Direct Mail – how to get your direct mail piece, opened, read and acted on

Direct Mail opening

The first 20 seconds can make all the difference to your direct mail piece – here’s how to win once your mailer gets delivered.

Would you like to have a guess about the most important part of the life cycle of a sales piece?

If you’ve read the sub headline, you won’t be that surprised: it’s the first 20 seconds.

From the moment your prospect receives your sales piece in their letterbox, on their work desk or on the kitchen table, you’ve got about 20 seconds to make your impact, and what your piece does/ says about you in those first 20 seconds can make or break your campaign.

Here’s what happens in those first 20 seconds:

  • Your prospect looks at and feels your piece, takes in the address, the return address and looks at the envelope.  If it passes this initial inspection, it gets opened. This process takes about 8 seconds.
  • Once it’s opened, your prospect will take just FOUR seconds to decide whether or not it’s worth scanning through.
  • If they decide it is worth scanning, that’s exactly what they’ll do, checking the headlines, skimming your content and checking out the pictures, this lasts a further 8 seconds.

And that’s it.  If your piece has done its job, lasted the 20 seconds, you’ll have bought some time with your prospect, but if it hasn’t then it’s probably all over and in the bin.

High stakes eh?

So, what can you do to make those first 20 seconds as effective as possible?

Well, let’s just start by focusing on the first 8. Here are a few pointers:

Tease and tantalise

During those first eight seconds, you’ve got to get your envelope opened, don’t underestimate the impact your envelope can have, there so many options available now, make sure you explore them! And of course it’s always good to tease and tantalise about what’s inside.

‘Teaser copy’ on the outside of the envelope is a great way to pique your prospect’s interest and make them curious enough to open your mailer.

 Return for better return

The return address is one of the key ways to get your mail opened.  If your prospect looks at it and sees a faceless, corporate entity, then that diminishes your chance of getting the envelope opened, so be sure to put something that either elicits curiosity or makes them feel a sense of familiarity.

Grab them

Your headline needs to do a good job of piquing interest in those first eight seconds, so it’s well worth spending time creating the right headline.

It’s well worth remembering the 80/20 rule – of all the people that read your headline, only 20% will read your copy.  Your job is to get that percentage as high as possible by teasing, tantalising and promising the result they want.

Like it and lump it

This one really works.  If you’re mailing an envelope, put something lumpy inside it, this could be a pen, keyring anything to give the envelope that lumpy feeling, it will significantly increase the intrigue your prospect has when they pick up your piece.  And – you’ve guessed it – more intrigue results in more opens.

And if you do the rest of it right, more opens means more sales.

Good luck!

If you’re planning your next, or indeed your first direct mail campaign call CFL to find how we can support you through the whole process.

01235 821440

Or have a quick look at the mailing services we currently provide

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