April 30, 2016

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.

  • Catch Your Readers

    If you want to Catch Your Readers, you need to think like a reader. Then you need to use the bait your reader likes, not the bait you like. Problem is, many of the techniques we’ve institutionalized in business communication writing are not the bait the reader likes.

    In Catch Your Readers — a two-day Master Class on June 28-29 in San Diego — we’ll debunk destructive writing myths, how-we’ve-always-done-its and relics from Writing 101. (You’re not still stuffing all those W’s into the lead, are you?!) You'll leave with scientific, proven-in-the-lab approaches for getting people to pay attention to, understand, remember and act on your messages.

    Specifically, you’ll learn how to:

    • Think Like a Reader: Move people to act
    • Go Beyond the Inverted Pyramid: Master a structure that's been proven in the lab to reach more readers
    • Cut Through the Clutter: Make every piece you write measurably easier to read and understand
    • Lift Your Ideas Off the Page Or Screen: Reach flippers and skimmers, increase readership
    • Edit, write, repeat: Bring your laptop and a story to work on, write and rewrite, get and give feedback, and leave with a totally rewritten piece

    Learn more about the Master Class.

    Register for Writing Workshop in Atlanta.

    Browse all upcoming Master Classes.

    Would you like to hold an in-house Catch Your Readers workshop? Contact Ann directly.

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