It’s no secret that many direct mail pieces end up in the trash without even a glimpse, but there are ways to avoid this sad outcome. How do you do this, you ask? You need to hook your reader with your direct mail’s copy first. The “hook” can be a phrase, statement, or image that will draw in the reader and hopefully convince them to read the rest of your direct mail piece. Once you have successfully hooked in your reader, it is time to reel in the potential prospects with an encouraging call-to-action (CTA). There are a couple of factors that are important when writing compelling copy that will successfully catch your readers’ attention before your mail piece ends up in the dreaded waste bin. Here are some tips and tricks on how to write better direct mail copy with an effective CTA.

Keep it Short and Sweet

Keeping your opening hook short and sweet is key. Try writing a good catchphrase that grabs readers’ attention and convinces them to keep reading. Research conducted by Statistic Brain shows that an average adult only has an attention span of 8 seconds. This means you only have a couple of seconds to grab someone’s attention and get them to engage with your direct mail piece. Above all other things, you should keep the content in your direct mail simple and to the point. People will not read your direct mail if it is crammed with a bunch of information. When you design a direct mail piece, try asking yourself these questions: What do you need to tell your reader? What do you want the reader to do? Keep the content easy to read by writing concise copy.

Be Straightforward

Present the CTA from the get go. A CTA (call-to-action) instructs the reader to engage with your company in some way. Once you have hooked your audience, they need to know what steps to take in order to obtain your product or service.

It is crucial to tell readers what you want them to do as soon as possible, because many people will end up skimming or skipping over parts of your mailer, or more importantly, simply won’t know which actions to take. Describe your offer and then tell your audience exactly how to respond: call the 800-number, fill out the order form and mail it back, etc. When crafting your CTA, make sure to use language that evokes thoughts of action; use actionable verbs and phrases. It will resonate more with the reader and be more likely to encourage action. Readers will appreciate the fact that you are being to-the-point and not wasting their time.

Having a prominent CTA is not just about being straightforward. You can have a very direct CTA, but if the language you use is still boring or generic, it’s not going to be effective. Being creative is another important part of the equation to a successful CTA. Make your CTA standout; give them an offer they can’t refuse! It’s okay to be pushy in direct mail. The goal of your direct mail is to get action, not just to inform!

Tell a Story

Who wants to open their mail, only to discover a boring informative piece? Instead of blasting readers with facts and figures, keep them intrigued by telling a story. It could be a story of the creator of your product and/or service, or a story of someone who used the product who had great results. It could simply be the story of why your product exists. Stories are great at emotionally connecting with readers, drawing them in and speaking to their desires or fears. Crafting a story is what separates good copy from great copy. Of course, the story should not be all about you. It should be about what it will do for the reader. So always bring it around to that. What is it about this offer that is so unique and so much better than anything else out there?

Without good copy, your perfectly-targeted audience may never get to know your company and its great offers. Whether you are penning a campaign yourself, or reviewing your company’s draft of an upcoming mailer, it is good to know how to hook in readers with good content and an engaging CTA. A basic understanding of the principles behind compelling direct mail copy can produce awesome results. Try these tips and see if they work for yourself. If you need further assistance with direct mail marketing, please feel free to call US Data Corporation at (888) 578-3282.