December 21, 2014

Push the envelope

Get them to open the offer

Will they open your sales letter?

LOVE LETTER Will they like your offer enough to buy? Direct mail sales start with the envelope. Image by saxarocks

That depends on the:

1. Envelope

A No. 10 or monarch envelope look like personal or business correspondence. A 6-by-9-inch one stands out, but looks like junk mail. Envelopes with windows look more promotional than those without.

2. Teaser copy

Blind envelopes sometimes pull better than those with sales copy because they look personal instead of like junk mail.

But you might be able to pull recipients in with good teaser copy. Dramatic stories, strong benefits and a sense of urgency can grab attention. Nightingale Conant, for instance, starts — then interrupts — this dramatic story:

“The General figured he had nothing to lose.
“When the brash young man
who’d never held a pistol in his life
boasted that he could cut training time IN HALF
for the United States Army’s pistol-shooting program, the General smiled.
“When he vowed that he would raise its success rate at the same time, the General laughed.
“But when the man insisted that he wouldn’t take a penny in payment unless he was 100% successful, the General said, “You’re on!”
“Using the very same techniques that would make him a millionaire before his 29th birthday [continued inside]

3. Address

Addresses that look typed or hand printed seem more like business or personal correspondence. Personalization looks personal; “Recipient” screams marketing.

4. Postage

Live stamps usually outperform envelopes with metered postage; metered postage pulls better than indicia. First class looks more like business or personal correspondence; third-class bulk rate looks more promotional.

  • Think Like a Reader

    The secret to writing to persuade is to position your messages in your audience’s best interests. (Most communicators position their messages in their organization’s best interests.)

    In Make Your Message More Creative writing workshop, a two-day Master Class in Chicago, on April 21-22, you’ll learn a four-step process for making your message — and your organization — more relevant, valuable and rewarding to your audience.

    Specifically, you’ll learn:

    • The formula people use to determine which messages to pay attention to
    • Two rewards you can use to boost audience interest in your message
    • The No. 1 question to answer on your reader’s behalf
    • A two-minute perspective shift that focuses your message on the value to the audience
    • A simple translation process that pushes audience benefits to the top of your message
    • A three-letter word to use to make your message more relevant to your audience

    Learn more about the Master Class.

    Register for Writing Workshop in New York.


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