Better Brochures

The Sales Letter

The Envelope

Direct Mail Uses

Ways to Save Advertising Money

Get Better Responses


Advertising Tips
All aspects of your business affect how effective your marketing campaigns will be, from the way the person answers your phone to how quickly delivery of your product and/or service is provided.  Advertising is just one area of marketing.  This section discusses some of the issues in dealing with direct mail advertising.  Other advertising areas could be public relations, newsprint, TV and radio advertising.  It is best to coordinate all of these pieces into one cohesive campaign for best results.


The information and links on this web page may assist in producing more successful mailing pieces and direct mail.  This page assumes you have already determined:

  • That direct mail will provide the best results based on your advertising budget (especially when mailings are being done in conjunction with other advertising)

  • That you've decided on your target audience

  • That you've researched competition and know how your product/service is unique and will benefit your target audience

  • That your product/service is competitively priced within the marketplace

  • That your production schedules and deadlines will be timely to fill orders, etc.


"Safe advertising is dangerous!
Boring, predictable thinking.
By it's very nature, people don't notice
predictable advertising.
That is unless you spend an armored
car-sized budget. 
Most importantly, safe advertising usually takes
a lot longer to produce results ..."

Peter Loehfelm
International Marketing Consultant 



Basically, there are two reasons people and companies buy a service or product:

  • To gain something

  • To keep from losing something

Benefits can be used both ways; for example, you can gain wealth or lose wealth; gain or lose success, prestige, leisure time, improve personal appearance, image and so forth.

If you haven't already done so, research your prospective clients and determine which of your product and/or service benefits would most interest them. Then, emphasize those benefits. Do they want convenience, ease of use, return on their investment, lowest cost, to safeguard their family, more play time, improve their appearance -- what do they want? There are many more benefits you can identify based on the interests of your target audience.

Don't forget also to stress your value-added services. For instance, do you give free delivery? How about a cash discount? Free installation? Extended warranties? Volume discounts? Or do you have lots of experience and knowledge you can provide your customers? How about quality workmanship or excellent customer service? All of these things may make the difference between a sale or not getting a sale.



"People will buy anything
that's one to a customer."

Sinclair Lewis (1885-    )



  • FREE is still the most powerful word used in direct mail. 

  • Free gifts usually garner a better response as receipient feels "obligated".   But  better than this, when this person contacts you, it's another opportunity to tell your story and assist the person to get what he wants.

  • Live stamps get better response than metered mail.

  • Personally addressed letters consistently outperform most other forms of advertisers (self-mailers, post cards, etc.)

  • Color brings better response than black and white (but it doesn't have to be a full-color process).

  • Once your prospect is interested, most will want to thoroughly research your products and services. Be sure to fully tell your story.  Web pages can be used to provide additional information and is a means to again present your offer.

  • Before a sale is made to a prospective client, an average of five contacts may be required to make a sale.

  • Multiple mailings to the same list that are timed at set intervals enhance response and reduce overall costs. The message presented in various ways usually receives more response.

  • Additional response can be gained by having your staff follow-up with telemarketing to the list just mailed and helps to reduce negative "effects" for a salesman who would otherwise be "cold-calling" .

  • The single biggest factor is successful selling is ENTHUSIASM!  And it's contagious.  Get excited about your product and service and pass it on to your clients.

  • Generally, you will receive about 25% of the total response in the first week; 50% within 2 weeks; with the last 25% trickling in over time.


  • How good the benefits are that you offer.

  • How well targeted your mailing list is.

  • Whether your product/service is well positioned and priced in the marketplace.

  • Timing of your offer.

  • How creative and imaginative the message is.



Robert Louis Stevenson



Professional copywriters know that the following words have proven "pulling" power: Absolutely, Amazing, Announcing, Bargain, Big, Clearance, Closeout, Complete, Confidential, Discount,  Excellent, Exciting, Fabulous, Genuine, Gift, Gigantic, Greatest, Guaranteed, Huge, Incredible, Interesting, Introducing, Largest, Latest, Magic, Miracle, Outstanding, Popular, Powerful, Practical, Professional, Quality, Reduced, Remarkable, Reliable, Reveal, Revolutionary, Sale, Save, Secrets, Sensational, Special, Spectacular, Sturdy, Successful, Superior, Surprise, Terrific, Tested, Tremendous, Unconditional, Unlimited, Unusual, Useful, Valuable, Wealth, Wonderful 


When someone receives a piece of mail, they form a first impression.  Graphics, quality, format, paper, colors, etc., all contribute to the first impression. Next, the reader will:

  • Look to see to whom the mail is addressed;

  • Look to see who the mail is from;

  • Look at any "teasers" on the envelope;

At this point, they will make a decision on whether or not to open the mail and:

  • Look at the subject or "Johnson" box;

  • Look at who signed the mail;

  • Look at the "P.S."

  • Look at the first sentence.

All of this takes less than 10 seconds. Then, if the mail has passed all these tests, your message has a better chance of being read.


As advertised on TV, Buy Now and Save, Beat the Price Increase, Best Buys in Town, Big Open House, Big Event, Closeout Bargains, Comming Soon, Dollar Days, Don't Miss Out, Drastic Reductions,  Fantastic Bargains, Final Days, Free Offer,  Free With Any Purchase, Gifts for the Entire Family, Incredible Bargains, Liquidation Sale, Limited Time Offer, Once A Year, One Day Only, One Time Only Offer, Red Tag Specials, Special Introductory Offer, Shop and Save, Storewide Clearance, Super Sale, This Week Only, Today Only, Warehouse Sale



"The best way to get on in the world
is to make people believe
it's to their advantage
to help you."

La Bruyere


"This looks like an offer we can't refuse."