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Added: March 5, 2007
Article rating: 4.05 (of 5) - 37 votes

8 Direct Mail Secrets For A Higher Response Rate

[ by Peter Geisheker ]
To be successful with direct mail sales letters, there are several strategies you can use to increase response rates:

1. At the top of your sales letter, use a strong headline that states the most important benefit you are offering. This headline should be bold and a larger font size than the font size you use for the body text in your sales letter.

2. When writing your sales letter, use a friendly conversational style. Do not try to write "corporate" where you use large words and try to impress your prospects with your command of the English language. All that does is turn people off. Instead, write your sales letter as if you were talking to your best friend.

3. Use a P.S. in your letter and restate your most power benefit and sales offer in it. Most people will read a P.S. first before reading the sales letter, so it is important to make your P.S. have a very strong sales message and a call to action.

4. Your sales letter needs to explain the benefits your potential customer will receive. Understand that everybody cares about one thing in life - "What's in it for me?" Put yourself in your customer's shoes and ask yourself, "If I was receiving this letter, why would I want to buy the product or service being sold? What's in it for me?"

5. Ask your prospect to take action such as to call you for more information, to visit your website, to complete and order form and mail you a check, etc. If you do not ask your prospects to take action, they won't.

6. To get your sales letter opened, use a standard white business envelope and handwrite the recipient's name and address. Yes, this takes a lot more time than using mailing labels, but mailing labels scream junk mail! The first key in a successful direct mail campaign is to get your envelope opened, and by handwriting the recipient's name and address, you can almost guarantee that your envelope will be opened.

7. Make your envelope "lumpy" by enclosing a small, inexpensive free gift. Make sure the gift has your company name and contact information on it and that the gift is something a person would want to keep - such as a nice pen, a good highlighter, etc. And, the promo gift should have your company information on it - your company name, phone number, and website address.

8. Here is the most important direct mail tip. Repetition. You will not have success with your direct mail campaign if you only send out one mailing. Each prospect on your contact list should be contacted a minimum of three to six times during a 12-month period. Properly used, direct mail can be one of the most effective and cost-efficient marketing strategies you'll ever find for your business.

As a final thought, understand that the national average direct mail response rate is only 1%. What that means is if you send out 100 letters, the average response rate is for one customer to contact you. However, one way to greatly increase your response rate is to use the tips I mentioned in this newsletter and to make follow-up calls to the contacts you sent your letters to, especially if you are marketing to businesses.


Peter Geisheker is the CEO of The Geisheker Group Marketing Company and has been a marketing consultant for over 12 years. Peter specializes in developing and implementing strategic marketing programs and copywriting. For more information and a free marketing plan ebook, please visit

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