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10 writing tips for your direct marketing

1. Give the important information upfront
No one enjoys reading direct marketing copy, they just want to find out what you are selling or offering as quickly as possible. Don’t make the reader work to find out what you want, place all the key information upfront and provide the detail later.

2. Keep it simple
Use short, punchy paragraphs. Don’t waffle on; get to the point and quickly.

3. Break up paragraphs.
Unconventional paragraph breaks draws the readers’ attention to the next section. Making them want to read on.

But don’t be silly about it. 

4. Apply ‘Me-marketing’
Ultimately the recipient wants to know ‘what’s in it for me?’ Answer that question early on. Your audience needs to feel that they are understood, so write copy that resonates with them and their situation.

Using a conversational tone heavy on the ‘you’ rather than ‘I’ or ‘we’ helps, and addressing it to an individual makes you sound more human and thus more appealing.

5. Use attention-grabbing headliners.
The aim isn’t to be big or clever, but to appeal to what your audience wants.

What, how, why, when, and where they can get hold of the latest product, new experience or fantastic service needs to be relayed straight away.

In an email the subject lines act as the heading, with the advent of smartphones and constant connectivity – people will often filter out what they don’t want even before opening the email. Get key words in, give them a teaser, and always remember the ‘me marketing’ rule.

6. Gain their trust
Don’t say “BEST KITCHEN DEALS EVER!” instead, “Great quality kitchens, at a price you can afford.”

Tell the truth. No-one wants to be taken for a fool.

7. Draw attention to the important bits
Emboldening, underlining or italicising words can help draw the readers’ attention to the parts that matter most. Don’t go wild making every other word bold (otherwise people may lose interest altogether) but think if the recipient is only going to read one bit, which sentence or few key phrases would you want that to be?

8. Use action words
Do, Click, See, Experience, Make, Grab, Gain. Whatever words you choose, create a sense of urgency.

9. A call to action
Make it easy for people to respond. Once you’ve told your audience what you want them to do, make it really easy for them to do it. Embedded links to your website, include pictures that take you straight to the product, or link to a landing page with more information on the offer.

10. Always include a P.S.
The postscript is one of the most read parts of direct mail. After the address and initial headline people tend to skip straight to the end, so include something that will seduce the recipient to go back to the beginning and read the whole thing.
 

Whilst many think the secret to an effective direct mail campaign lies in the design; getting the copy right first and foremost, is the key to a successful direct marketing campaign; driving interest, boosting sales and getting results.