Direct mail isn't called junk mail for nothing

The dog's barking. The kids are at each other's throats. The toast is burning. And 15 mail shots lay on the table. What makes you think the man or lady of the house will forget everything else and open yours?

There are no guarantees in this business, but here are a few tips so you can give it your best shot.

Quick Checklist For Direct Mail

1. Look at your Direct Mail as your recipients will look at it. Step into their shoes.

2. Remember your primary objective. What do YOU want your prospect/customer to think/believe/do?

3. Do your top three benefits hit your reader right between the eyes?

4. Does your DM package flow? Does it look like it all fits together? Like it was planned?

5. Does your package encourage your reader to open it NOW? Before they do anything else?

6. Do you see the letter first? Since research suggests that two thirds of your audience (assuming they're interested in what you offer) will make a decision based on your letter, be certain your letter can be easily found and has a lead-in the reader can't ignore.

7. Does your letter address the practical or emotional needs of the prospect/ customer? Is it written with the reader, rather than the seller, in mind? If there are no needs, there will be no sale/response. Make certain you address your readers' needs.

8. Do the graphics throughout your DM package support the copy? Do they make it better? Do they make the copy more readable? Do they create a compelling concept?

9. Does your reply device include a summary of your full story so your readers know what they are supposed to do next?

10. Have you made your very best offer? Do you have a reason for your reader to And is it pointedly clear?

11. Is it simple to reply straightaway? The easier you make it the more likely it is you'll get a response.

Val Valentine, advertising and direct mail copywriter

Copyright 2005 Val Valentine

Val Valentine is a B2C and B2B advertising and direct mail copywriter based in the Midlands, UK. With over 25 yearsí experience, she also writes commercials for TV and Radio, brochures, sales letters, articles, web content and has broad experience of strategic brand planning and development. You can reach her at +44 (0) 1684 772 021 or +44 (0 )7802 959 009. For further information, please visit

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