Direct Mail Letter Examples - How to Make Your Direct Mail Letters Stand Out | Taradel
Effectiveness is the number one goal for many things we do in life - especially when there are finances involved.
Some people excel at sports, others at teaching, while many marketers care about creating and conducting effective direct mail letter campaigns.
An effective direct mail campaign can be measured with various tools and through different lenses, depending on what the main objectives of the campaign were. And although the success of campaigns may look different for each campaign, all marketing efforts have one thing in common - they are meant to draw attention.
We know that direct mail campaigns are usually more fruitful than digital marketing, with the average rate response being around 4%, compared to 0,12% for online mail campaigns. If you're choosing to send your customers or potential customers direct mail, you're already ahead of the competition, which drowns in the ocean of spam and unopened emails.
Now it's time to learn how to design eye-catching direct mail materials to stand out from those who also send their customers letters and postcards.
Below you will find many direct mail examples with elements that a good piece of direct mail should include. You will also learn how to avoid common mistakes when designing your materials.
The Construction of a Direct Mail Letter
Before we skip to the good part, it might be valuable to see how a typical direct mail letter should be constructed. If you know this already, go ahead to the next section of this article. If you don't, here are the main elements you want to include.Letterhead
The letterhead is like the first introduction. It's the first element on the page, containing the business logo and all the contact details.
Sometimes it can be very simple, but many companies choose to include colors and other graphic elements in the letterhead that are recognizable for their brands - as people are visual creatures, this approach makes a lot of sense.
If you send a different format, the letterhead may look a little different or be completely omitted. But if it's a letter format, this element should be present. Letterhead gives you a great opportunity to present your company as professional and trustworthy.
It also is a part of your branding. For this reason, it might be a good strategy to design one letterhead for all your mail materials and stick to it. Of course, you should remain flexible, so if the particular campaign requires a different approach, you can change its design to represent the goal of a campaign better.
Saying hello to the addressee is a very good move if you want to make the best impression. At the end of the day, nobody likes to receive terribly generic mail that makes them feel like just another address on your contacts list.
Moreover, there's nothing quite as eye-catching as seeing our name in the introduction. It makes readers aware that this message is FOR THEM specifically. This means there's a higher likelihood they'll be inclined to keep reading with interest.
Every time you can, you should ensure you're using personalized introductions, preferably with the name of the addressee.
If you can't do that, try using as specific of a salutation as possible.
- Dear Mr. Smith
- Dear Emily
- Dear Computer User
- Dear Austin Vet Care Client
All of these are great examples of how personalized letters should start.
The opening paragraph might be one of the most difficult elements of the letter to nail. It's where the reader decides whether or not he will read the whole letter.
This means the first paragraph and the first sentence must draw the recipient in and make some promises that the letter will deliver later on. One of the most important promises letters have to make to the reader is the promise not to waste their time.
Once you've avoided the generic introduction, making a great first impression with something interesting or emotion-evoking at the very beginning is beneficial. You don't always have to play it safe - the more creative you can get, the better!
Body of the Letter
The central part of the letter should focus on your offer, not always in the most straightforward understanding of this word. It's where you explain why you write, introduce the concept, story, or new revelations, and give the reader all the reasons they should consider what you're saying to them.
This should be the longest part of your letter. It's incredibly important to write it well, as people's attention span is not very long. They need to feel engaged with the story, which means the content of the letter should, at least in some moments, provoke emotions. We will talk about it later in this article as well.
If you want to maintain the reader's attention, invest in an excellent copy.
Call to Action
You can't forget about the substantial element of any direct mail piece - call to action. It's crucial to tell your clients what you want them to do with the information you've given them.
If you offer them a promotion code, tell the reader how to use it. If you're fundraising for dogs in your local shelter, inform the reader where they can bring or send their donations. Invite them to check your website, tag you on Instagram or make an appointment for a monthly checkup.
It's your space to call loyal customers to action by giving them easy directions and leaving them with a solid conclusion.
By following this structure, you can create effective and attractive direct mail letters, easy to read, understand and follow.
Now we can move on to the next part, which is going through direct mail examples of what to do and how to do it in order to stand out and grab people's attention.
Direct Mail Letter ExamplesVisuals
Remember what we said earlier? People are visual creatures!
Our eyes are very easily drawn to pictures and graphics, and with something visual to look at, it's also easier to retain the information we're learning.
Many can say from their own experience that written content is much harder to consume than visuals, which is why you should include photos and graphics in your direct mail marketing materials.
Using big images in tandem with some helpful icons and symbols can help you deliver your message home without saying too much. Easy yet effective.
Infographics are a terrific way to illustrate important data in an accessible way.
If you want to present some statistics, don't hesitate to use the infographics format to your advantage. That's what many marketers are doing right now, with 49% considering this type of content "very important" to their marketing strategy.
Infographics present many benefits:
- they are easy to understand;
- they can convey a lot of valuable data;
- they make a compelling case, driving the decision-making process of your clients;
- they can be a branding element of your campaign.
Making things easier for the reader will pay off. Instead of the wall of information, use infographics to present your point.
Considering this is their role, your headlines should be thought-provoking and attention-grabbing. Again, you can play it safe with "Sale!" or "Join Us!", but generally, people are pretty desensitized to these very common headlines.
If the context is right, you should try to come up with something original and expressive, something that makes people intrigued.
- "Did you know that Mexico is the country with the largest percentage of paid subscription music streamers?"
- "Close the Tap and Cut Your Bills"
- "Insure your house now cause... you never know."
- "Solve the problem of wasted food with these 5 solutions!"
As you can see, using a light tone and presenting value to the reader right at the front is a welcomed and smart strategy.
Remember to use a bigger and bolder font with your headlines to make them stand out from the rest of the text. Use subheadings as well to section the text further.
Place your most important headline in the Johnson Box - that's what will get the most attention upon first glance at the page.
Bullet Lists and Checklists
Most successful direct mail examples include using formats that are easily digestible. People don't have time and energy to read through long paragraphs and analyze the text in full depth, so it's beneficial for you to make this task as effortless as possible.
Bullet Lists are a great way to do it!
You can divide the text visually, creating more free space for the eyes. Bullet lists promote conciseness and force you to make your points clear and short. Just like with infographics, you can represent the content for the reader in a very accessible way, driving customers' decision-making process.
Checklists are also a very effective tool for using fewer words and increasing the reader's engagement. You can include a checklist of benefits a person will receive with your products or things to think about when making a decision about the purchase.
Or anything you find fitting for the content of your direct mail pieces. As long as it activates the reader to think or do something and gives them the frame to do it, you're good to go.
Another way to keep people engaged with your content is by asking them questions. Using rhetorical questions is a common strategy in all sorts of content. You can include them in your headlines ("Did you know...?") or in the body of the content.
Your direct mail sales letter or any other type of mail you're sending should use branding that is familiar and makes sense with your brand.
This applies to the choice of colors, graphics, and even fonts. If your company has a mascot or some kind of characteristic symbol that is widely recognizable, it's a good idea to include it in the letter.
This way, your potential customers will have an easier time recognizing the content of your direct mail letter, amongst other mail.
Emotional Words and Expressions
We've already talked about emotions and how important they are in the piece of content, so let's come back to them once more. Successful direct mail marketing campaigns use the emotional responses of their target audience to their advantage.
Emotions are much older than our intellect, and oftentimes they are the force that drives our purchasing habits. Moreover, emotions help us retain information, so if you want to stay longer in the heads of your customers, you should aim to use emotional words and phrases.
Here are a few great examples:
- "Buy now, before it's too late!"
- "Secure your future, and avoid having regrets."
- "Fantastic, innovative, and effortless!"
You can trigger joy, hope, fear, or even anger. Don't shy away from negative emotions. Although you probably shouldn't leave your customers feeling despair, it could be helpful to evoke such a strong emotion as fear and present the solutions to alleviate it.
Gift cards, magnets, pens, some small gadgets, even books - all of these can be sent with your direct mail letter to entice your clients. Everyone loves to receive gifts, and adding something like that to the mail letter will definitely make it stand out from the competition.
We guarantee you that your mail will be open as one of the firsts.
Additionally, you can boost your sales by adding a gift card for new or loyal customers. Just make sure you're giving them all the information about what they can gain with the card. You could say:
- "Get access to more amazing products and save $20 with our gift card."
- "Save 60% on your first purchase with us!"
If you're including photos or graphics in your direct mail letter materials, choose bold and rich colors that are attention-grabbing but still work nicely with the message and your branding.
But keep in mind that sometimes less is more - it's better to leave some white space and don't overstimulate the reader with too colorful content. Stick to a few colors and a clear design. Avoid dull colors that don't bring much value in terms of keeping people's attention.
Last, but not least, try to think about your direct mail campaign materials as a significant part of your branding - the colors you're selecting should fit within the overall color scheme of your brand.
An excellent direct mail letter example of a piece that, with its design, catches the eye is a letter that utilizes handwriting fonts.
Think about it. Most mail and emails come to us written in standardized computer fonts.
This has its advantages, as these fonts are meant to be easily readable. But it also means they are impersonal. We're used to them, so they don't make us stop and pay attention.
Handwriting fonts are the opposite of that. Seeing something like that on the page tricks our brains into thinking the message is more personal; it's only for the reader.
So if you want to make your clients feel that much more special, use one of the handwriting fonts to write your message.
A Success Story
Prospective customers can quickly become your clients if you give them a good enough reason to use your offer.
A good success story is an excellent way to achieve that goal. Here you're leading with hope and inspiration. You're evoking very positive emotions, inviting your readers to feel like they can be a part of that success story as well.
Additionally, you're positioning yourself as a trustworthy expert in your field. Thanks to you and your solutions, success took place, and someone is better for it. You can add credibility to your offer and what you're promising, which is always a considerable advantage since you don't have the option to convince your clients of that face-to-face.
One of the easiest ways to familiarize your audience with your products is by offering them samples. This works wonderfully for beauty brands, as cosmetics samples are relatively easy to send through mail.
If you're rolling out a new product on the market and you want to create instant interest within your customer base, sending them some free samples is a great idea.
They have the opportunity to test the product at home and decide whether or not it's a good investment. They also feel special for receiving a gift. Recipients will be more inclined to read through your letter and see what else you have in store for them.
Customer Testimonials and Endorsements
Gaining customers' trust is not an easy challenge. We are more aware than ever of how we spend our money and which companies we trust.
According to BigCommerce, 72% of customers rely on positive testimonials to determine whether they should trust a business or not. Vendasta claims that 88% of consumers consider testimonials and reviews when making purchasing decisions.
We know this from personal experience as well, as most of us are more likely to believe service is good when it's recommended to us by a friend.
Including testimonials of your satisfied clients in your direct mail materials is a great idea to build solid relationships with your customers. You're giving them reasons to trust you and your products.
You can put several reviews in your letter. It's best to find a few different voices who talk about your products from various perspectives to build credibility and showcase as many of their advantages as you can.
People like to see value in what you offer right up front. The cost breakdown is an amazing segment to have in your direct mail letter because it's straight to the point and puts the benefits for the client in the front seat.
Don't promise things you can't deliver, though. Create an honest and relatable cost breakdown for someone who might be or become your client in order to present the actual value they're getting when choosing your services.
People pay attention when it comes down to their money, so use this opportunity to make a good impression and increase your sales.
The most important part of any direct mail letter is the part in which you're making your pitch. You want to make sure that you're leading with showing value for the customer. What does it mean exactly?
It means it is more important to focus on the benefits and problems you can solve for your customers than on the products or services you offer.
Of course, you should talk about your products and their features but remember - you care about them more than your clients. They want to find out what they can gain from buying the product.
Focus on the client, use phrases like:
- "You can solve more than 1 problem with our product."
- "This can help you build your savings from the ground."
- "Here's what you gain by choosing our company."
If you're not sure whether you're doing it right, look for the word "you" in your text. Make sure you're talking to the reader about their problems and how to solve them; not talking to them about matters they have very little interest in.
Everyone wants to be in on a secret, and that is probably why postscripts are such an attention grabber. This is the perfect way to leave some lovely messages for your clients or remind them about something important.
If the content of the letter is allowing, you should try to involve some humor after P.S. Just like we've talked about, emotions help us remember better, so creating a positive association with your brand at the very end of your letter is important.
It can help you seal the deal and cement the good impression you made with your letter.
Some examples of what you could say after P.S. are:
- "P.S. Nothing lasts forever, so make sure to renew your car insurance with the leading company on the market."
- "P.S. We think you're awesome! Let us know you even better with your Insta pics using the hashtag #makingwaveswithlilystime."
Call To Action
We've talked about the call to action and its role earlier in this article, so you already know why it's crucial to include it in your letter. Below you will find some examples of effective calls to action you can use.
- "Don't wait up. Use our promo code for 15% off and enjoy all your favorite books for less!"
- "Share this message with friends and join our challenge as a crew!"
- "Use this code XXRR43 at the checkout when placing your order to get free shipping."
If you want to direct your clients from your direct mail letter to the online space, the best way to do it is with a QR code. Again, it's all about making the task more convenient for the reader.
QR codes allow customers to access your website or special offer in a matter of a few seconds. It's effortless, which makes it a better solution than asking a reader to type your website's address in the browser.
Besides the contents of the letter, you may also want to think about the outer envelope. This is the first element of your direct mail piece your clients will have contact with, so grabbing their attention there is important and beneficial.
There's only so much you can do regarding the envelope's design, but choosing less obvious sizes and bold colors will make it more visible in the mail.
There are many envelope sizes to choose from, and the final decision should come down to what makes sense for your campaign and budget.
Sample Direct Mail Letter
Here's a great direct mail letter example you can use for inspiration when creating your own pieces.
Bark & Bite Clinic
3034 N 35TH ST
PHOENIX AZ 85018-6941
11th November 2022
Mrs. Dorothea Still
8500 W GRANADA RD
PHOENIX AZ 85037-4119
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and there's no better time to share the joys of life with your loved ones! Although the rush of Christmas preparations is upon us, it's important to remember about our four-legged friends this time of the year.
We invite you to make the yearly appointment for your fluffy friend today, so you can make it before Santa Claus comes down your chimney. Make sure your whole family can celebrate this joyful occasion with peace of mind.
At Bark & Bite Clinic, we celebrate holidays in grand style, and that is why we want to give you 15% off on your upcoming visit if you make the appointment by the end of the month!
Save money and make sure your little friend enters the New Year healthy and happy. We cannot wait to see you at our vet clinic!
Happy Holidays from the Staff of Bark & Bite Clinic!
P.S. Remember that the offer stands only till the end of November, so make sure to call before the end of the month to receive 15% off on your appointment!
Getting your potential customer's attention is not an easy task these days. But with creative direct mail materials, you can achieve it.
Many small and larger businesses choose to reach their audience through direct mail campaigns because it's an effective marketing model with a solid Return on Investment and Response Rate.
If you want to benefit from this marketing strategy in the most efficient way, plan your campaign with Taradel to optimize your efforts across different channels. Trust our experience and create an amazing direct mail campaign for your business.