In my last post, Secrets To Structuring Your Direct Mail Marketing Piece, I introduced you to the three things that must be accomplished in the opening of your direct mail piece. By way of review you must:
- Telegraph the offer.
- Emphasis the best aspect of the offer.
- Target the reader
Now let me explain in more detail exactly what I mean.
An opening that can TELEGRAPH the offer is tricky. It has to convey the offer in a way that heightens desire to learn more rather than lessening the desire to learn more.
For our example let’s assume we’re selling a home cleaning service, a maid service using a letter directed at the homeowner.
We might have a headline that says…
“Never Turn On A Vacuum Cleaner Again As Long As You Live.”
Or how about this headline…
“How To Resign Your Position As Housewife.”
These headlines include the guts of the offer but they don’t really reveal the details.
An opening may focus only on the best feature of the offer. Sometimes that’s price. Sometimes it’s something being given away for free. Sometimes it’s the terms of an especially strong guarantee.
It might be picking up and delivery or some other aspect of the service you offer. In the example we’re working with it might be the credibility of your maid’s service company. We know that will be important to the customer because the customer will worry about having strangers in her home.
So here’s how we could add and EMPHASIZE to the openings we’ve already devised:
“Never Turn On A Vacuum Again As Long As You Live”
Then you can go on to say…
“We’ve shown 6,218 other women how or how to resign your position as housewife.”
The third thing you want to try to accomplish in an opening is to TARGET your reader.
This means that you’ve let your reader know that you know something about them. That you know who they are. That tells them it’s probably worth reading what you have to say.
For our example you might have gotten a list of working women to mail to. In that case we might again modify our opening this way:
“Career Woman and Housewife… Never Turn On A Vacuum Cleaner Again As Long As You Live”. We’ve shown 6,218 other women how to resign your position!!”
If you can accomplish all three things in your opening terrific, if not you must at least accomplish one of them.