A Guide to Direct Mail

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(1) Is DM for you?

(2) Choosing your list

(3) The Offer


(4) Call to Action

(5) The Package

(6) The Copy

(7) Testing

(8) Tracking

History of DM

Where to start
Offers with Pizzazz
The Guarantee
The Deadline

The offer is generally regarded as the second most important part of the mail please after mailing list. You probably already know what the offer is: Its the deal you're presenting to the prospect in the mail. Don't get this confused with the next item which is the "call to action", that is, what you want the person to do. The offer is "buy one get one free", "get a copy of a new book at the introductory price of $9.95", and so on.

Where to start
The offer, and the call to action, are most evident on the order form of the mailer. For this reason, seasoned direct marketers design the order form first. In doing so, they construct in their mind what they are offering the prospect and what they want them to do. The most important thing to an offer is that be clear and concise. A maxim of direct mail is that a confused mind always says "no". So by all means, make sure your offer is crystal clear and simple. Tons of people screw this up and doing so is the kiss of death.

Offers with Pizzazz
What are some examples of Offers that have pizzazz? Well to begin with, the word "free" is very very powerful, even though it is used everwhere. People really like free. With that in mind, some good offers are: Buy one, get 1 free. Free cunsultation Buy X and get Y for free. 20% off for first time customers. Introductory special offer on a new product.

The partner of the word "free" is the word "sale". Again, it is used all the time, but people are still drawn to it. A clearance sale, a going out of business sale, just something that pulls people in. If you could just have a sale where people got something free, you would have it made! Most of the time in direct mail, you don't lead with the offer. You get the prospects interest and build desire. Then, you spring the offer on them. Hopefully, it is better than they expected.

Avoid using multiple offers in the same piece, as this frequently complicates things. Even if it is all spelled out, you must remember that your prospect is just scimming your mailing piece- they are thinking about something else. So the slightest bit of confusion derails you.

The Guarantee
If you are at all able to, strengthen your offer with a guarantee of some kind. 30 day money back guaratee, or something like that. Further, stregthen the guarantee - like Our No Questions Asked MBG or our Ironclad MBG. If someone has doubts about your offer, this language gives them comfort that you stand behind your product or service.

The Deadline
Finally, an offer is best when it has a deadline. This creates an additional sense of urgency in the prospect and prompts them to act now.