General Direct Mail & Email Letter Copy Tips
These tips apply to both direct mail letters and most also apply to email letters. Use them as a guide whether you're writing copy for a consumer or business-to-business promotion.
- Follow a logical order of thoughts.
- The copy phrasing should be fresh and friendly.
- Get in step with the reader at once.
- The opening paragraph must promise a benefit (the most important one) or benefits to the reader…what will the offer do for the reader.
- Immediately follow by enlarging on the most important benefits.
- Tell the reader specifically what they are going to get and what it is going to cost.
- Tell the reader what they might lose if they fail to act. Overcome inertia!
- Answer every question the reader might ask and also address possible objections.
- Back up your statement with proof and endorsements when possible.
- In the closing paragraph rephrase the main benefits.
- Ask for the reader to perform some action in the close.
- Include a postscript to restate a major benefit and ask for action.
- Personalize the letter with the prospect's name.
- Promise a benefit in the headline and make it the most important one.
- Immediately enlarge upon the key benefit and build up interest fast.
- Tell the reader specifically what they are going to get.
- Do NOT assume that they know your product.
- Point them very clearly at the reply devices.
- Write rather as you speak - as one human being to another. Avoid jargon.
- Shorter sentences and paragraphs are easier to read than longer ones.
Copy Tips Specific To Email
Some of these tips may be a duplicate of the above general tips that apply to both direct mail letter copy and email letter copy. But, email has some unique aspects to it that don't affect the direct mail letter. For example, short copy is a requirement for email where length in a direct mail letter is determined by the message and offer strategy. So direct mail letters can be any length.
- Write a compelling subject line and keep it short.
- Focus on a single subject.
- Establish good email etiquette.
- Include strong offers in headlines.
- Restate offer from headlines in body copy.
- Keep the copy short and relevant.
- Clearly state important benefits and features.
- Demonstrate benefit and value.
- Include a call-to-action.
- Personalize your email message.
- Use bullets to call attention to important details.
- Avoid spam words and phrases.
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