Direct mail and email writing

Four factors that will make–or break–your direct mail and email efforts

Whether B2B or B2C, print or online, targeted mail is still where it’s at. Direct mail and email sales letters put your message in front of a highly targeted audience of existing customers, lapsed customers, or eager new prospects.

What’s important when writing direct mail or email pieces? Ask 10 copywriters, and you might get 10 different answers. My own answer is that the four most important factors are, in order:​

  1. Your mailing list​
  2. Your product or service
  3. Your direct mail offer
  4. The copy

Let’s look at each of those elements.

1. Your mailing list​

In this writer’s opinion, your mailing list is the number one factor that determines whether your mailing will succeed or fail. You might have the best product or service in your segment to hit the market in a number of years. But if you offer it to prospects who have no use for or interest in it, no matter how great the letter, your mailing is doomed to fail.​

2. Your product or service

Second most important is your product or service. That being the case, I’m selective about the products or services I write sales and email letters for because if I don’t believe in the value of what you’re selling, I’ll never be able to communicate value to those who read your letter. Right off the bat, I can tell you I don’t write for get-rich-quick opportunities. Nor do I write for MLM, “miracle” pills, diets, creams, and, basically, any other product or service whose emails your SPAM filter picks up.

3. Your direct mail or email offer

Third most important is your offer. Why should your prospects say YES? Why you? Why now? Are you giving them 25% off? A free consultation? Is your offer under-priced? Over-priced? Vague and unclear? If so, your results might not be what you hope for. As a student of direct response marketing, I’ll take a hard look at your offer and advise you accordingly.

4. The copy

Last, and dare I say, least, the fourth most important piece of the direct mail and email puzzle is the copy. If you have a great list, and a great product or service, and you’ve come up with a fantastic “can’t refuse it” type offer, chances are good that you’ll still ring sales even if you use a less-than-talented writer. But if you want to maximize the return of your marketing investment, choose a professional who understands and lives by proven direct response techniques.​

If you're thinking about hiring me to write your next direct mail or email letter, then you might also want to:


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