The Writing Process
Follow these steps to craft an effective message...
- Visualize your audience. Who are they? How does your product or service appeal to their needs?
- Write to this individual in a conversational tone; your message should sound as if it's coming from a friend.
- Make the message about the recipient; use "you" more than "I" or "we."
- Focus on benefits: What will this person or business get from using your product or service? How will it make them feel?
- Highlight your offer.
- Include a clear and compelling call-to-action: What you want your audience to do.
- Create a sense of urgency by including an expiration date on an offer.
- Use proper grammar and avoid jargon.
- Write clearly and concisely.
What is a Call-to-Action?
The call-to-action tells your audience how they can respond to your offer. Once a customer is interested, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to do business with you.
The components of your call-to-action are the what, where, how, and when of your offer:
- Relate to the audience.
- What are you offering or selling?
- Where is it available?
- How can a customer acquire it?
- When does the offer expire?
Make a Compelling Offer
The right incentive is hard to pass up.
To increase responses rates, your mailing might highlight a special offer. An offer will not only help you track the number of calls you get because of the direct mail, its expiration date will help create a sense of urgency.
Some effective offer ideas...
- Announce a special sale.
- Send a coupon calendar.
- Preview upcoming in-store or online bargains.
- Host an event.
- Create a special occasion or holiday deal.
Base the offer on who you're targeting, whether it's existing customers you'd like to see again, potential new customers who can benefit from your products or services, or a whole new market. Look through incentives you've received in the mail, and check out offers in newspapers and stores. Which were appealing and memorable; which seemed too good to be true?
Then ask yourself these questions...
- How does my product or service benefit these customers?
- How is my product or service unique?
- What do I want my customers to do?
Make it easy to respond.
You may invite your customer to your store or choose to provide your customer with a prepaid postcard, a phone number, an email address, or web site so that they can easily take advantage of your offer.