This ties into the second 40 of the 40/40/20 rule – now you’re probably beginning to see why that was listed up front and why it’s universally considered the gold standard when it comes to direct mail marketing guidelines. With other forms of advertisements or marketing, it is perfectly acceptable to only go after impressions – a billboard in a highly-trafficked area or a TV spot that is more of a teaser in nature can sometimes go a long way toward educating the public of your existence, which is the first step in getting them to engage. With direct mailings however, you might as well be printing cash to send out to people if you don’t have a compelling call to action to give people.
If you create an email blast that asks your contacts to do something (like call you, fill out a form on your website, or take advantage of an offer), make sure you have that high up in the email. A good rule of thumb is that your call to action should appear right away, when someone opens your email. If someone has to scroll to find it, it’s in the wrong place. It’s the same philosophy as the old newspaper theory that the stories “above the fold” are those which get the most attention.
Keep the email short. If you write an email that's too long, there's a chance that recipients will skim over it or stop reading it at a certain point. This could mean that they miss your call to action, or what you're trying to get across. Try to edit out pieces of information that aren't critical to the overall message. Make messages as short and concise as possible. Avoid over-elaboration or background that can clutter your blast.
The subheadings in the email blast also need to engage the reader. Many recipients will not actually read the whole thing and instead, they will scan the newsletter. When they scan through the email blast, the subheadings will be one of the parts most likely to catch their attention. Use your subheadings as a way to organize the relevant information in the content of the email to make it easy for your readers to jump to the information that is relevant to them.
It's practically impossible to overstate the importance of direct mailing lists to the success of your direct mail program. The correct mailing list will contain your most valuable prospects. The more careful you are in analyzing and selecting direct mailing lists, the better your chances for success. There are several different categories of mailing lists available on the market today ranging in cost and appropriateness for your market. When you are considering what type of mailing list to buy consider the following three types: