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5 Direct Mail Marketing Ideas to Make Your Offer Stand Out

Consumers get a countless number of mailings every single day. Most of them end up in the landfill not even opened. Why? Because there was nothing special about that envelope that enticed them to read the offer.

With postcards, consumers may read them, but only if the content of the card grabs their attention. Having good direct mail marketing ideas isn’t enough if those ideas don’t get your customer to take notice.

The headline on your offer needs to create the desire within a customer to continue reading. Then the first one to two sentences must make the offer so compelling that they want to find out how to respond to the offer.

When you’re creating your pitch, don’t go for the usual everyone-has-done-it-that-way pitch. Generic is a bad name in this type of marketing. You want a personal approach, something that resonates with your reader.

For example “Try this diet now!” is generic. “I lost thirty pounds and got a new life” is personal. There are thousands of diet products in this multi-billion dollar industry, yet if you read the advertising sent out by these companies, many use the same lingo.

Here are five ideas that will get your mailing read by those that matter to your campaign:

Be different. Don’t make your mailing sound like an ad – don’t make it sound like a pitch (even though that’s what it is). Because if you do that, you’re just one in thousands competing for their time and your mailing has a spot reserved at the landfill.

Did you hear about the restaurant that used pillowcases as menus and then mailed them out to colleges so they’d get into the hands of students? It’s not just that this restaurant had the money to do a large campaign – it’s that their idea was different and it worked.

Your pitch can’t afford to be bland. How much of a pitch should you use then? Just enough. In other words, you don’t give the customer the entire farm, secretly hoping that he’ll see his need for a cow.

You want to interest him to the point where he has to find out what all of the excitement is about. He’s seen the cow and now he wants to take a look at that farm. Back to the restaurant – college students are one hungry demographic! No wonder the campaign worked.

If you’re using envelopes, avoid gimmicks like, “Don’t you dare open this mailing!” That’s not enticing – it’s annoying – and it’ll give your mailing a junk mail label pretty fast.

Keep it professional. A plain mailing is always preferable over hype. Avoid brightly colored stickers that give away the content of your mailing. If the customer already knows what’s inside of the envelope, what incentive does he have to open it? You’re giving him the farm. Some marketers advise using envelopes that look like a telegram. The only problem with this advice is that it’s old news.

Use camouflage. A smart move in a long list of direct mail marketing ideas is to send out mailings that look like someone addressed them personally rather than by machine. This is called stealth marketing. The customer doesn’t know that it’s not a letter from someone they might know if the return address lists only a street and the city, state and zip.

Give customers a preview. Send a sample of your product or a service offer. This doesn’t have to be as expensive as sending out pillowcases. Be funny. Humor helps sell products. For example – if you’re selling art lessons or art supplies, draw a stick figure on a plain postcard and say, “If you’re the da Vinci of stick figures, then this product can help.” Then have your call to action and nothing else. Both the humor and the simplicity will stick out in consumers’ minds.

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