How to Write a Complete Direct Mail Package, Piece-by-Piece
Envelopes come in a range of standard sizes and can be custom manufactured to nearly any size within USPS specifications. They can also be made from various types and colors of paper or other materials and can have one or more windows or be closed faced.
This is the heart of any direct mail package. My personal rule is that if you have an outer envelope, you MUST include a letter. The letter is your voice. This is where you speak directly to your prospect, one-on-one, and present your offer.
As with any other element of a direct mail package, you can illustrate your letter and make it as colorful as you wish. However, in most cases, it's better to make the letter look like a standard letter without too many bells and whistles.
Writing letters is something of an art form, so there is no set formula. Master copywriters often do their best work when they break the rules. But there is a certain structure that most letters follow:
- Headline or "Johnson Box"
- Salutation, such as Dear Friend, Dear Joe, or Dear Cat Lover
- Short, attention-grabbing first sentence
- Body copy that tells a story, presents a problem and solution, and/or presents your offer, along with benefits and details
- Call to action or CTA, such as "Call 1-800-123-4567 to order now" or "Visit widget.com to download your free trial today"
- Guarantee to back up your offer
- Deadline (if appropriate) to prompt faster response
- Sign off with a handwritten signature
- P.S. or Post Script that presents a prime benefit, restatement of the offer, deadline reminder, bonus offer, or whatever you want to highlight
This is an optional component. I say it's optional because, often, your direct mail package can work as well or better without it, depending on circumstances.