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Just Try a Letter

When you are looking to get a great response to a print marketing campaign, have you ever considered just sending a direct mail letter? Marketing experts have begun to advocate a return to this simple but effective approach.

Letters have an emotional appeal that doesn’t come from a postcard, a trifold, or even the most beautifully designed brochure. There is something about the personal connection that is made between the sender to the recipient when communicated in natural language in a way that’s easy to understand and relate to.

Letters are inexpensive to print and mail, but they can be profoundly effective when done well.

Here are some thoughts on letter writing and how to do it in very effectively.

It has to be great.

An average letter will not do the trick. You need to tell a great story, provide a compelling offer, and do it really, really well. This may mean hiring a copy writer, but it’s worth the effort.

Keep it simple.

Sometimes the most simple letters are the most effective. One marketing agency encouraged its client, Ford of Canada, to send a letter saying, “This letter is worth $1,500 to you when you buy or lease a brand new Lincoln.” Over a six-month period, that letter was responsible for the sales of about half the Lincolns in Canada.

Make it as personal as possible.

Be sincere. Use natural language. Affix real stamps on the envelope—or maybe even two. This alone can boost response rates significantly.

This is not about being fancy. It’s about making a real, emotional connection with your audience. Sometimes a fancy, full-color, high-gloss mailer or multi-channel marketing campaign is the right tool for the job. But sometimes a simple, but very well written letter will be just as effective — or more.