When you're writing to generate response, it all starts with finding ways to engage your reader in your copy and content. Reader engagement hinges on using the right words to build rapport. This kind of copy rings true with the targeted audience because it makes an immediate connection. But how do you know which are the right words to use? One technique is to say the same thing in different ways. Many different ways. You never know which will hit your readers' hot buttons and snag their attention. I know from experience this technique works across channels—from direct mail letters and self-mailers to emails, whitepapers, blog posts and website copy. Twitter, with its 140 characters, may be the one exception, because you don't have the opportunity to repeat yourself.
Direct response writers (and their readers) know that one of the most powerful motivators in the English language is a four-letter word. It's the word "free." Free nudges fence-sitters by eliminating risk. It rewards the deal-seeker in each of us. And it's a tool for separating you from the competition. It's also a faster read and more engaging than words and phrases such as "complimentary," "at no charge" or "courtesy of."
There’s no doubt the US Postal Service is struggling. It faces a multi-billion dollar deficit, and is considering closing thousands of post offices. For years, the USPS has been complaining that email is eating into its market share. And they’re probably right. What you’re more likely seeing in your mailbox is exactly what I’m seeing: mountains of ads, address labels and catalogs you never asked for, and don’t want. All of this commercial detritus begs the question: How much is junk mail propping up the US Postal Service?
It was a blustery January morning a couple of years ago when I mustered the courage to march into my creative director's office and ask him why he wasn't using a senior staff writer (like me) to write the copy for Fingerhut's new insurance program. I was bored with polyester pantsuits and burned out writing about cookware. I wanted a challenge. I wanted to write insurance copy.
While I’m not an advocate of adding extraneous elements to mailings for the sake of being clever, I’ve learned to appreciate the response-generating value of bells and whistles, gadgets, and gizmos when used appropriately.
Plus … Best Wishes for a Joyous Holiday Dec. 20, 2005: Vol. 1, Issue No. 57 IN THE NEWS Letters | Academy of Natural Sciences not serving well It's indeed a shame the museum is going under, but The Inquirer's article ["Dinosaur Museum Itself Is Threatened"] stresses its importance only to the scientific community. The museum hasn't been stressing its importance to the general public for many, many years; that neglect shows, and that's why the public has turned away from it. --Allene Murphey, Letter to the Editors, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Dec. 16, 2005 In the 1980s, the Whitney Museum of American
The following is the full list of Grand Controls identified by the Who's Mailing What! Archive as having been mailed for three years or more during the past decade (1995-2004). For more information on any of these mailings, contact Archive Director Paul Bobnak, at (215) 238-5225. Or, to order access to the entire direct mail library of mailings received by the Archive between 1994 and the present, visit www.whosmailingwhat.com. AARP Membership Registration Archive Code: 571AMASRP0604Z AARP Membership Card Archive Code: 571AMASRP0397A AARP Certificate of Admission Archive Code: 573AMASRP1095AZ Advertising Age Year/$69.95 Archive Code: 205ADAGEM0799Z Air & Space 5 + 1
By Pat Friesen How to get your mail opened first. For years we've endured hearing about junk mail. Then snail mail. Now, I'd like to talk to you about lumpy mail. Unlike the first two, the term lumpy mail isn't meant to be judgmental or derogatory. Simply descriptive. And, no, I didn't coin the phrase; I'm borrowing it from a creative colleague, Dave Nichols of Denver's Heinrich Marketing. My definition of lumpy mail is any envelope with unexpected bulk to it. The envelope can be evenly thick or with a bulge at one end. The key is that when you hold it in
Once-defunct cataloger Fingerhut—known for extending credit and goods to lower-income consumers—is back in the mailstream with its first continuity program since Federated Department Stores Inc. sold the company last year. Fingerhut customers were targeted in the fourth quarter of 2003 with a jewelry continuity program created by marketing services firm Holsted Marketing. Two sets of direct mail pieces went out in the second half of October, each to 50,000 people. Another 100,000 were sent via bangtails—offers on extra flaps attached to Fingerhut monthly remittance envelopes—in early November. “The idea [behind this campaign] was to define what products and offers work, and prepare for next
By Alicia Orr Suman Spring 1978. The first issue of ZIP magazine hit the mail. And on the cover of that predecessor to this magazine were the faces of men and women—"Some Leaders in the Direct Marketing Field," stated the headline. The features listed in the Table of Contents of that premier issue (right) have an eerie resemblance to the subjects we now cover 25 years later: • What Is the Future of the Postal Service? • Personal Privacy in an Information Society • Facsimile Machines, For the Office of the Future • Computer Networks: The New Information Robots • Alternate Delivery: Post-Mortem for