Although there are many different uses for the direct mail letter, they all have common characteristics that make them successful.
Of course, your list and your offer will also have a big impact on your success rate but the characteristics I will be talking about are those that make the letter powerful, engaging – a sales force to be reckoned with.
So, that must mean the copy. How you write your letter will determine whether you successfully engage with your reader. A lot depends on the words you use…
When you are in a face to face selling situation, the first thing the sales person will try to do is build rapport. That is exactly what your letter has to do. Use language that will engage your reader and address them directly.
Remember this letter isn’t about your company, it’s about what you can do for your reader. You’re intruding on their privacy so ensure you show them that you understand their problem and will help them solve it. After all, if you want them to spend time reading your letter you have to make it worth their while.
You can do this by:
- Using ‘you’ and ‘your’ to build rapport.
- Highlight the benefits to show them what’s in it for them
- Use simple language – if you try to be clever you’ll simply turn them off
- Make sure you reflect their needs and hopes within the letter
Tell them a story
Use the good old fashioned story template to sell your product. Tell them how their lives are at the moment and then tell them about your product and how it will make things better. Make them the hero in your story and by taking action they will make everything better.
Don’t be woolly
If you’re vague in your claims no one is going to believe them. Use facts and figures to back things up; use testimonials and case studies to show what effect your product could have.
Once you’ve grabbed their attention, built rapport and convinced them your product is for them, make sure you tell them what to do next. If you won’t all your hard work would have been wasted.
Make sure your call to action is commanding – call now, email now, book now etc. Also tell them what will happen next – delivery in 7 days, we’ll call you within 24 hours…
As you can see creating a strong direct mail letter is not as straight forward as it would seem. But if you constantly keep your reader in your mind, you will be able to create something centred on their needs that will get them to take action.
Sally Ormond is a freelance copywriter who works with companies all over the world. Her copywriting services have helped numerous companies increase their sales and enjoy greater visibility within their market place.