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Beyond the Sales Letter

Some prospects will pay more attention to a direct-mail package.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

While direct mail can mean everything from a postcard to acatalog, many business owners get the best response from sendingout a direct-mail package. In addition to the sales letter andbrochure, this typically includes three other elements:

  • The outside envelope: There are two schools of thoughton this. One school swears that teaser copy on the envelope willget recipients to open it. On the other hand, some people throwaway anything that looks like junk mail. The opposite strategy isto trick readers into opening your mail by sending direct mail thatlooks like a personal letter. Software programs can print addressesso they look like handwriting. Put only your address, not yourcompany name, on the return address to arouse the recipient'scuriosity.
  • A response form: The form should be easy to fill out. Besure to include your phone number in case the prospect wants to aska question or order by phone.
  • A reply envelope: Enclosing a postage-paid replyenvelope helps get orders. If you can't afford postage-paidenvelopes, include a pre-addressed reply envelope. If the prospecthas to put the mailing down to search for an envelope, he or shemay also have time for second thoughts.

Excerpted from Start Your Own Business: The Only Start-Up GuideYou'll Ever Need

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