Direct Mail Package Too Repetitive?

A client recently expressed concern that the contents of her company’s direct mail introduction package to prospects was too repetitive. It repeated five main points (their unique selling or value propositions) on the outer envelope, the letter and the enclosed brochure.  Having worked with one of the most renowned direct marketers in the U.S. for over 12 years, I felt comfortable giving her this guidance and I thought I’d share these gentle reminders with you as well.

Time-Tested Direct Mail Letter Package Tips

Short of having a promotional offer to showcase in the letter, your goal for the direct mail letter should be to reiterate the key messages that will differentiate your organization from the reader’s current supplier. Repetition is ok; a prospect needs to hear/see a key message several times before it sinks in. It is then that they will begin to associate those messages with the brand. Ideally, they’d see these key messages repeatedly over a brief period of time and consistently expressed via a number of channels – direct mail, advertising, publicity, web, email, social media, etc. So, coming up with a way to follow-up with your target audiences starting shortly after they receive the initial direct mailer will only make your campaign stronger and more effective in the long run (e.g., a follow-up mailing, calling/voice mail message, LinkedIn message, email, etc.)

Know Your Priorities

The list of prospects is the most critical make-or-break aspect of a mailing – the mailer has to be sent to the right influencing or decision making person. The envelope is the second most critical, because you need to compel the recipient to open the mailer – if you have a promotional offer, feature it as a teaser on the envelope, with a deadline. The actual contents are third on this list and again, you should be striving to differentiate your organization from their current vendor(s) and earn instant credibility and trust. If you have a promotion, tout it in a Johnson box and in the P.S. and add a sense of urgency with an offer deadline.

Very few people read direct mail letters top to bottom these days, so you need to call attention to your key messages with bullets and other formatting techniques. A call-out box or side bar with one or more testimonials can subliminally exclaim how much your customers appreciate your company. They’re candid opinions about your business’ responsiveness, quality and prices will build at-a-glance credibility.

Following a strong introduction letter package mailer (letter, brochure, customer testimonials and teaser outer envelope), I recommend following up within two weeks or so with a letter, phone call and/or email. This follow-up could include a special limited-time-only “first order” offer for your list’s “tier 1” prospects.

Revisiting and Reanalyzing is a Good Thing

I hope these back-to-basics reminders help you take a second look at your introduction mailer with a fresh eye. Who knows, just one or two tweaks could mean a noticeable boost in responses! And it wouldn’t be fair to sign-off this post without mentioning that testing and measuring is always the best practice to evolve and improve any direct mail campaign.