The Most Important Elements in Direct Mail

One must consider many elements when using Direct Mail as a communication channel for customer service, customer up selling, and prospecting for new business.
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May 22, 2012 - PRLog -- One must consider many elements when using Direct Mail as a communication channel for customer service, customer up selling, and prospecting for new business.

First is the Copywriting. Direct mail copy must get the reader’s attention and it must be persuasive. If it doesn’t gain anyone’s attention, the direct mail has failed. Good copywriting focuses on the customer, stresses a key benefit, proves that the product or service backs the claims, and is different from the competition.

Second is Design. Design does not take a backseat to copy. Designers say that getting the reader’s attention is the job of design and layout. Designers are not alone in their stance. Some people train their eyes to see if their name is in the mailing address and the product or service offered is of interest to them. Then the design cleverly brings the reader’s eye into the copy to learn more about what you are offering.

Combined, copywriting and design can make a powerful and valuable contribution. For example, a good headline must be in harmony with the design and pull the reader into the direct mail piece. If the product is a hybrid vehicle, the headline might say, “Get 56 miles per gallon with our new ELR-x model today!” A subhead can add more sizzle by telling the reader, “Great mileage in a true sports car package!”

You need to push the reader over the emotional edge with the design and copy motivating the reader to make a buying decision. In the scenario above, the art of design and photography can illustrate the features and benefits of the ELR-x model, causing the reader to pause and think: “How much can I save on gas each week?” “I can help to save the environment and still have a sporty vehicle.” “My family and friends will be envious of me and my brand new car!”

The design and copy of the direct mail piece are on the same page. Now you need a compelling offer to move the reader closer to a buying decision.

Buy now! Act now! A clear, action-oriented offer drives the reader into the showroom, store, or website to place an order. For the automobile example, the offer could be a test drive. In a retail store, it could be a percentage off or a buy-one-get-one-free offer. On a website you can have a more personalized offer.

At this point, you may be asking which element is most important when using direct mail. Is it:

• The copy?
• The design?
• The offer?
• The channel?
• The list?

Direct marketers value the list or database more now than in the past. There is more use of segmentation and increasing integration with other channels to generate lists based on more detailed customer information. As a result, companies using direct mail are attaining excellent results even though they are mailing less. Is it fair to say that the list is equal to or more important than the message (relevance), the design, the channel, and the offer?

Today, your list of potential and existing buyers is the most important element in direct mail. A direct marketer must know as much as possible about the potential buyers in their audience. With this knowledge, a direct marketer can apply all the other elements to ensure the success of the direct mail. Customers have more options to spend their money and don’t mind doing it with a firm they know.

Did it take postal rate hikes and additional regulations to bring about this change of priorities? Or was it the emergence of social media? There are many opinions, but whenever new means of marketing to customers and prospects emerge, time sorts out the winners.

MVS Mailers can help. Call us at 631-699-0100. Visit us online at
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Location:Bohemia - New York - United States
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