Creative Teaser Copy… The Key To Increasing Your Direct Mail Open-Rate

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One of the most effective ways to get the attention of your audience… whether you’re trying to sell your products or services to a new customer or client, or you’re communicating with your existing customers… is to use direct mail. Email is nice… it’s inexpensive… and it’s quick and easy to generate and send. But the sheer number of email messages that hit the Inboxes these days, coupled with spam that doesn’t get opened, and spam filters that sometime catch and delete your messages, email isn’t as dependable at getting opened as it once was.

Getting an actual, physical letter in someone’s hands may take more time, a little more effort, and will be more expensive than email, but if your message arrives and gets opened, the time, effort, and expense may be well worth it. Once your letter is dropped in the mailbox there’s not much you can do to see that it actually gets delivered. But keeping your envelope from getting trashed before it gets opened is another story… you do have some control over that.

Companies for a long time have been using “teaser copy” on the outside of their envelopes to try and intice you to look inside. You’ve seen these many times… messages such as, “How To Pay $0 In Taxes… See Inside!”; “Exclusive Offer for Serious Tennis Players Only!”; or “Get Two Months of Psychology Today… FREE!”

So how effective is teaser copy? Does it work? Does it actually increase the open-rate of your envelopes? Of course, the answer is, “It depends.” It depends on a number of things… who your audience is, how relevant your message or teaser copy is to them, what other things are going on in their life or business that may make them either more or less receptive at the moment they get your letter, etc. So what kind of copy do you use that will entice or motivate your audience to open your envelope so you can get your message noticed, read, and acted on? The answer is simple… the more personal, the more relevant, and the more timely your message is to your audience, the more likely they will be to pay attention to your copy and open your envelope.

Watch this short video and see how easy it is to use technology to create a personal-looking message that will enhance the chances of getting your envelop opened. Then please let me know your thoughts. More importantly, please tell me how you’ve used this and what kinds of results you’ve gotten.

2 Comments for this entry

  • Bob Dyer says:

    Thanks Martin,

    What a timely lesson. I was just reading some info. on 3D mailings. It might be fun to check response rates with personalization, then with personalization and 3D.

    bob Dyer

  • Martin Howey says:

    Thanks for your comment, Bob. Glad you got something from my post. You’re absolutely right… testing a number of variables is a great idea. You could try comparing…
    1. No personalized message on the envelope.
    2. No personalized message, but use a “lumpy” or 3D.
    3. Use a personalized message, but no 3D.
    4. Use a personalized message, but include 3D.

    You could split your list into 4 groups and mail each group one of the above options. The wait awhile and do another mailing to the same groups, but move down one option. Repeat the process until all groups have been mailed 4 each of the options. That would give you a pretty good idea of which option works best or most effectively. There is one thing that may skew the results though, and that is that as each group receives a subsequent mailing the response may tend to improve because of the number of “touches” they’re getting. But it could be worth a try to compare the effectiveness as closely as possible between all the options.

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