Advertising, Internet

How to Craft a Successful Direct Mail Offer

direct mail advertising

Is your direct mail campaign plagued with dumpy design and crummy copy?

Oh, no! These are considerable constraints. There is, however, one glimmer of hope: a strong offer combined with a compelling call-to-action. A well-crafted offer can contribute to 30% of your direct marketing success, according to MarketingProfs. In short, you can compensate for less-than-ideal copy and design by crafting a phenomenal offer.

What goes into a phenomenal offer?

Write It Like You Say It

Speak to your audience as if you were speaking to one person directly. Grammar and punctuation are important, but resist being too formal. People respond to real humans. Be human.

When you read your copy it should “sound” like a conversation. Use the words and sentence structure familiar to your audience. Ideally, you are part of the same audience. Authenticity matters.

Create a Bond

The most important aspect of your offer is the part where you sincerely empathize with your audience’s plight — and demonstrate that your product helps solve their problem.

For example, if you are selling a facial serum that reduces the appearance of scarring you should start by acknowledging how a scar has affected you personally. A visible scar might have impacted your confidence or self-esteem. It may feel like a burden to cover with makeup, or it made you feel less attractive in your own skin. This vulnerability is actually a position of strength. It says: I understand. I’m here to help.

Of course, that will be destroyed if you are selling a product or service that does not deliver. You are asking for the prospect’s trust. When you have it, you create a lasting bond. Lasting bonds are the foundation for having loyal and repeat customers.

Make It Easy to Continue

Once you’ve laid the groundwork of trust you can start the next phase, the call-to-action.

This is a crucial step. The call-to-action converts prospects into leads and leads into customers. Whether you’re directing someone to your website to download information or instructing them to call a toll-free number, the directions should be simple, familiar, and clear. Do not offer multiple ways to further the process. Less is more. Choose a call-to-action that your audience has already used.

Let’s return to the example of selling a scar-reducing facial serum. You might have narrowed your list to women in their prime dating years, ages 18-34. You may have further targeted your list to women who have used their smartphone to scan a QR code for information on a beauty product. Therefore, a call-to-action that asks prospects to use a smartphone to scan a code is a familiar process for this audience. If, however, you were marketing the same product to male ranchers aged 45-60, your approach and call-to-action would be vastly different.

Structure Your Offer Carefully

The call-to-action gets prospects to the next steps. Once prospects land here you can further your prospect’s trust by allowing them some limited choices. This autonomy serves them, and can help you, too.

To continue our example, once a prospect scans a QR code she is brought to a specialized landing page on your website. There she might be given three options to continue. The first might be to request a small sample at a low price. The second choice might be a discount on a full-size product. The third offer might be a larger quantity of product at a discounted price and/or a special offer combined with other products.

The point here is not to “upsell” but to “upserve.” Offering three price points allows more prospects to participate. Moreover, the three price points naturally point more people to the middle price and serve as a psychological price anchor. If the third option is most expensive the middle option looks more sensible, and therefore more attractive.

P.S. Is Your Friend

Your closing is the last opportunity to inspire action. Restate your shared bond and proposition in the most often read part of the sales letter, the postscript at the end.

Now, no one truly wants to send out any direct mail campaign with dumpy design or crummy copy. Build your campaign first by focusing on creating the strongest offer possible. When excellent design and persuasive copy follow, you’ve greatly enhanced your chances of success. In fact, it’s an almost guaranteed slam dunk.

If you have any questions, please ask below!