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What Makes Direct Mail Work

Key factors that make direct mail work
Direct Mail is not particularly complex

  1. In fact there are only three simple, straightforward rules which control the success (or otherwise) of almost every direct mail campaign. The more you follow these rules the more successful your direct marketing will be.The three simple rules are…
      1. The more your direct mail reflects the world-view of the recipient, the more successful it will be
      2. You have 5 seconds to grab and hold attention when sending out a postal campaign. With email you have 1 second.
      3. The sales letter, having grabbed attention must lead on directly to the brochure which describes features.


    The key point is that the three rules outlined above fit together – they all come from the central understanding that the perception of the reader is fundamental and controls the response rate

Each rule suggests and reinforces the point that you have to talk about the recipient and the recipient’s needs in a format and style that the recipient finds acceptable.

Thus one never starts by talking about the company selling the product, but rather about the recipient who moves centre stage from start to finish.

Meanwhile the layout and design focuses on the psychology of perception which tells us which colours to use, where to place pictures vis a vie text, how long each paragraph should be, how each paragraph should start and so on.

Of course not everyone agree. Some will say “a picture is worth 1000 words” without actually thinking, “how do I know this is true?”

Most direct mail produced in the UK ignores these rules, and as a result tends to underachieve in terms of response rates.

You don’t have to take any notice of what we say… but you never know – we might just be right.