Direct Response Mailings: 4 Ingredients To Bring Response

by Sarah on December 29, 2015


Direct Response Mailings: 4 Ingredients To Bring Response

By Sarah Clachar

Even with the rise of internet commerce, a good sales letter can still do good work for you.

Even the most sophisticated, skeptical, even jaded prospect can be drawn into a well-formulated package – but what makes a package well-formulated?

I go back to the fundamentals that seem to stick around from the days of marketing maestros, Ogilvy and Caples, to today’s enterprises- Here they are:

1.  Know your prospect.  The most important ingredient for any successful direct mail package (or any advertising) is to know who you’re talking to.  When it comes down to it, we don’t like to get lost in the crowd.  When a copywriter really takes the time to research prospective customers, understand what they’re concerned about, what interests them, what excites them, that copywriter can write a package that really speaks right to them.

And when the customer gets that package, they know that it was really meant for them – not misdelivered.

Furthermore, it immediately makes a strong emotional connection with the customer because it addresses exactly what’s bothering them or what they are yearning for.  And this brings me to the second ingredient . . .

2. Make an emotional, benefits-driven appeal.  If we just bought purely on logic, we would have pretty simple lives: a basic well-rounded meal and a warm bed protected from the elements.  Truth is we buy for much more complicated, and even somewhat messy and inconsistent reasons, rooted in our emotions:  We buy Vitamin D because it alleviates our worries about breaking our hip when we hit menopause and ending up in a nursing home; We buy a low-energy light bulb because it makes sure that our children and grandchildren can look out on the same beautiful river scene we’re enjoying right now.

We buy things because they promise us a better life and as a marketer you need to be clear that you are offering that promise.  But to make sure that you’re not exploiting your prospect and to strengthen your promise you need something more. Which brings us to the third ingredient . . .

3.  Be credible.  This to me is the foundation of good business and copywriting.  While the emotional appeal brings someone into your copy, you still need to offer them a solid, good product.  It’s part of doing business right and it’s also part of being profitable.  You see, consumers are increasingly skeptical and sophisticated – with access to a huge amount of information on the web.  You have no room to mislead.  And yet you have every opportunity to distinguish yourself by providing reliable information on a reliable product.

Bottomline, it costs more money to aquire new customers to keep current, long-standing ones.  While you may make a few sales up front based on hype, over the long term those customers will go elsewhere when your product doesn’t meet their expectations.  The most important thing you can do for your business is to build it on solid evidence and an unwavering interest in serving your customers well. This not only brings success to you, it brings good returns to your customers as well.

But with all this good convincing, customers have little time and patience with marketing.  So make it easy on them – which brings us to the final ingredient . . .

4.  Give your prospects a clear offer and a clear call to action.  Tell your customers in clear terms what they are getting and tell them how to get it.  It may seem self-evident to you when you’re wrapped up in getting sales that someone should call, email, click or do whatever you wrote the package to get them to do.  But when someone is poring over your sales materials it helps to give them a clear direction of what to do next.

It makes it easier for them to purchase from you and it even gives them a little nudge if they’re waffling a bit.


Put these 4 ingredients together and you’ve got a great sales package.  Contact me at to discuss how we can put together a package with this rich mix for your business.

And get a copy of my free report, “17 Health Copywriting Tactics for a Tough Economy” to see how your direct response mailing can go further.


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