What should you know Before you sit down to write a word of Sales Copy

ADM | American Database Marketing, Inc.

BUILDING A LIST

What should you know Before you sit down to write a word of Sales Copy

  1. Your market - who you want to reach.
  2. The benefits and features of your product or service (in priority order).
  3. What action you wish the reader to take (To call for an appointment, to make a reservation, to send in an order, etc.).
  4. Your competition.
  5. Your budget.
  6. What mailing lists to use. The mailing list is a very important part of your success. A good sales letter can only succeed if it goes to the right audience.

There are no strict rules for creating direct mail. However, certain copy and format devices and techniques have consistently achieved results for the majority of mailers.

The guidelines presented here can only serve as a basis, a foundation upon which to construct your direct mail letter. The actual writing, format, offer, and mailing list will be determined by your assessment of your audience, the prevailing market situation, your budget, and perhaps other factors.

Before you sit down to write the letter, which is the keystone to your direct mail package, determine clearly: (a) your market; (b) your product's benefits and features (in priority order) that will move readers to respond; and (c) the action you wish your prospects to take.

The more you know about your market and competition, the better. Ask yourself the hard questions, such as "What specifically does my product have that the next fellow's doesn't?", "What does my market want the most? The second-most? The third-most?" and "How do I effectively respond to the resistance a reader may have about my product?"

Make sure your letter is easy to read. Use simple, everyday words that instantly get your points across. Try to keep the reader with you, assuming you will lose him or her with the first boring, overly complicated or overly technical word.

Most successful direct mail packages consist of several elements:

  1. The outer envelope, with or without "tease" copy to move the recipient to open it.
  2. The letter, which clearly explains the offer and the benefits the purchaser will reap, and asks for a fast reply.
  3. A brochure (not always included), which restates the benefits and features of the product or service, usually using vivid, stimulating graphics.
  4. A reply device, which the purchaser fills out and returns. Often this is a reply card, with the mailing label affixed to the other side so as to show through the "window" of the outer envelope. Getting the original mailing label back helps you determine which mailing lists produced the best response.
  5. A postage-paid Business Reply Envelope, which the respondent uses to return the reply device.
  6. Mailing lists are a crucial part of your direct mail package. Your sales letter will only pay off if you choose the mailing lists that match your market- who you want to reach.

Another element sometimes included, especially in subscription offers, is a "lift note." This is usually a more personal message from someone like the publisher of the magazine seeking a subscription, restating the key benefits, and urging again that the recipient quickly take advantage of the offer.

More elements can also be included, such as special "flyers" graphically highlighting free premiums for ordering, or perhaps a small sample of the product.

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