The Do's and Don'ts of Writing for Engagement
Don't leave your call-to-action until the end. Your reader may never get there.
Repeat your call-to-action. Include it in more than one place in your email, landing page, letter, brochure and response card. Put it in hot spots.
It doesn't matter what's inside your envelope if it doesn't get opened. For copy and design ideas that increase open rates, request a free copy of Tension Envelope's white paper, "How to Create Successful Direct Mail Envelopes" at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also check out this video from my editor (!) Ethan Boldt on "4 Design Best Practices for Direct Mail."
Active vs. passive. Do use active verbs and an active voice to engage your reader and build momentum. Passive simply reports.
Track how your readers respond. Then focus on the most often used channels (which may change over time). For example, your fax number may (or may not) have outlived its usefulness. Response tells you.
Bulleted copy stands out because it's easy to scan. Use whenever appropriate.
Long vs. short. Don't assume you know which works best. When in doubt, test the length of your copy. You may be surprised by the results.
Free is more powerful than complimentary or at no cost.
"Do Not Bend," Do Not Fold, Do Not Destroy Before Opening. Have you seen these words used repeatedly on direct mail you're receiving? Repeat use means they are working. Apply appropriately.
Envelope teasers & email subject lines. These are one and the same; their job is to get the envelope or email opened. Looking for ideas to increase openability? Try these tips I wrote about in 2011.
All postage is not equal. An envelope's upper right corner is used by the mail screener at home and office to decide whether to toss or keep your mailing. Don't let your lettershop decide how your postage should look ... it can affect response.