Top 5 Reasons People Don’t Trust Your Direct Mail Marketing

Direct mail marketing is considered the most trustworthy marketing by recipients, so why wouldn’t they trust your direct mail? There are actually many of reasons for this. We will focus on the top five reasons, as they are the most common.

4. Fonts

The fonts you use reflect on your company brand. Fonts that are hard to read or super small sizes elicit suspicion. What are you trying to hide? There is no reason to create suspicion with your fonts. All caps fonts are hard to read as well. This will end up in the trash.

How To Fix It: Use easy to read fonts. This doesn’t mean you have to stick with Times Roman or Arial — get creative. Do not use all caps in your copy. While it’s fine to use smaller font sizes for less important information, there is no reason to use a 6pt font size on your direct mail. Keep in mind when sending mail to older adults, they appreciate larger font sizes because it makes it easy for them to read. Be simple and straight to the point.

5. Testimonials

When your testimonials come across as fake or shady, you have a real problem. Vague wording and people from random small towns are not believable.

How To Fix It: Your testimonials should include a name, a picture and specific details about your product or service. Use only real ones— don’t fabricate. Ask people to provide you with feedback you can use.

These are a few of the most common ways direct mail can be seen as untrustworthy. Gimmicks to get people to respond will backfire on you. Authentic and direct messaging is the only way to engage people and get them to trust you. People buy from people and companies they trust.

Have you seen other ways direct mail has gone bad?

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:, email:, on LinkedIn, or on Twitter @sumgould.

31 thoughts on “Top 5 Reasons People Don’t Trust Your Direct Mail Marketing”

  1. #2 is not quite accurate. Short copy works best for B2B and in B2C for lead generation. But when asking a consumer for an order — say, for a dietary supplement or investment newsletter — long copy works better in most instances.

    1. We are seeing that change. People are short on time and not willing to read long copy. We suggest that clients keep copy short on direct mail and offer more content via a link to their website where each person can choose what they want to learn more about or place an order.

      1. Long copy is still needed to sell certain offers. The people who do not read it are not buyers. Those who do read it are. I agree that a great tactic today is to use shorter direct mail to drive traffic to a long-copy landing page that does the bulk of the selling–at least for consumer offers; e.g., a $49 dietary supplement, a $149 investment advisory.

  2. I think some of Ms. Gould’s suggestions are also good for some web content. In fact, if a mailer is going out, then it should also be included on the website, shouldn’t it?

  3. To write short or long content is a constant decision that copywriters have to make. If it’s too long, people get bored and stop reading. If it’s too short, there’s not enough there to convince the reader to go forward with a purchase. But I think length is not a factor when the copy is or about one of these 3 things: (1) well written copy – people will read anything about anything if it’s interesting or fun or humorous or dramatic or weird enough (2) seriousness or high end item – purchasing a necessity (RX) or a luxury (classic Mercedes) demands, and we can’t seem to get enough, description and details (3) targeted market – if the market is narrowed down to high-interest readers then you have a captive audience who will read just about anything and any length on that subject.

  4. Summer Gould, I guarantee I could write a long-copy full-page ad, run it in Target, and if the content was accurate and interesting, you would read it. The headline: “This ad is all about Summer Gould.”

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