Direct Mail Strategy: Hook Them With Your Copy
• If you’ve got a great testimonial that’s more than a sentence or two, maximize its readership by using it as a lift letter.
• Put headlines in quotation marks. Tests show those little squiggles attract more attention.
• Put the benefit at the beginning of a headline, sentence or paragraph. Too often, the benefit gets buried at the end, and your reader never sees it.
• Start headlines with active verbs. Active verbs are engaging and lure your reader into the copy that follows.
• Use copy to sell your offer, not your product. Your offer is an entire package of elements you’re willing to give in exchange for response—it’s not just your product and price.
• The big question is, “What’s in it for me?” Lead with the answer or risk losing your reader.
• All direct mail formats (solo, self-mailer, postcard, catalog) have hot spots—where the reader’s eye goes first when scanning copy. Work with your direct mail designer to create and use hot spots that focus attention on major benefits and pull the reader into the rest of your copy. Hot spots include headlines, subheads, bullets, call-outs, underlined copy, photo captions, salutation, Johnson Box, signature, first and last paragraphs, and the P.S.
• Need to spotlight an important deadline, limited-quantity sale item, or new service for preferred customers? Highlight it on its own buck slip insert. Do this even if you mention it in the letter or brochure where it may or may not be seen.
• Print important inserts on colorful paper—it is more likely to be read first.
• Do you want your reader to retain a piece of copy for future reference or share as a pass-along? Provide a visual cue, such as:
1. Create sidebar copy with a dotted line border around it like that used for a cut-me-out coupon.