Direct Mail Tips

Chances are if someone has signed up for your direct mail, they are at least interested in what you have to say. But that doesn’t mean they are motivated to take action.

In his book “Direct Mail for Dummies,” Richard Goldsmith wrote that organizations have an obligation to word their communications in such a way that readers will be motivated to take action for your cause. He suggested the following techniques to accomplish this:

  • Personalize Your Letter: Don’t use the phrase “Dear Executive” or other impersonal greetings. It might take a little more time, but it shows you care enough to know the name of the person you are contacting;
  • Get the Reader Involved: Start your letters with the word “you” so that it’s about the reader from the get-go;
  • Present the Benefit and Then Get Into the Information: Readers care about information only if you’ve already presented them with a benefit that gets them interested;
  • Say How Features Benefit the Reader: Tell the readers how features benefit them, and you’ll make them happy;
  • Use Everyday Language: Your readers need to understand what you are saying, so don’t assume they know the industry jargon;
  • Ask: “Please contact us” is too impersonal. Ask the reader to call you directly.
  • Don’t Overlook the P.S.: The postscript is one of the most important parts of the letter. Don’t make it an afterthought.

About Gary Coiro

Nonprofit & Church Leader Nonprofit Leader and Consultant since 2004, following 15 years as a pastor. Competencies include board development, fundraising, staff development and management, strategic planning, church work, Bible teaching, and capital campaigns. Currently consulting and serving on the Church Ministries Management Team for a large multi-cultural evangelical church.
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