By Al Lautenslager, Entrepreneur.com

February 23, 2021

Kick your marketing into high gear with these 99 ways to get customers to open your mail.


Talon - direct mail services Long Island New York


Last month we covered Al’s first 50 tips. This month’s we are listing his remaining 49 tips.

Direct mail is one of the most important pieces of your marketing plan. Developing and executing the campaign can many times be a thankless job. Today’s mailing regulations can get complicated–postage rates are changing and the flood of mail makes it harder to stand out. The right message is very important and must get to the target prospect in the right way on a frequent basis. Capturing your reader has to happen fast and your reader must be motivated to take action.

Here are the tips 51 – 99 to ensure that you get the right message to the right target–in the right way.

  • Include a toll-free number if you have one

  • Get your readers involved with a contest

  • Use a tear-out coupon or one with a printed perforation

  • Ask plain questions and offer a simple solution

  • Put in a photo of yourself or an associate’s to personalize it

  • Make promises; keep promises

  • “Free” is still a motivating word–use it and highlight it

  • Use handwritten notes or comments on your direct-mail piece

  • Guarantee customer satisfaction

  • Offer proof of the benefits

  • Include case studies and success stories

  • Restate your offer often, especially at the end of the communication

  • Use captions, sayings or titles under all photos

  • Order your mailing list or compile it way in advance of your execution date

  • Test your list and use “Address Correction Requested” to clean your list

  • Mail to vendors as well as target prospects

  • Outsource things you don’t do best: printing, mail prep, design, etc.

  • Put yourself on all mailing lists

  • Work with a list broker to tighten list specifications

  • Test different copy, headlines and offers

  • Use graphics on the outside of envelopes

  • Measure results and calculate ROM (Return on Mailing) dollars

  • Code your mailings to measure response

  • Mail frequently to a smaller subset of your list

  • Plan and prepare enough mailings for three months at a time

  • Use color

  • Do a co-op mailing with a fusion marketing partner or power partner

  • White space is good–a clean look is professional and easy to read

  • Print in large quantities to take advantage of cheaper printing prices

  • Use mailing pieces as handouts and for sales kits

  • Mail to PR contacts

  • Self-mailers are read more than stuffed envelopes

  • Postcards are very efficient; usually both sides are looked at

  • Print on the flap of the envelope to increase exposure

  • Create excitement: “Act Now!”, “For a limited time!”, “Hurry while it lasts!”

  • Deliver stacks of left-over printed items to trade organizations

  • Its OK to send the same piece over and over for consistency

  • Mail to educational institutions

  • Create fun for you and your prospect with your campaign

  • Tie other marketing to your mailings

  • Put your website address on all mailing pieces

  • Odd shapes work, too

  • Mail with stamps get opened before metered mail

  • Include pre-stamped reply envelopes

  • Don’t delay your mailing by trying to mail in bulk on one day

  • Include a business card in a letter

  • Lumpy mail gets attention–it gets opened and gets a good response

  • Have a conversation with your prospect

  • Publicize your direct-mail campaign

  • Hopefully you’ve found one or two–or even dozens–of tips for your next mailing. They’re easy tips for any business to use, and are guaranteed to increase your customer response rate.



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    Talon Services Include: Direct Mail Services, Long Island New York, Personalized Letters, Laser personalization, NCOA services, mailing lists, mailing list cleanup, Address Correction, Merge Purge, Duplicate Eliminations, Mailing Services, Presort, Direct Marketing data processing, Postage Savings