Every now and then, you come across some really horrific examples of direct mail opportunities gone wrong. With the right planning, however, you can ensure that yours is never among them!
Here are five things that can kill your piece right out of the gate.
1) Too Much Clutter
Have you ever gotten a mailer so packed with “stuff” that you can’t focus on any of it? When your direct mail has little or no space between words, images, boxes, and starbursts, it can be nearly impossible to read. (Not to mention that it makes your eyes hurt!) Make white space your friend. Design your mailers so they are clean, the information is easy to absorb, and the main points can be picked out quickly.
2) Insulting Your Audience
Sometimes “plain speak” can be a little too plain. We recently ran across several stories of marketers of products targeting the 60+ crowd that insulted their prospects right out of the gate.
One marketer recently recalled receiving a sales letter from a hearing aid company that began with the words, “Now that you’re old, your hearing is probably failing.” Not a great approach.
3) Inaccurate Databases
Make sure you’re working with a database that is up to date and accurate. Another marketer complains that she regularly receives mail addressed to her husband’s ex-wife. When it comes to renting a mailing list, you get what you pay for.
4) Poor Grammar
If your mailer is filled with grammatical mistakes and typos, you’re not going to be seen as professional. As one marketer complained: “When I had already found two spelling errors and a grammatical mistake before finishing the first sentence, I decided perhaps this [company] lacked the attention to detail I was seeking.”
5) No Call to Action
If you don’t provide a call to action, you’re just mailing artwork. Let people know what you want them to do and give them an incentive to do it.
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