1) Size Matters -- The most common envelope kit in your mailbox today is a white #9 window package. The most common post card is 6" x 9". In your next mailing, break out of the paradigm. One of the five most influential format variables is size. Use it to your advantage.
2) Light at the End of the Mailbox -- Personal household tallies reveal that we have provided our email address to 53 organizations in exchange for loyalty cards, newsletters, magazines, charities, politicians, and access to merchants, banks and services. These enterprises have abandoned our mailbox to drown their message in the flood of email we receive daily. The fight for our attention has shifted from the curb to the screen. Moral: if you are in the hunt for a new customer today, the mailbox at the end of the driveway is the easier place to find and read your offer.
3) List Hygiene -- List hygiene is an obvious cost reducer. While we may understand its absolute value in cash savings, it is a significant determinant in response analysis, too. If you mail a 1,000,000 pieces with a 1% response, and in fact, 50,000 of those pieces were undeliverable, then your actual, real response rate was 1.05%. This subtlety is especially important when you are testing. A 5 percent lift is a big deal.
4) Red Marks the Spot -- On a white background, red will be the most arresting color you can use to attract the reader's eye. Use it to make the offer or highlight a key feature or competitor fault. Don't waste it on low-calorie text.
5) Risky Business -- A chief obstacle to responding is the responder's sense of risk. Will I lose my money? Will I be disappointed? Will a sales person bother me? Can I back out later? What happens to my name and address? Your job is to reduce the risk, real or perceived. Promote and rapidly honor your guarantee. Handle personal inquiries personally. Give the option for more mail. And if you need a sales person to follow up, hire and equip them to be knowledgeable, personable and dedicated to the relationship.
6) Closing the Deal -- In B-to-B mailings the call to action is often to "request information". It's a weak appeal. If you are attempting to generate leads, give your sales people something more tangible to respond with. Close your direct mail campaign with a specific actionable offer, with measurable goals: "show me how I can reduce sales costs by 24% using the Acme software kit".
Marketing Tips posts authored by Leslie Goldstein of the USPS.