About 85% of the direct mail or email campaign pieces I see on a weekly basis are completely missing the mark. Here are some quick tips on how to get the most out of your campaigns:

1) Stop trying to say everything in one piece
If I had a nickle for every time I received a postcard or email with a 10-page catalog’s worth of text jammed into it, I’d be a very rich man. Remember your goal – get their attention. Entice them to seek further info via a call to you, a visit to your website, attendance at an event you’re hosting, etc. Keep it short and sweet with plenty of “white space”. Pack too much text in there and it won’t matter what you’ve included … because no one will want to read it.

2) Make your message clear
It sounds simple, but I’ve seen more than a few marketing pieces or emails where, even when I looked carefully, I could not clearly decipher what it was the sender wanted me to know. I’ve mentioned this before and I’m sure I’ll say it again – make your key point and/or “call to action” abundantly clear. Think about what you want them to take away from the piece, and make it obvious.

3) Provide a short version
Not everyone wants to read your whole message. Skimmers are people, too (in fact, these days more and more people only have time to skim – at least initially). Be sure to use call-outs, subheads, and/or bullet-points to highlight key elements.

4) Make it personal
People are MUCH more likely to read something addressed to them than something addressed to “resident”. Avoid openers like “Dear Future Retiree” or “Dear Decision Maker” [shudder!]. Put some energy into your mailing lists and use names.

5) Focus on the reader’s needs
Often we get so wrapped up in the message we want to send that we forget to think about the message the receiver wants to read. Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes. How can you speak to his/her needs – directly?

P.S. Consider a post-script note!
Believe it or not, many people’s eyes go right to a “P.S.” statement, so consider using one to reinforce your message and your call to action in a short burst.


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