You have figured out who your main target audience is. You have your perfectly targeted mailing and/or email list ready. It’s time to put pen to paper, (or fingers to keyboard), and write your direct marketing copy. Whether it’s an email campaign or a direct mail flyer, writing words that grab a reader’s attention can seem like a daunting task. It’s not impossible though! We’re here to guide you and help you get through this challenge. Below are 5 best practices to think about as you write for your marketing piece.

1.   Decide Which Medium to Use

Direct marketing copy is not one-size-fits-all. The most effective copy takes its marketing medium into account. If you are focusing on email, then you will want to pay close attention to your subject line, as well as the text-to-images ratio in case images are blocked. If you are working on a message for your mobile advertisement, you have limited pixel space to work with, so keep your message short and to the point. Are you writing for a postcard? Don’t forget to account for text on the front and back of the direct marketing piece – and don’t forget to leave room for an address and postage.

2.   Focus Your Headlines

What’s more important – writing a headline that you like, or writing a headline that resonates with your audience? I hope you answered the latter, because the simple truth is that your audience doesn’t care about what you want – and they are the most important part of the direct marketing equation. Well-written headlines are crucial, because they are often the first impression you make. If you don’t immediately appeal to your audience’s needs and desires, they will never read the copy that you have so meticulously crafted. According to an article by Copyblogger, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. The headline determines the success of the entire direct marketing piece! Headlines should be used to separate key points and should be written in such a way that your reader knows what the rest of the copy is about just by skimming the headlines.

3.   Emphasize the Important Parts

Emboldening, underlining, or italicizing words can help draw the reader’s attention to the parts that matter the most. However, use emphasis judiciously – don’t go wild making every other word bold. If the recipient is only going to read one part of the copy, which sentence or few words would you want that to be? Also, try using action words such as: do, click, see, experience, make, win, etc. Whatever words you choose should create a sense of urgency that the reader can act on.

4.   Present a Call-to-Action

You’re sending your direct marketing campaign because you want a response, so make sure your CTA is prominent and easy to understand. Let your prospects know about your brand, products, and services; let them know why they need it; but don’t stop there –  tell them how to get it. Make it easy for people to respond to your CTA. Once you have told your audience what you want them to do, make it really easy for them to do it. Use embedded links to your website that lead to more information about the offer. You can also include a toll-free number to call or a QR code to scan. Putting a clear CTA on your direct marketing piece will drive your audience to take action.

5.   Proofread

Even the best copy can be ruined by overlooking simple spelling and grammatical errors. Before you send it to your audience, make sure you carefully proofread each word. Not just for errors, but also to ensure that the direct mail piece is getting your intended message across. It always helps to have a friend or colleague look over your copy as well – they’ll often catch things that you miss.

Whether you are writing a sales letter, brochure, or email, make sure that each word has a purpose. Get to the point and keep it brief. Put yourself in the shoes of a consumer and imagine what they would want to read. By following these writing practices, we hope you will engage your prospects and experience a higher conversion rate. If you need help with your next direct marketing campaign, be sure to call US Data Corporation at (888) 578-3282.

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