Use these tips to make your business mailing as effective as possible.

Mailing List

  • Is the list targeted to the right audience?
  • Is the list current?
  • Should it be run through NCOA?
  • Should it be passed through the DMA's 'do not mail file'?
  • Should it be checked for duplicates?
  • Should it be purged of deceased persons?
  • If the name is wrong, would adding "Or Current Resident" make sense?
  • Would the mail piece benefit from Personalization?
  • What's your salutation (Dear) Or none at all? Comma or colon?
  • If FIRST NAME is called out, is it CASED properly?
  • What about empty fields? Choose a default name (e.g. Guest, Friend)
  • What about initials as First names (e.g. H. Ross Perot).
  • Would a reference to their COMPANY grab more attention?
  • Should there be versions created for GENDER or AGE? Would content or imagery that appeals to men vs. women, old vs. young make the piece more relevant?

Offer/Calls to action

  • Do you have an offer or calls to take action? What's in it for them? You absolutely must incentivize
  • Is it urgent (i.e. limited time, limited availability or expiration)
  • Will it be perceived as valuable to the recipient? 5% off is probably not enough.
  • Is it graphically prominent? Separate and distinct from the body copy. Bold or colorful. Prominent spots are in the corners, in reverse out color bars or starbursts.
  • Is it repeated more than once? Three times is best for a postcard.
  • Is it simple? Delete all the disclaimers and conditions as is feasible.
  • Is it convenient? Provide an email address, fax #, toll free #, URL, PURL, BRC


Front Side

  • Is it visually interesting? What works is beautiful, ugly, shocking, funny, faces, kids and animals. Use a high-impact photo or graphic. Take advantage of our brilliant 4-color process or alternatively, stark Black & White.
  • Do you have a headline? Very short copy. Bold font in large point size with contrasting colors to photo or graphic. Ask a question, make a promise or guarantee. Try a pun or cliche. Use numbers (i.e. Top 10 reasons). Play on fear, greed, curiosity, jealousy, insecurity, frustration, pride.

Back Side

  • Endeavor to write a headline that segues from the front side headline. For example, if a question was asked on the front side, answer it on the backside. At least tie the theme in from front to back side.
  • Place body text in as large a font as possible - 12 point minimum. Use a readable font.
  • Write conversationally. Use a human voice as if it were a phone conversation.
  • Address the reader's needs. Convert all your features into their benefits. Use the words "you" and "yours"
  • Touch on your unique selling positions
  • Consider stating the benefits of your product/service as 3-5 bullets sandwiched between opening and closing sentences. 1-3 sentences of Intro, 3-5 bullets, 1-3 sentences of conclusion and call to action.
  • Check the piece for typos and grammar gaffs. Read it over and over and over again. If you wrote it, then you're too close to it and you need to get someone else to read it. Software 'spell check' is not good enough.

Your plan to follow-up and measure

  • Know what's next. Are you going to phone-follow-up? Are you going to mail a series of cards?
  • What could you test on the next mailing to improve ROI?
  • How will you measure ROI? Gross leads, converted leads, net dollars, new accounts?
  • What's your breakeven response rate in terms of dollars?
  • Did you consider the Lifetime Value of securing a new customer?
  • If you breakeven or have a positive ROI, what will you mail next? To whom, how many, how often?
  • Could you lower your investment mailing Standard bulk vs. first-class?
  • Could you lower your investment with a Volume Price Agreement?