9 Rules for Direct Mail Copywriting Success
Years ago, I was at a marketing seminar and some speaker I have never heard of grabbed the microphone and talked about getting noticed.
She had some great insights on making a business memorable. As she went down her checklist of things we need to do to win, I saw how it related to all types of advertising. I have since implemented those ideas as what I call "The Rule of the Nine."
Today all of the direct mail copywriting success I have is because of this checklist. Nothing leaves our office until EVERY question is answered.
The Rule of the Nine
- What is it I want to sell? Define what it is you are offering. "This ad's sole purpose is to sell ___________."
- What problem does my offering solve? Your product/service is a painkiller. If you do not know exactly what your prospects suffer from, you can't create successful ads.
- Why should they buy it? Will the carpets be healthier without dust mites, mold spores and pollen? Does your roofing service have a 20 year free shingle replacement warranty? Does your dog walking service include 15 minutes of K9 cardio?
- Who are my ideal customers? How old are they? Where do I find them? What's their income level? The more you know, the easier they are to sell to.
- Why trust me? What justifies you or your company as an expert? What credentials do you have? Do you have testimonials or endorsements from respected colleagues or clients?
- Who are my competitors and how am I different from them? What is it about your service, product or process that your competition is not doing or telling? Is your guarantee the strongest? Do you offer service after hours or on weekends? Is the paint you use safer around children? Find as many differentiators as you can and focus on one or two of the most meaningful.
- Why would they say no? What are the fears or objections they may have to my offering? Are my prices high? Does my offer sound believable? Do I seem trustworthy? Find and answer as many as you can.
- What is the goal of my ad? Is it to educate, alert, entertain or sell them on the idea of your service, product or skills? Not all successful ads sell directly. Many are to create a sales funnel, such as getting recipients to opt-in to a newsletter.
- How do you want people to take action? Should they call, email, connect, go to a website, or scan a QR code? Is there a deadline? What will they miss out on if they do not respond now?
Answer these questions within your ad and you greatly increase your chance at success.
Paul McQuillan is chief marketer of Minneapolis-based Direct Mail Copywriting. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.