When consumers get direct mail pieces that take too long to read or understand, they are quickly ignored. Most people go through the mail when they get home from a long day of work and don’t have the energy or focus to read over any sort of marketing letters, bills, or advertisement. Direct mail that is wordy or contains too much information (TMI) is not likely to be read and even less likely to convince the recipient to become a paying customer.
To make direct mail effective, companies need to keep it simple. Letters or emails that sound like sales pitches or formal requests for money or donations will not be effective, and will most likely be thrown away. A company that wants to connect with its customers and create an effective dialogue with them needs to focus on being straightforward.
So much of sales these days is companies trying to be humorous, witty, memorable, serious, and persuasive all at once. Commercials and advertisements have become contests in which companies try to see whose commercial gets the most views on YouTube. And while this is somewhat effective, simple and straightforward advertising is often more powerful than sophisticated sounding labels and descriptions.
When sending direct mail to your potential customers, don’t try to fool them. They know you want to sell a product to them and expect a certain amount of falseness and persuasion. By being blunt, you will be acting unexpectedly, which will undoubtedly catch your customer’s attention. If you are offering a sale, tell your customers you’re offering a sale and leave it at that. People like sales, deals, and any other means of saving money; you don’t have to spend time, effort, or money convincing them.
Make your headlines stand out, but not because of their high language or impossible to understand gibberish. There’s nothing wrong with being clever, and it’s a good thing to be witty, as it will catch people’s attention. But don’t be overcomplicated or overdramatic, as the headline will seem arrogant and almost certainly be viewed with derision.
However, it is important to understand that simple does not mean weak. In fact, if you start your direct mail correspondence with simple and weak language, then your customers will never be convinced of your sincerity. Starting off a direct mail campaign with a weak effort is an excellent way to ensure your customers don’t read anything beyond the first few sentences of your letter.
In direct mail marketing, there is no benefit to starting slowly and finishing with a knockout letter, as the knockout letter will probably never be read. Instead, start out strong, with the best effort you can. Once again, however, keep it simple. If you are writing to a group of companies and asking them to become your clients, then tell them that. Let them know why you know they would benefit from a relationship with you, and ask for 10 minutes of their time to prove your point. This is confident and to the point, not arrogant or overbearing.
Being overbearing or using complicated and irrelevant language is one of the many mistakes direct mail marketers too often make. By remaining on topic and direct with your customers, you will give your companies much more success.