional satisfaction we get from snarkiness is short-lived, but its implications for science and medicine are much longer. Will politicians continue to support scientific investment, if a growing segment of our population doubts its validity?

No one is suggesting that we should have blind faith in science and medicine. There is a need for healthy skepticism in all things. Research is fundamentally a way of challenging conventional wisdom, but is based on a process that physicist Richard Feynman once described as “a way of not fooling ourselves.” The scientific process — based on repeatability by different teams with a peer-review process — is the way to differentiate between what we believe to be true and what is demonstrably true.

Today’s polarization is driven by many factors — economic, political, and belief systems. In healthcare, clashes over health insurance, access to care, and its cost, pale in importance to a more fundamental disturbing trend: Do we still believe in science? The treatments that will cure cancer, prevent Alzheimer’s, and reverse heart disease will depend on our answer.

5 Messaging Tricks to Drive Direct Mail Response

We all need to reach ever-increasing direct mail response rate goals. This is a challenge. Although your customers and prospects really like to get mail, you need to make sure that what you send is relevant to them.

We all need to reach ever-increasing direct mail response rate goals. This is a challenge. Although your customers and prospects really like to get mail, you need to make sure that what you send is relevant to them.

Your design grabs attention, but does your mail piece drive enough response? So what can you do differently to increase your response rates? Sending your pieces to the right people is No. 1; but, your messaging is very important, too. How much time do you spend crafting your messaging?

Consider the following when crafting your message:

  • Create Your Core Idea Core messages help people to avoid bad choices by reminding them of what is really important.
  • Uncertainty Can Paralyze Decisions The more we reduce the amount of information and choices in an idea, the more it will resonate.
  • Create Analogies Analogies make it possible to understand compact messages, because they are based on concepts people already know.
  • Create Surprise Unexpected ideas resonate more, because surprise makes us stop and think.
  • Avoid Logic Common sense messaging is not remembered. Why bother? We already know it.

Beyond the ideas above, there are other areas we can focus on that drive direct mail response. Human curiosity requires us to find answers, because it is a gap in our knowledge that we must fill. To get people to be open to our messaging, we need to provide a question that they can’t answer without the information we are about to give them. What people don’t know can be used to entice them to respond to your direct mail.

In order to create interest for a more complex idea or situation, you need to use a clear structure, vivid examples, and fluid language. You should then create a sense of mystery. This will grab attentio,n because people need closure; they will have to read your mail piece to solve the mystery. Make sure to provide clues to assure people they are getting close to the answer. When you do, it compels them to finish in order to get the answer.

Keep in mind that an abstract message is hard to understand and remember. Make sure your messaging is clear and concrete. Concrete language helps people understand new concepts and appeals to the senses. It should appeal to sight, smell, touch, taste, or hearing. The best messages are full of concrete words and images. Some examples are words like tart, cold, green, coarse, or fork. They are real and can easily be seen in the mind.

To make your message even more effective, shift from a “provide information” tactic on your mail piece to a “what questions can I ask” tactic. What do we mean by this? You need to create questions that get people thinking and questioning their own knowledge. You want them to need you to help them. The choice is clear, they need you. Of course, you also need a sense of urgency to get them to respond right away and a call to action that resonates.

Are you ready to get started driving a better direct mail response rate?

How to Perform Generational Targeting in Direct Mail Marketing

Generational targeting in direct mail can be instrumental in increasing your response rates. As brains age they change, and the way we need to target people also changes. Because the majority of the buying public falls into three generations now, we will focus on Boomers, Gen X and Millennials.

Generational targeting in direct mail
Credit: Getty Images by Jasper Cole

Generational targeting in direct mail can be instrumental in increasing your response rates. As brains age they change, and the way we need to target people also changes. Because the majority of the buying public falls into three generations now, we will focus on Boomers, Gen X and Millennials.

Generational Targeting in Direct Mail

Boomers — As we age, it becomes hard to filter out distractions. This means that your direct mail should have a clear message in a big font. Do not clutter the mail piece with tons of copy and a bunch of images. Include white space around your copy and images to allow time for absorption without distraction. Because older brains filter out negative messages, you should accentuate the positive benefits of your product or service. They have time and, therefore, value more information before making a decision — unlike Gen Xers and Millennials. Make sure to respect their intelligence and include details about your product or service that are relevant to them. The more they are exposed to a message, company and brand, the more it becomes true for them. So make sure that your messaging on your mail piece matches your message on other channels.

Gen X — The first thing we need to note about Gen Xers is that they are very busy people; you will need to grab their attention quickly. Coupons are a great way to reach Gen X. They love a good deal. They love companies that do “good for society.” So when they make a purchase, they can also help out others. They like loyalty programs that help keep them on track through busy weeks and months. Keep in mind that this generation loves direct mail. Of course you need to send them mail pieces that are relevant, but you should expect good response rates from them. Because lack of time is an issue, make sure that you go with less copy and get right to the point of how your product or service can help them.

Millennials — The most important thing to know about Millennials is that they value social issues over economics. So you need to make sure that your messaging taps into that need. Another factor is innovation. This generation is always looking for the next best thing. How can your product or service fix their problems in a new way? Millennials love reviews, so make sure you provide real testimonials from customers on your direct mail pieces. They, like Gen X, are big on loyalty programs; so make sure you have a robust program.

Conclusion

Keep in mind that each generation is comprised of unique people; not everyone will respond the same way. Don’t replace your other demographic targeting and segmentation strategies. These notations should help you shape your direct mail concepts, but by no means should they become the “be-all, end-all” strategy. Are you ready to get started?

6 Direct Mail Messaging Strategies That Work

Direct mail messaging strategies work when they’re simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, and filled with emotion and stories. Here’s how to create them.

Direct mail messaging strategies work when they’re simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, and filled with emotion and stories. Here’s how to create them.

The best direct mail marketing is able to communicate your message in a way that is understood, remembered and acted upon. Are your direct mail results as good as you expect them to be? In many cases they are not; and your direct mail messaging strategy could be the problem. So, how can you improve your message to increase your results?

6 Direct Mail Message Strategy Ideas

  1. Simple: This is not to say use the “Keep It Simple, Stupid” method, but to refine your headline message even more. To create a sentence that is both simple and profound. You want your headline to grab people and require them to read more.
  2. Unexpected: Do the unexpected in your messaging. The message needs to generate interest and curiosity in order to resonate and drive response.
  3. Concrete: Many times, direct mail messaging is ambiguous; this leads to poor response rates. You need clear concrete language to ensure that your message means the same thing to everyone.
  4. Credible: Your brand can help with your credibility, but so can enlisting customers to create testimonials that you can use in your marketing messaging. In order for people to respond to your mail pieces, they need to trust you and the product or service they are buying. Money-back guarantees or free trials work well, too.
  5. Emotion: In order to get people to respond you need to draw on their emotions. Nonprofits are great at this, but most other businesses could use some help. Humans are wired to feel for other people; when you can harness this effectively, you increase responses. There are many emotions you can tap into: anger, empathy and happiness are the most common emotions businesses try to elicit.
  6. Stories: People are drawn to stories. The best messaging is captured within stories. Are you currently formulating your messaging around stories, or are you just listing the facts and statistics on why people should buy from you? No one buys facts. They buy benefits that are communicated well through stories.

These six ideas in combination can help you create a strategy for better direct mail messaging to increase your response rates. One common messaging problem that organizations run into is that they have much more knowledge about their product or service than the people they are trying to sell to. This perspective can make it difficult to communicate effectively with prospects. You do not know what they know.

To combat this problem, you can use people outside of your organization to see what they think of your messaging. This can come in the form of an advisory group, an organization or a few select customers and prospects that you use as a focus group. There is a ton of knowledge that can be gained by doing this. In many cases, you will find that what you thought was a great message did not resonate or confused people. It’s better to learn that before you mail, than after the fact.

Your messaging strategy is extremely important; it can make or break your direct mail campaigns. Spend at least as much time on constructing your messaging as you spend on design. In many cases, effective message creation takes longer than design. Are you ready to create direct mail messaging that is understood, remembered and acted upon?

What Does ‘Why’ Mean to Your Direct Mail?

“Why?” For so many reasons, it’s the best question in marketing. “Why?” gets right down to the main point.

5Ws
Credit: Pixabay

“Why?” For so many reasons, it’s the best question in marketing. “Why?” gets right down to the main point.

If you have children, at some point you have been confronted with the inevitable “why” questions children have such as, “Why is the sky blue?” That curiosity is natural for all of us; but many times when we are busy, we do not take the time to ask many of the whys we should be asking.

Are you asking enough why questions about your direct mail program? Why, you ask? Well, without a clearly defined “why,” there are many things that can go wrong with your mail piece. Let’s look at how “why” can help you create a great mail piece, with fabulous results.

Start planning your mail with seven whys:

  1. Why Do You Want to Send a Mail Piece? There are many marketing channels to choose from, so why mail? A clear and concise plan will make your mail campaign smoother. Does your target audience have more than one way to be reached? Can you combine your mail with other channels to increase your response rates?
  2. Why Have You Selected Your Chosen Format? There are so many to choose from: postcards, letters, self-mailers, flats and parcels. Why did you pick yours? Do the people you plan to target like this type of mailer better? Is it easier to get people to open it? Did you choose a format based on cost? The main point is to make sure you are using the best format for your audience.
  3. Why Have You Selected Your Chosen Images? Will they draw in your audience? Do they help to convey your message? Are they bold or unique enough to make people curious?
  4. Why Have You Chosen Your Messaging? Is it interesting? Does it provide a concise description of your product or service along with the benefits of purchase? Remember, you must convey what is in it for them in order to get them to purchase. Do not list features in your message, stick with benefits.
  5. Why Should People Buy From You and Not Your Competition? Here is your chance to stand out. Tell people the benefits they get by working with you. Make sure to phrase it in a way that talks about them, not you. They don’t care about you; they are in it for themselves.
  6. Why Have You Chosen Your Mail Date? Mail dates are important, so why did you select yours? Does it tie into other marketing channels? Is there a “respond by” date based on the in-home dates? Did you pick a day based on past history?
  7. Why Have You Chosen Your ‘Respond by’ Date? Have you allowed enough time for people to receive them and respond? Have you set the date too far out, so there is no sense of urgency in responding? Be careful to select a date that allows people time to review your offer and look up relevant information to make a decision. The bigger the purchase, the longer the time needed to decide.

All of these questions whittle down to the core of your objectives. Starting with a clearly defined core and building your direct mail campaign from there allows you to create better, more responsive direct mail pieces. Each step in your plan needs to be thoroughly vetted with the “why” process. When you are able to answer all the “whys,” your targeted audience receives a powerfully persuasive mailer that they can’t ignore. There is a great book that goes in-depth on how to find your “why.” Check it out here.. Are you ready to get started?

Is Your Direct Mail Misunderstood?

Are your direct mail pieces engaging with your audience or are you talking over the audience? Do you use lingo that only people in the industry understand?

Are your direct mail pieces engaging with your audience or are you talking over the audience? Do you use lingo that only people in the industry understand?

Acronyms can quickly get you into trouble when people do not know them; especially in the age of texting, your acronym may be misinterpreted. What is obvious to you will not necessarily be obvious to them. This is a big problem if your audience is confused; the chances of you getting your important message across are significantly decreased. Basically, you have turned your direct mail piece into trash.

For the best results, create direct mail that is clear and concise. You have just a few seconds to be understood and engage them to read more rather than toss your mail piece in the trash.

So how can you be sure you are creating the best message?

  1. What Is Your Goal? Do you need to sell so many widgets or get so many phone calls? Clearly define your goal and how you will track results before you start writing.
  2. Write a List About Your Customers: What is their biggest problem? Who are they? What makes them happy? What makes them mad? Again, you need to be specific about them in order to create an actionable persona.
  3. Pick One Main Message: You should theme your entire message around one key idea. It needs to be easy to grasp quickly and be relevant to your audience.
  4. Benefit: Get specific on ONE benefit that they are in desperate need of. Consult your list about your customers to find which benefit will work best. The benefit sells your product or service, not features.
  5. Guarantee: Offer them some type of guarantee to alleviate any buying concerns. This shows buyer that you stand behind your product or service, because it really is the best and they should buy it.

We strongly suggest that you test message versions with different groups of your list. In order to test correctly, you will need to group like people together to get the right message. A benefit that works well for one group may be a dud for another. So take your time in creating the groups and which messages should go to which group. Make sure you can track your responses to see which ones are working best. You can make changes to the ones that had less traction.

Okay. Now you are ready to put it all together and write your messaging. Most of the time, there is still fluff in the message after the first couple of drafts. Go back though everything and eliminate any word that is not necessary. No extra words and no acronyms should be in your final copy. Make sure to have someone outside of your organization read your final copy. You need to see if they understand what you are saying, in the way you meant them to. Usually there is a need for a few more edits.

Your direct mail piece to should be easy to understand, targeted to the right people and with a clear call to action. Never use acronyms on your mail piece, they are too easily misunderstood. Remove long explanations and fluff from your message. You can provide links on the mail piece for them to look up more information if they want to, but most people prefer concise, straight-to-the-point benefits that make them want to buy. Are you ready to get started?

Direct Mail: Remember Me?

How often do your direct mail results end up not meeting your expectations? Does your direct mail resonate with your prospects and customers or fall flat? Do they understand and remember what you said? If not, you have a big problem. In order to avoid this, you need to be creating direct mail that resonates. Let’s take a look at what you can do to reach your maximum potential.

direct mail memory
“When you realize #sunday is almost over & monday is around the corner,” Creative Commons license. | Credit: Flickr by Pink Rhino

How often do your direct mail results end up not meeting your expectations? Does your direct mail resonate with your prospects and customers or fall flat? Do they understand and remember what you said? If not, you have a big problem. In order to avoid this, you need to be creating direct mail that resonates. Let’s take a look at what you can do to reach your maximum potential.

First we will start with the four types of memory, because they are the key to understanding how to improve your direct mail:

  1. Early Bias — These are people who best remember the beginning messaging in a direct mail piece. It is important to get right to the point for these people.
  2. Recency Bias — These are people who best remember messaging that they most recently read at the end of your mail piece. It is important to restate your message at the end without calling it a summary. People skip over summaries.
  3. Repetitive Bias — These are people who best remember direct mail messages that are repeated. It is important to restate what you want them to remember at least three times.
  4. Outstanding Bias — These are people who best remember the part of your direct mail message that is different or stands out in some way. It is important to make the effort to reach these people by using out-of-the-box language.

Where do you think you fall with these four memory types? I will reveal a secret; you should fall in more than one. So how can we use these memory biases to increase direct mail response?

  • Main Point: State your main point right away and end with your main point. Repeat it throughout your message copy. Then find a quirky way to state it that really stands out. This is what you want people to remember.
  • Bullets: If you make a list of bullets, make the most important first, second, second to last and last. You should repeat them in your copy, as well.
  • Stories: Use real stories to show how great life will be when they buy your product or service. People read and remember stories. Just make sure you use the story to highlight your main point and get them to take action.
  • Call to Action: This is another one that should be repeated across the direct mail piece. This is how you get people to respond. Give them more than one way to respond.
  • Images: They should be intriguing and relevant to your messaging. You want to draw attention and help state your message.

When you can bring all of these together cohesively, you have a great direct mail piece. Then it is just up to you to send to the right list of people. By considering your prospect and customer’s memory types, you create a way to really reach each of them in a truly memorable way. If you do not create a mail piece that is compelling it will end up in the trash. Don’t waste your marketing budget on bad direct mail. Your mail service provider can help you spice up your next campaign and increase your response rates with these tips. Are you ready to get started?