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7 Rules for Direct Mail Done Right


A popular myth today is that “direct mail marketing doesn’t work.” If we’re talking about direct mail marketing done wrong – we can confirm the myth often proves true.

In reality, direct mail marketing done right can be very effective but only if you respect the rules. Here they are:

Rule #1: Use oversized direct mail postcards to send to people who are not yet your customers. It’s got to stand out from the pile of mail you’re working your way through when you’re in your kitchen and the garbage can is right by your feet.

Rule #2: The oversized postcard has got to have a great headline to catch people’s attention or they won’t see a reason to read on. The power of a great headline was true when newspapers were dominant and it’s still true in the digital world today. Headlines are best if they are short (5 words or less).

  1. Put the headline in the form of a question because a good question creates the need to know.
    Ex: Want to make twice as much money at work with half the effort?
  2. Put the headline in the form of a profound statement.
    Ex: Lose 25 pounds in two months and never feel hungry!

Rule #3: Use plain-English conversational copy. Don’t refer to anything technical unless you use the key word “like” to help the reader understand it.

Ex: Your heating system is like a car. You can’t run either for very long without a proper tune-up and expect great fuel efficiency and reliability.

Rule #4: The oversized post card has got to be colorful and deliver a high level of visual impact.

It’s just like the power of a great looking truck design that when done right is a moving billboard that grabs people’s attention and delivers its message within a nanosecond.

Don’t believe me? Pay attention the next time you’re cruising down a highway to what billboards get your attention. I’m betting they have a great headline; great colors and a visual design that made you look and pay attention.

Rule #5: You’ve got to have great testimonials to get any traction. That’s because we figure you’re just trying to sell us something so we need to know someone like me, your customer, is testifying that what you’re saying.

Rule #6: You’ve got to have a Call to Action that aligns with what you’re talking about.

Ex: Call in the next two weeks for a $50 coupon on water filters.

Rule #7: You could do all of the above and fail, however, if you don’t mail these oversized direct mail postcards at least three times over a six-week period.

Multiple touches gives the customer three chances to get familiar with and become curious your company, rather than expecting miracles from a great piece only sent once.

Here’s an example of an oversized direct mail post card that was effective for one of my clients.

Pine State Sample Mailer

PS – Hey, take a look below at a recent testimonial ad I just ran in PM magazine that incorporates some of these techniques. I try to practice what I preach.

7PC PM Testimonial

Al Levi teaches contractors how to run their businesses with less stress and more success through his book, seminars, webinars and his exclusive 1-to-1 consulting practice.

 Also check out Al’s latest business adventure as part of Zoom Franchise Company at www.zoomdrain.com/franchise-opportunity. It’s a living example of the power of manuals and more— in action.

More Ways to Become a 7-Power Contractor

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