It's In the Envelope

There's more to direct mail than the letter.

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 salesletter and brochure, this typically includes three otherelements:

  • The outside envelope: There are two schools of thoughton this. One school swears that "teaser" copy on theenvelope can get recipients to open it. On the other hand, somepeople throw away anything that looks like junk mail. The oppositestrategy is to trick readers into opening your mail by sendingdirect mail that looks like personal letters. Software programs canprint addresses so they look like handwriting. Put only youraddress, not your company name, on the return address to arouse therecipient's curiosity.
  • 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 to order by phone.
  • A reply envelope: Enclosing postage-paid reply envelopeshelps get orders. If you can't afford postage-paid envelopes,include a preaddressed reply envelope. If the prospect has to putthe mailing down and search for an envelope, they may have time tohave second thoughts.

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

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