It’s so easy to toss a letter into the trash unopened. But great direct mail marketers have learned how to stay out of the dustbin and get into the hands of your most wanted prospects. How do they do it? It all comes down to a little psychology and a lot of strategy.
- Play Hard to Get. This is especially critical if you’re attempting to forge a relationship with a new client. After all, most people will open a letter from their credit union or insurance company, but someone else’s? In the trash. From the outside, there’s no need to scream who you are. Consider sending a simple, blank white envelope without identifying who you are. Yes, that seems to go against every rule of branding there is, but you have to keep in mind that brand awareness is secondary to getting people to read your full message. On the inside, brand away, but don’t be afraid to be a bit vague on the outside.
- Look Official. Some letters just look more important than others. We’ve been trained that if a letter has one of those little cellophane windows, it probably has something important like a check or a bank statement. Use that to your advantage by incorporating that design element into the envelope. Don’t lie—don’t promise that there’s anything inside that there isn’t. But simply using the implication can get people to read more about you, and that’s never a bad thing. Also remember that quality matters here. Cheap paper will give you away every time, as will smudgy printing. Take the time—and money—to do to it right.
- Be Urgent. No one has enough time these days. We always put things off until the last possible second. An undated letter can be pushed off indefinitely, as there’s no sense of urgency. But by saying on the outside of your letter “offer expires April 1!” people understand that there’s a time table here. If they want to take advantage of it, they need to get moving. One tip: Don’t try to play coy by saying “offer expires in one week!” People immediately identify that as the marketing ploy it is and are less likely to believe it’s a hard-and-fast deadline. Use actual dates whenever possible.
The first step to direct mail marketing success is getting opened. Without that, nothing else matters. Try out these tips and tricks and let us know how it works. Need more help? Contact Premier Advantage Marketing, a direct marketing agency. We’ll guide you in the right direction and help you get opened.
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