What you say and how you say it when it comes to copy for your direct mail material will either make or break your campaign. A direct mail campaign should persuade the prospective customer to act.
The success of your direct mail campaign really hinges on whether people read what you have sent them and become aware of your product/service. In turn, they are more likely to consider you when next they need what you provide.
However, if the sales message, be it a flyer, letter, etc, is unclear, too convoluted, is not catchy or is badly thought out and planned, there is less chance of your targeted customers reading it. Hence, your direct mailing efforts have failed.
You need to plan and develop how your direct mail material will be shaped and what the message will be.
To do this you should work to a plan. Firstly, consider the following:
Your prospective customer
Why your product/service would appeal to the prospective customer.
You will then need to consider a few questions before creating your first draft of your direct mail material. Questions such as:
What are likely to be the main characteristics or binding threads to your prospective customer?
What response are you trying to get from the prospective customer?
What can you offer to get them to react the way you want them to?
Why should they react the way you want them to?
What is likely to be the biggest hurdle to getting a favourable response from the prospective customer?
What aspects of the product/service are the most saleable or attention grabbing?
Is this what the prospective customer will really want to know about or is there a “hidden” benefit to the product/service?
If, for example, you are creating a direct mail campaign by sending an information pack which includes a personalised letter, brochure/flyer and/or sample (if applicable), be careful that you are taking full advantage of the full array of information on your products/service that will interest the prospective customer. Try to avoid having every piece of material regurgitating the same product information. This will seem quite dull to the prospect and they may disregard the entire information pack.
However, it is important to remember not bombard your prospect with an information “overload” where there is too much to read or take in and they disregard the material. The aim is to find a balance.
Creating direct marketing copy
Here we look at what to consider when creating direct marketing copy:
First gain attention
Create interest. Expand on your opening statement.
Promote desire as your copy proceeds to divulge and demonstrates the prospects’ need for such a product/service
Give the reader a reason to believe. Back up your statements where possible. Not with a million overbearing scientific facts, for example, instead try testimonials, test results, case studies, etc. (providing you can back them up.)
Demand action. Ask for the prospects’ business, encourage them to act and buy your product.
One of the most important sentences in your direct mail will be the headline. Often the PS at the end of a letter can also be an important element in a direct mail letter.
Don’t be afraid to lead your letter off with a great offer, if you have one.
It is better to send personalised letters rather than generic ones such as Dear Householder, etc,
Try to give your customers as many options to respond as possible such as by phone, fax, e-mail, after-hours, mobile, etc.
Try to keep sentences short.
Proof reading your content
Make sure the grammar and spelling contained in your direct mail material is correct. There really is no excuse for poor spelling, especially when most computer packages have built-in spell check functions.
Spelling errors and poor grammar can undermine your professionalism. Customers may think, if they can’t get the spelling right, how can they run a business. It can also spell a lack of attention to detail which will also sit in the back of the customer’s mind.
Customers could then question your professionalism and whether they will contact your business to make a sale.
Proof reading your material only costs you time. It is also worth getting a second party to read the content too, just in case something is missed the first time.
Direct mail and misleading or deceptive statements
You have a responsibility not to make false of misleading claims about your products/service or what your customers can expect in return for purchasing or using your products and services.
According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (www.accc.gov.au) false or misleading statements are those which generally cause people to hold false beliefs or draw wrong conclusions about a product or service.
Pay particular attention to any conditions, guarantees, “free” offers, price comparisons or the use of the word “new” when creating your advertising content.
Tips For Avoiding Misleading Representations And Product Descriptions
The ACCC has released the following tips to help avoid prosecution for false or misleading advertising and product descriptions.
Give current and correct information
Give all relevant facts
Ensure overall impression is correct
Avoid ambiguous statements
Back up claims with facts
Note important limitations or exemptions
Guess the facts
Leave relevant information out
Use unnecessary jargon
Make promises you can’t keep
Make predictions without reasonable basis
Offer services without a reasonable basis for believing you can deliver them.