copywriter - direct mail


Direct mail has always been a very effective marketing tool – but only if you get it right.

It won’t have a place in every business, especially with the advances in online marketing. But it is still very much alive and well.

If you dabble in direct mail and want your campaigns to be successful, there are three elements you should use to maximise your chances of success:


  1. Make sure the content of your letter appeals to your target market
  2. Make sure it is written to inspire your audience to take an action
  3. Make sure you can monitor its effectiveness

Let’s take a look at each one of  these areas in more details to see how you can give your direct marketing campaign the edge.

Your target audience

Do you know who you are trying to reach?

A blanket mailing may well reach thousands of households but it’s unlikely to be the most effective way to run your campaign.

Your campaign should be targeted at a specific market segment and it should address the issues that they face. Make sure your content is benefits orientated explaining how your product will have a direct positive influence on your reader.

As an aside, the four most important aspects of your direct mail campaign are:

  • Your list
  • Your offer
  • The format
  • The copy

As you can see your list (i.e. the people you are sending it to – your target audience) is right at the top. This is because no matter how great your copy is or your offer, if you send it to the wrong people you won’t be successful. Knowing your audience is key to the success of your campaign.

Take action

If you don’t tell your reader to take an action, your direct  mail campaign won’t be worth the paper it’s written on. Just as with your website copy, once you have your readers’ attention and made them want your product, you then have to tell them what to do.

Plus make it easy for them, enclose an SAE, give them a free phone number etc. If they can respond easily they will. Make it difficult for them and they won’t bother.

And the results are…

If you don’t measure your results, how can you improve?

Monitor it by adding a code to your order form, giving a code to enter into your website when ordering, a specific 0800 number or mark your SAEs with a code that’s easily recognisable.

However you do it, monitoring your results will help you shape future campaigns to ensure you get the most out of your investment.

So next time you embark on a direct mail campaign, make sure you cover all three of these elements. Over time your campaigns will be honed to perfection but remember anything can be improved.

Sally Ormond – freelance copywriter