While it’s true that direct mail success depends first on the list, next on the offer and only last on the creative … being last doesn’t make creative immaterial. Think of it as the last leg of a relay team. After your strong runners build your lead, someone still has to cross the finish line.
So here are some ways to assure your creative keeps you in the race.
- Speak to the reader’s self-interest. His favorite song is “I, Me, Mine.” So play along. Headlines and lead paragraphs in your letter or brochure should immediately convey information of use, value, benefit, and – above all – interest to the reader.
- Tell the reader what they’ll gain by replying (more time, more money, peace of mind, solutions) and what they will lose by not responding (the opportunity to solve their problems).
- Use visuals to reinforce your message and make it easy to follow.
- Provide as much information as the prospect needs to take the desired action. If you want them to place an order, copy must be precise and complete. If you want them to request a demo, your message can be incomplete but intriguing.
- Tell the reader what to do: Call now. Order today. Complete and return the attached reply card. Or if your plan is to follow up the mailing yourself, then tell the reader what you’re going to do.
- And remember: Results are all that count. If it doesn’t sell, it’s not creative.