5 tips to get your DM read

There’s a difference between DM and junk mail, and it isn’t just the quality of the paper. So what makes a mailing valuable, and what makes it a candidate for instant recycling? Here are some creative tips to get the most from the medium.

Tip 1: It’s about “you” not “us”

The greatest strength of DM is that it’s a profoundly personal medium. Leaving aside unaddressed flyers, everything that’s directed to your mailbox comes with your name and address on it. This gives you an obvious hint as to the creative possibilities.

So make sure the copy is about “you” i.e. the reader. A good copywriter will write from the perspective of the customer, and the message will be framed in terms of user benefits, not product features.

Tip 2: Be smart with data and printing

This is an extension of Tip 1, because the nature of DM lets you tailor the pitch to the reader. So use the power of digital and laser printing to personalise your message or offer. You can even get clever with photos or graphics that feature the recipient (think of those magazine cover mock-ups with “Sam Sample” as “Man of the Year”).

Tip 3: Give something to get something

Imagine your morning mail contains three plain envelopes and an intriguing little package. Which one gets opened first? Of course, you won’t always have the budget to send a dimensional mailing (though the results can be spectacular when you do), but you can always find a way to reward the prospect. Enclose some useful reading, such as an industry paper to help a technician perform her job. Include an incentive or reward linked to the next step. Free samples work a treat, too!

Tip 4: Plan to stick around

Give someone a tool, or even a novelty that takes up residence in their office, and you’ve achieved far more than most campaigns. Think of your mailing as a silent salesman, with the potential to hang around and remind the prospect that he should be talking to you.

The nature of DM is that you won’t hit all your prospects at the exact time they’re in the market to buy. So maximise your sales downstream by giving them a reason to remember and call you.

Tip 5: Make it easy to respond

It sounds so obvious, doesn’t it? The point is that every DM piece should lead to a clear action, so make it simple and easy. A nice big coupon, an irresistible offer with an 0800 number – whatever it takes. Your call-to-action should be crystal clear and your back-end systems should be primed to cope.