How To Write Direct Mail Copy That Gets Results
Direct Mail Copy Tips that Work
Copywriting means crafting words that sell.
Although all writing requires creativity, there are formulas and guidelines that make persuading your audience more feasible. Because in the end, it doesn’t matter how revolutionary your product/service is. Without great messaging, no one will care you exist.
To write compelling direct mail copy, consider this framework:
Stop Selling a Product and Start Sparking Emotions
Effective copy sells feelings, not stuff. Before you write a single word, think about the result…what state of mind will your product or service inspire? What problem will it solve?
Want people to buy a toothbrush? Show them how invigorating a clean mouth feels. Want someone to use your housecleaning service? Make your words and images illustrate a life of health and relaxation, one in which the reader can focus on making family memories instead of scrubbing toilets.
Few things make people take action like a strong emotional response.
Use a Reliable Formula
Don’t let a fresh campaign make you anxious. Great copywriting can begin with a simple, proven blueprint. Check these out:
- Problem > Agitate > Solve (PAS) – One of the oldest tips of the trade, this strategy introduces a problem (Crooked teeth crushing your self-esteem?), then shows how life could be if the issue continues (Do you want to spend the rest of your life smiling with your mouth closed?). Finally, you step in and slay the dragon (Schedule a free consultation today and enjoy a beautiful smile).
- Before > After > Bridge (BAB) – This method helps you build a story the reader can easily follow. Start with Before, or the current sad state of affairs (Crooked teeth crushing your self-esteem?), then show them a better way (Never feel self-conscious about your smile again. Our teeth-straightening options will set you free!). Now, tell them how to get there (Schedule a free consultation today).
- Attention > Interest > Desire > Action (AIDA) – Arguably the most popular choice, this one leads the customer down a journey and works well even with limited space to make a connection (like a small postcard). First, snag their attention with an urgent headline (Crooked teeth ruining your self-esteem?) and hold their interest with a simple fix (Most of our straightening options can align even the most misshapen smiles in a year or less). Follow that with a message that creates more desire, like added benefits or a testimonial (before and after pics would work great in this scenario). And as always, call them to action at the end (Call us today to schedule your free consultation).
Highlight Benefits, Not Features
We know it’s easy to get too close to a product. You dissect its ins and outs (a must for selling with authority) and without realizing it, you forget to view it through the customers’ eyes.
But remember, customers don’t care about the shiny details. They care about how your product helps them.
So, let’s look at the difference between the features and benefits of an everyday staple, the pencil.
Eraser Cleanly fixes mistakes
Body Allows for easy grip
Lead tip Allows you to write with precision and flexibility
Mind you, this doesn’t mean a feature can’t double as a benefit (the removability of certain teeth-straightening products—like Invisalign—can be seen as both).
Personalize, Personalize, Personalize
Um, yes. We know we say this ALL the time. But there’s a reason…modern consumers want businesses to treat them like individuals. That means using their names in correspondence—not Homeowner or Current Resident—and understanding their habits and preferences to ensure your services make sense for them.
Good thing we bake personalization into all our direct mail solutions, especially the automated ones. We make it stupid-simple for you to insert recipient data into your mailouts, making prospects feel like you’ve provided support for their most pressing concerns.
Follow Basic Rules
This is the part where we reiterate a few fundamentals:
- Be concise – keep headings and subheadings short; get rid of extra words and phrases (that, just, as well as, in order to, really).
- Be honest – yes, you write to persuade, but do so without resorting to exaggeration or outright lies.
- Call people to action – always finish a direct mail piece with a clear appeal for readers to do something (call today, schedule a consultation, visit our website)!
In good news, once you master the science of exceptional copy, you can recycle what works for your business and use it for new campaigns. From general ideas to exact phrases, language that connects with your customers is invaluable. So put a bow around it and keep it in a closet!
Speaking of messaging that has already proven successful, Xpressdocs has a healthy stockpile of its own. When you use our direct mail templates, many come with suggested copy ideas to make the process even more painless. Our team of copywriters has put in the work, run the analytics, and made it easier than ever to get top-tier campaigns written and out the door.
So if your marketing team needs a break, or some fresh ideas to propel your business forward, head to our website and take a look around. We can’t wait to hear from you.