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Two Things Every Direct Mail Piece Needs—And Why

As we’ve explained before, direct mail marketing isn’t dead – it’s very much alive. There are few ways to reach out and touch a customer in a direct, personal way that work as well as direct mail, and even fewer that work better (if there are any).

But, it’s not easy. You have to know what you’re doing, and that means it all comes down to creating the perfect direct mail piece – one that will wow your customer and improve the chances that they’ll work with you.

How do you craft a winning direct mail piece? What makes the best pieces stand out?

There are a lot of factors, but there are two factors in particular you can’t ignore if you want your pieces to rock.

Benefits That Are Clear and Easy to Understand

No one reads a direct mail piece for their health. They only read a piece if they think there’s a glimmer of potential – something that can benefit them. If they quickly scan a piece and don’t see any hints of benefits, they’ll toss it in the trash and never think twice about it.

Benefits have to be:

• Clear

• Easy to understand

• Up front and visible

• Compelling enough to read

Some of these refer to how the benefit is described and illustrated. But perhaps the most important one has nothing to do with that – it has everything to do with what kind of benefit you’re offering.

“Save time and money” is a good benefit, but it doesn’t have any oomph behind it. Try, “Cut your costs by as much as 15%” or “Save 20% on New Purchases” or “0% Interest for 72 Months.” All of those are better because they’re specific and quantifiable.

Numbers work, but emotions work just as well – and even better, in some cases. If you can incorporate emotion into your benefits, you’re better off. For example, if you’re a jeweler, you could say something like “Make Her Fall In Love All Over Again – Every Day” when you promote jewelry. There’s an implied benefit that “My wife or girlfriend’s feelings about me will be stronger if I buy them this jewelry.” Maybe it reminds them of a first date, or an engagement, or a wedding. The implication is that the recipient will benefit from shopping at this jewelry store.

Benefits have to be clear, powerful, and persuasive. They are the strongest part of the piece, no doubt about it, and they have to resonate with your customers and be worth the time it takes to print the pieces and ship them out.

Powerful Calls-to-Action

The call-to-action is what makes a piece different from just another advertisement. You don’t want to send benefits with pretty pictures and some words and not do anything to actually ask for business. You have to ask. You have to state what you’d like them to do next, whether it’s “Call Today” or “Visit Our Website” or “Like Us on Facebook” or “Learn More” or “Find a Store Near You.” Whatever it is you want them to do, you have to tell them.

If you don’t, they won’t do it.

It’s not enough to just say what you’d like for them to do. You have to put a time limit on it. It needs to be today, or right now, or soon – before the deadline, before the sale runs out, while supplies last, etc. Consumers have become a bit blind to these tactics, since they’re over-used, but they are still effective. Offering an incentive – additional discounts, a free gift, etc. – if they act promptly can be the fuel they need to take action.

Want to take your direct mail pieces to the next level? Contact us at DMS – we’ll help you create a winning direct mail marketing campaign that will deliver results.


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