Direct Mail Strategy: Direct Mail Road Signs
4. Use hot spots on response devices to restate benefits, showcase your guarantee, restate the call to action and response options, provide methods of payment, and offer shipping options.
5. State and restate major benefits in hot spots so your benefit story won’t get overlooked.
6. Position your major benefit at the beginning of a sentence, paragraph or headline. Don’t bury it in the middle.
7. Do not color-coordinate every component in your mailing. Instead, use a bright-yellow free gift insert or fluorescent-orange burst to highlight a customer testimonial in your letter.
8. Use hot spots appropriately. They don’t necessarily have to be big or bold. For example, the salutation of a letter doesn’t need to be large, colorful or even personalized to draw the reader’s eye to it. It’s a natural hot spot. However, it does need to be appropriately accurate to establish a rapport between the individual receiving and the person signing the letter. Used appropriately, “Dear Friend,” “Dear Preferred Customer” and “Dear Pat” all can be equally effective. In my case, “Dear Sir” (my name is Patricia, not Patrick) is not appropriate or effective.
9. Use hot spots strategically to gently move the reader’s eye from one place to another. Don’t fill your outer envelope with bright bursts of copy and expect it to get read. Too much of a good thing is not a good idea.
Words of Caution
As much as hot spots encourage scanners to become readers, there also are techniques that stifle readership. In most cases, you want to avoid:
1. dense copy blocks filled with long sentences;
2. large amounts of copy in difficult-to-read red or reversed-out type;
3. long headlines in all caps;
4. gray-screened backgrounds for copy;
5. body copy in smaller than 10-point type and/or in san serif type; and