Get your Direct Mail Read and Not in the Trash


direct mail

Is your direct mail getting read, or are they going in the garbage?

Everyday consumers get overwhelmed with random mailings, and most of them go straight into the trash. You probably toss your “junk” mail too.

But why do you and thousands of other consumers toss mailers right in the trash bin?

Chances are there wasn’t anything on the mailer that made you want to open or read it.

Postcards might get read, but only if there is something that instantly grabs the attention, otherwise it’s on a fast track for the trash.

Having a great direct marketing idea isn’t enough if it doesn’t get your customers to take notice right away.

Your offer needs to create a desire to keep the customers interest. The headline and first sentence must be so compelling that the reader is ready to respond to the offer already.

When you are creating your offer, don’t go for the common, played-out lingo that everyone has already used. Generic, copycat marketing will just make you look bad. You want an offer that not only resonates with the reader, but also is unique and personal.

direct mail - lake shark mediaFor example, “You must try this diet now!” is generic.

“I lost forty pounds and have a new life” is personal.

In the multi-million dollar diet industry there are thousands of products that use copycat offers and generic wording. And they all just blended together. Don’t let this happen to your offer.

Here are 5 tactics to get your direct mail read, and not tossed in the trash.

1. Be different.
Try not to write the copy of your mailer to sound like just another ad. Try not to make it seems salesy, like a generic pitch. Be unique, or get ready to find your mailing in a landfill along with all the other mailiners that are competing for attention.

You can’t afford another boring, bland, generic offer.

How salesy should you be then? Just enough.

Don’t be over the top to try to get them to take notice. They will see through an outlandish pitch in no time. Don’t show them the farm in hopes to get them to see the cow.

You want to get them excited about your offer and take interest to find out more. You want to show them the cow and make them ready to see the entire farm.

Also, avoid being gimmicky like “don’t dare open this!” It is not interesting, just annoying and will scream junk mail.

2. Keep it professional.
Simple is always better than hype. Don’t go crazy with bright colored stickers announcing what is inside. This won’t get your mailings opened, but in the trash for there’s no longer a reason to open it.

All interest is gone because you are trying to give them the farm. Stay away from overdone gimmicks, consumers are smart enough to smell junk mail.

3. Use camouflage.
A tactic that does work is making your mailing look like it is hand written and addressed, rather than mass printed.

This kind of stealth marketing gets past most consumers, for they want to know who it is from. They don’t know if it’s from someone they might know if the return address lists only a street and the city, state and zip.

4. Give customers a preview.
Sending a sample of your product or service is another strategy that works well.

It doesn’t have to be expensive, it can be a small product or an invitation to a service. Make your sample enticing, and create a call to action for them to continue to experience your products.

5. Be funny.
Humor can help sell products. It can make your mailing stand out, and be memorable in the minds of consumers.

For example – if you’re selling art lessons, draw a stick figure on a plain postcard and say, “If you’re the da Vinci of stick figures, we can help.” Then have your call to action and nothing else. Both the humor and the simplicity will stick out in consumers’ minds.

Don’t forget to add a call to action (CTA) and be specific.

If you want them to call, say call. If you want them to email, say email. And if you want them to come in, say come in and tell them where.

It may sound silly or seem obvious, but don’t be lazy or too general when it comes to your CTA. Don’t assume people are smart and will know to call or stop by.

This is the time to be direct and specific. It’s not that readers aren’t smart, it’s that they are busy and being overloaded with so much data that it is important to be brief and specific.

Don’t make them think or have to figure anything out, make it easy to know what you want them to do. Don’t be “cute” or “clever” – get to the point with your CTA.

If you're ready to grow your business with smart marketing you can:

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Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs grow their business with Smart Marketing.  She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, international speaker + trainer, and the CEO + Creative Director at Lake Shark Media. She also teaches entrepreneurs how to create a business and life they love at



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