5 Ways to Double Direct Mail Response
In his latest report, 101 Ways to Double Your Response Rates, copywriter Ivan Levison declares the secret of better direct response lies in the taking care of all the tiny details of whatever you're writing. There is no magic bullet when it comes to rapidly increasing response rates, but if you handle these details appropriately and apply proven techniques to your mailing, success is likely around the corner.
Here are five ways to boost response that he mentions in this report:
1. Put the right information in the Johnson box.
What should you include there? The offer. The main product benefit. The phone number to call or the URL to visit. The expiration date of the offer. The guarantee. Mix and match these as appropriate.
2. Use the Johnson box in the right kind of letter.
If you're writing a nonpersonalized letter that's going out bulk rate in a window envelope using teaser copy, a Johnson box will fit right in. After all, it's part of the "classic package" format. (Don't scoff at it. It still works!) But if you're writing a first-class letter, in a close-faced envelope riding First Class, the Johnson box will look cheap and out of place.
3. Be clear. Be honest.
Your guarantee should spell things out in simple terms and never scare people away with legalistic clauses or "fine print." You know those TV commercials local car dealers run? The ones with the eight sentences of unreadable type that flash on the screen for a nanosecond at the end? You want your guarantee to do just the opposite and make an unqualified promise of satisfaction.
4. Use a border around the guarantee.
Never, ever bury a guarantee in body copy! That's a great way to lose one of the most compelling elements of your mailing. The guarantee should float as a separate element surrounded by a corny border, or at the least, a one-point ruled line. You want your guarantee to jump out and get read. Many companies ignore this rule and miss out. Don't let yours be one of them!
5. For the brochure, give your Question & Answer section a title.
Never just say, "Questions & Answers" and let it go at that. Always try to warm things up with a little personality and add a "finished" quality. Some headline title examples:
- Five commonly asked questions about contact management software.
- Do you know the answers to these important database questions?
- How to select tax preparation software—straight answers to tough questions.
- Do you have questions? We've got answers!