10 Elements Every Direct Mail Piece Should Have

Don’t want your direct mail to end up in the trash with the rest of the unread mail? These 10 tips will help you get the results you want:

1. A clear, bold headline

On the envelope or front of the mailer there should be one central message. The best way to achieve that is with a bold, clear headline that’s not cluttered with other text. A good guideline is to have the headline fill up at least 15 percent of the front of the mailer.

2. A graphic that supports the message

The graphic should be easy to understand and easily relatable to the message the headline is trying to convey. For instance, if you are trying to get people to buy a car, you would want to show a car with a promotional sign clearly visible, such as “$1,000 Cash Back”. That graphic reinforces the message more than a simple picture of a car.

3. Color that pops

Make the headline and other text stand out by using a color that stands out from the background color. When you look at the card, ask yourself, “What do I see first?” If your answer isn’t the headline, you might want to tweak the colors.

4. Subheads that lead into text

If you have a couple of paragraphs of text with no lead in, there’s nothing to entice people to actually read the copy. A subhead will give people a place to start reading. If you have only 100 words or so you may be able to get away with it, but if the text gets any longer the average reader will want to have some guideposts along the way.

5. Benefits, benefits, benefits

One of the biggest advertising errors people make is to state features rather than benefits. For example, never assume recipients know what benefit can be derived from a lower interest rate. Let them know how their monthly payments will go down.

6. The offer

An offer is always a good idea and should represent a specific reason to call now, such as “Limited supply” or “Interest rates are climbing.”

7. Your company name and logo



Although this needs to be on the mailer, it shouldn’t overshadow the offer. Customers care most about what you can do for them.

8. Call to action

Tell prospects exactly what you want them to do. “Call today for more information” or “See us online” are two of the most common desired actions.

9. Contact information

Provide your name, phone number, and web address directly following the call to action. Whatever you ask prospects to do, give them the means to do it easily.

10. Return address

A return address ensures you’ll get returned mail from the post office and sends a message that you’re an established professional. People feel better knowing the company they’re dealing with has an actual location.

Joy Gendusa is CEO of PostcardMania, for more information visit www.postcardmania.com.

Joy Gendusa

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