Marketing Gold in Direct Mail – Get Your Letter Opened!
When I first began marketing with direct mail, I printed single page letters with my laser printer and hand-addressed little pink envelopes.
It was work. My hand cramped up after awhile, and I found that I could only manage about 100 letters each day. But those letters got opened, and those prospects called!
I was hooked. Nowadays I work a little smarter and save my hand!
The secret to getting your marketing letter opened is to make it look like something other than advertising.
How can you do that?
Think about it. When you get a letter in the mail you know if it's a bill, an advertisement or a letter from a dear friend. How can you tell?
Actually there are several hints that lead to that conclusion. Many of them may not be conscious – we just know.
Usually the envelope from your friend or loved one is hand-addressed, or it may be run off their printer. It can be an unusual size or an unusual thickness (maybe they sent you something?) The envelope has a First Class stamp. The return address may be a sticker with a cute picture on it.
It does not look mass-produced.
It just looks different.
From a marketing perspective, we want to do the same thing. We want our prospect to be intrigued, to wonder what's inside, to want to open our letter.
Some marketers will send out a mass-produced-type letter but include something inside, like a special gift. It may be a pen, it may be a couple of pennies, a sticker or label, I've even heard of some people putting aspirin tablets in their letter. If you do something like that you want to draw attention to it, so include reference to your special gift in your copy. (If it gets a chuckle from the prospect, so much the better, right?)
Another possibility is using pressure seal letters. These are the letters that come sealed up on all sides, and the recipient has to tear off three ends to open it. Pressure seal letters work because they can look like a check or other important document, and they have an excellent open rate.
Consider First Class postage. If your direct mail is not a catalog but has Bulk Rate postage, your prospect will know immediately that it's a solicitation. Yes, it costs more to go First Class, but when your response rates go up you'll have made your money back and then some.
One added bonus to self-adhesive stamps is that they come with pretty pictures. Choose something fun! (Ides, everyone knows the flag stamps come on a roll – more "mass-produced" connotations.)
A hand-addressed envelope is great. Most of us need to retain the use of our hands, though. Thank heavens for technology, there are various handwriting fonts available now that really do look like handwriting.
With a little forethought, you can see a significant increase in your direct mail response rates by simply getting your letter opened!