You have probably heard before that “print is dead”. However, the data proves direct mail is still at the top of the list when it comes to marketing strategies for finding and keeping customers. Not only are people 4 times more likely to open direct mail versus email (Epsilon), the direct mail response rate has actually considerably increased since 2010 (DMA). This means that when done strategically, direct mail is a great way to increase revenue for your local business.
Based on some of the best local mail from my files, here are some good design and copy practices local companies can use to drive customers to their doors.

1. Open with a proposition

Consumers have short attention spans. Instead of building excitement toward your value proposition, just open with it. This will attract the recipient’s attention and help you, the sender, analyse if your value proposition is worth sending to potential customers.

2. Sell benefits, not features

This is basic marketing, and it can’t be said often enough: you need to explain to customers not just what you do or what product you have, but why it should be important to them.

3. Include a product sample

Companies can actually send anything in the post, from fabrics to makeup. If you feel your sample might be too heavy, another good idea is to offer a free trial voucher. Research shows that most customers will want to keep your product which means you will be driving in volumes of new customers who are willing to take on a free 30-day trial.

4. Provide Value

Most direct mail pieces deserve be classed as “junk mail”. To make sure yours stands out from the crowd, you must deliver some sort of real value that transcends your brand message. There are so many creative things you can do that are cheap: use roll folds or punch-outs to make something that consumers can use, or write funny and clever copy. Be creative!

5. Use testimonials

The voices of satisfied clients can be very powerful. Existing customers can talk about their own experiences, in their own words. For prospects, reading the opinions of other people that are similar to them the most can make the offer more relevant. Using a picture of a real person, an authentic story, and a specific problem or issue addressed by one or more of the selling points, helps support a company’s claims.