In today’s fast-paced world, sometimes we forget some of the old basics of marketing. We have found this to be true when it comes to direct response advertising.
Most direct mail marketing programs try to be very fancy by using elaborate and expensive mailers designed to present a sales message. These mailers often work well, though we have found that for Challenger Brands, it’s the old tried and true methods of direct marketing that can dramatically lift your top-line revenue.
Take the lost art of the cover letter for example. Cover letters are proven persuaders when it comes to direct mail selling. They are personal, one-on-one sales messages that can dramatically improve the response rate of your direct mail program.
That’s why we recommend including a cover letter, even if it’s just a short note. In fact, if the message can be conveyed in a brief note, that’s even better.
What makes an effective cover letter?
Writing an effective cover letter is an art form in itself. An effective cover letter should have a headline followed by a one-sentence paragraph that states your case to the reader. The most read elements of a sales letter are the headline, the opening paragraph and the postscript (P.S.).
Some key elements when putting together a sales letter:
- Write a headline that promises a specific benefit or result. The right cover letter headline has been shown to increase response by up to 20 times.
- Grab the reader’s interest with an engaging first paragraph. Tell a short story or elaborate on the promise from the headline.
- Build value. People buy because what you’re selling has more value than their money.
- Sell your uniqueness. Explain how and why your services offer more value than your competition.
- Summarize your benefits and give a price. The value you offer should seem virtually overwhelming when compared to the price.
- Give a guarantee.
- Compare risk to reward.
- Share credible and believable testimonials.
- Tell them how to order and provide them with as many order options as possible.
- Provide a bonus for acting now.
- Use the P.S. to reinforce your main reason to act.
Consider adding a well conceived cover letter to your next direct mail marketing program. The results may be astounding.