August 19, 2017

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.)

    Catch Your Readers - Ann Wylie's persuasive-writing workshop in Kansas City on Nov. 16-17, 2017 imageAt Catch Your Readers — a two-day Master Class on Nov. 16-17 in Kansas City — you’ll learn a four-step process for making your message more relevant, valuable and rewarding to your audience.

    Specifically, you’ll learn to:

    • Take advantage of the formula readers use to determine which messages to pay attention to (and which to toss).
    • Tap two rewards of reading you can use to boost audience interest in your message.
    • Answer the No. 1 question your reader is asking, regardless of your topic, medium or channel.
    • Make a two-minute perspective shift to focus your message on the value to readers — not on “us and our stuff.”
    • Use a three-letter word that magically makes your message more relevant to your readers.

    Learn more about the Master Class.

    Register for Catch Your Readers - Ann Wylie's persuasive-writing workshop in Kansas City on Nov. 16-17, 2017

    Browse all upcoming Master Classes.

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

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