Most businesses send out mailshots several times a year, whether they are large-scale mailings, mass emails, or batches of individualised letters or emails to a dozen key customers or prospects. If the targeting and the message are right, you should get a positive response. If you get them wrong, it is junk mail and you have wasted your time and money.
You need a good list, a proven product and a strong message or offer, embodied in a compelling mail pack. But writing a successful mailshot need not be difficult, if you set about it the right way.
This briefing covers:
HTML messages allow you to use graphics, logos and pictures to make your email messages more interesting. Consider inserting embedded links to take readers directly to your website, blog or online shop. Copy for email mailshots needs to be brief and factual.
Do not mail or email anyone who has not already expressed a desire to hear from you.
If you are renting or buying a mailing list, ensure the data has been cleaned so it complies with the mailing and telephone preference schemes.
You should plan to write separate versions of the letter for different groups in your mailing list.
Finding a simple, powerful way to say what your product or service does for people will usually be the best approach.
Buyers can see you are trading off price against volume.
Research and response levels both show that even the busiest people will read on, if they get a whiff of a worthwhile benefit.
This includes factors like the phrasing of the order form.
Contact the Copy Advice Service (020 7492 2100 or visit www.cap.org.uk) to check the rules affecting free gifts and special offers.
Call Royal Mail on 08457 950950 or visit www.royalmail.com for further information.
You should usually repeat or build on this message as the headline for your letter.
If you are a small firm, mailing a small consumer list, consider writing envelopes by hand and using stamps instead of the franking machine.
If the reaction is nil or negative, take the hint and get help from a professional.
Even top direct mail specialists can often be brought in for less than £1,000 for a small job.
Search the Chartered Institute of Marketing's directory to find a consultant who can help (www.cimmarketingexpert.co.uk/mcd.aspx).