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7 Easy Direct Mail Tips that Get Results

7 Easy Direct Mail Tips That Get ResultsDon’t let the lure of online marketing’s quick response time keep you from generating revenue from paper sent via snail mail.

1. Cover Letter: Include a cover letter whenever you are sending printed materials. Acknowledge the request, give a few bullets of feature/benefit copy and direct the reader to the next action.

2. “Where to Buy”: if you sell through field sales people, independent representatives, resellers or distributors, be sure to include “where to buy” information in your packages. Some options are a list, maps, and mail-merging the appropriate info directly into the cover letter. Include the sales contact’s name, title, company, address, phone, fax, and email and Web site addresses.

3. Pre-Mark the Hot Zones: If you are mailing multi-product brochures or catalogs to inquirers who asked about a specific product, mention the appropriate page numbers in the cover letter, or use a Post-It(R) Note or paper clip to mark the pages.

4. Find the Influencers: If your company’s products involve a complex sale, influenced by non-decision-makers, include a question on all reply forms asking for the names of others at their company who would like to receive information on your products or services. Add these people to your mailing list or database. Approaching the decision-maker from multiple points can be very effective.

5. Pass It Along: If you mail a free newsletter or catalog to prospects or customers, include a built-in reply card or coupon that can be used by pass-along readers to request their own subscription.

6. Keep Your Data Fresh: Periodically include a reply card or form requesting readers to confirm their interest in continuing to receive the newsletter. Ask readers to update their contact information. Also include a few qualifying questions about their product interest, application, buying role, time frame, etc.

7. Check the Rates: Postal rates change more often than they have in the past. According to the Direct Marketing Association, postage is typically 40% of the cost of sending out catalogs. A 10-page catalog may cost the same in postage as a 35-page catalog. Don’t miss the chance to showcase more of your product line.

With my clients, I’ve found that these tips increase direct mail sales leads, response–and results. Do you have a tip to share? Let our readers know in a comment.


I had forgotten about checking the postal rates. I was reminded today when I found out rates are going up in May. Thanks for the tip!


Yes, the United States Postal Service’s first-class rate for the first ounce will increase by two cents, to 41 cents from 39 cents.

The cost of mailing standard-sized postcards is also going up to 26 cents from the current rate of 24 cents. And a 1-pound package sent parcel post increases to $4.50 from $3.95.

However, you’ll save on first class mail that weighs more than an ounce, as the cost for each additional ounce will decrease by 7 cents from 24 cents to 17 cents.


Also don’t forget to scrub and validate your leads…Bad leads can be costly and add to poor performance…There are many places on the web where you can do this such as TARGUSinfo, LeadVerifier and TowerData.


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