How to Prepare a Direct Mail Brochure that Sells

ADM | American Database Marketing, Inc.


How to Prepare a Direct Mail Brochure that Sells

The basic elements of most direct mail packages consist of an outer envelope, a letter, a brochure, a postage-paid reply card or envelope, and the mailing list. (The mailing list is the key to your success. A good mailing package can only get a high response if it goes to the right audience.)

Additional pieces are sometimes included, such as enclosures highlighting a special discount or free premium, or a personal message from the owner of the company.

Each element of the direct mail package has its own job to do. The outer envelope's job is to get the package opened. The letter explains the offer in detail, describing the specific benefits the buyer will gain, and ends by asking for the order. The reply card clearly spells out the offer and makes it easy to respond.

The purpose of the direct mail brochure is to restate the offer made in the letter, but more graphically. Where the letter tells, the brochure shows. Prospects who are interested will want to see what the product looks like, what it does and how it works.

The brochure and the letter are the most important parts of the mailing. They work together to get across memorably the product's benefits and features, the letter explaining with persuasive words and the brochure showing with vivid, stimulating graphics.

Most if not all benefits and features should be mentioned in both letter and brochure. As in all sales efforts, repeating your story in a different way can increase response.

There is no strict formula for preparing brochures. They are produced in many shapes, sizes numbers of panels and colors.

Many mailers have found that the more enclosures they include, the better the response. However, all enclosures should have a logical connection to the primary offer. Otherwise, they could distract the potential buyer.

The brochure shows the product and its benefits

The emphasis in a direct mail brochure is on strong visual impact. Headlines and sub-headlines should get the product's benefits across instantly, so that, even if a reader skips over the text copy, he still understands clearly what he will get from the product. Therefore, headlines should be placed according to their importance to the prospect and be logically organized to lead the reader like a road map.

Graphics should be clear and understandable and memorable. The reader's attention should instantly focus on the main point, which can be a headline, a photo, or even a combination of the two The reader's eye should then be directed to the second-most important element.

Wherever possible, demonstrate the product's benefits and features. Show a person using the product. In a way, the direct mail letter takes the place of a salesman's verbal "pitch" while the brochure represents the salesman's demonstration of the product. Both should end by summarizing the offer and the key benefits, and asking for a response.

Include benefits everywhere

Above all, stress first, last and always, the product's benefits to the buyer. Think through the reasons, in priority order, why a buyer would want your product. A reader who is considering the offer is constantly trying to judge whether the product's price is worth the benefits he will reap, so pile on the benefits. In fact, the benefits are the only reason he is reading at all.

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