How to Write a Complete Direct Mail Package, Piece-by-Piece
If you use one, remember my advice about "divide and conquer." The brochure is not just an illustrated version of the letter. It is specifically used to provide support information for the letter. It should illustrate features, list benefits, provide proofs, make comparisons, and list technical details to lend credibility to what your letter claims.
The format of a brochure is limited only by your imagination and budget, but usually it takes one of a few basic forms. It is a flyer, one-sheet, or "broadside" with one primary selling surface, folded to fit in the envelope. It is a standard "brochure," folded to create four or more pages. Or it is a "panel" piece with one of many types of folds and copy and images divided between the various panels so that when it is opened, the reader sees each panel in a particular order.
Personally, I opt for the broadside whenever possible. I like having just one primary selling surface, much like a print ad, with secondary information on the back. The copy is not dictated by folds and, often, I design broadsides so that you must open them completely to read headlines and see the images. This isn't elegant, but it's effective at creating more involvement. (I learned this trick from a Playboy mailing that used, shall we say, strategic folds.)
Insert or Lift Note
This is also sometimes called a "publisher's note" because magazine subscription mail packages often contain them. The purpose of the "lift" note is just what it sounds like: to give the package a lift in response.
Usually, a lift note is signed by a different person than whoever signed the main letter. The lift note is small, generally printed on a slip that is folded, with a short headline or teaser on the outside. The note copy can present a last-minute thought or a special offer, deal with a specific objection, or highlight a benefit.