Ray worked with B-2-B and Consumer clients throughout the world ... including USA, Canada, Mexico, Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the Middle-East, Central & South America, Africa.

This website is a compilation of Ray's 10 years on the Web.


Power Direct Marketing: The Book

Getting Started with Creative by the Numbers:
A List of 99 Creative Ideas

61. It’s vital to get your reader involved emotionally in the benefits of what you’re offering. If you can get your prospect physically involved in your mailing piece, you’ve got a big edge.

You can do this by designing in an "involvement device" such as:

  • a token you peel off the letter and stick to the reply card
  • a scratch-'n'-sniff area
  • a pop-up
  • anything you have to punch out
  • a sample of the product or material
  • a component that unfolds in an interesting way
  • a small premium or intriguing gimmick or advertising specialty
  • a rub-off spot
  • printed or die-cut measuring devices
  • simple puzzles
  • connecting the dots

You can get extra mileage by showing your device through a window, or at least writing teaser copy about it.

While it’s true that making it easy to respond generally increases your response, it’s also true that giving the customer an interesting, enjoyable, or challenging task to do can also boost response.

These things work because they appeal to the child in each of us.

62. Remember the 6 PRoductivity Building Blocks, compliments of Tom Collins:

  1. PRoduct—What’s unique, what’s the U.S.P. (Unique Selling Proposition)?
  2. PRospect—Who is your audience; who needs it?
  3. PRoblem—Why is what you offer going to meet a need?
  4. PRomise—What will your product do for the marketplace?
  5. PRoof—Why should anyone believe you; what is your guarantee?
  6. PRoposition—What is your deal—your offer—and why should the market respond now?

63. The lift letter, also known as a publisher’s letter, pub letter, or president’s letter, will almost always increase your response.

The lift letter is the letter that says:

"Please read this if you’ve decided not to buy."

The lift letter works very well in mail order, in fund-raising, sometimes in lead generation.

Consider one in every package, or test with and without, especially to consumer audiences.

64. No direct response ad, mail package, or catalog is complete without a call to action—a response device. Don’t "assume" your customers or prospects know what you want them to do—TELL ’EM!

Tell your marketplace to call an 800 number, place an order, clip the coupon, fill out the business response card and mail it, bring the ticket to your store, visit your trade show booth, send money. Whatever it is you want in the way of action, make sure your message is clear.

65. Tell your audience more than once what to do—REPEAT the message. McGraw–Hill says to repeat your offer 7 times.

Which means repeat your offer and encourage your reader to accept your offer over and over. Several times in your letter.

In the P.S. In the brochure, flyer, testimonial insert.

Obviously on the order form or response card. Tell your reader again and again you want to do business with them.

66. The less the commitment—the more likely the response.

In your direct mail packages, always consider:

  • bill me
  • credit card options
  • installment orders
  • an 800 number

Regarding "bill me": The increase in the number of orders many times makes up for the increase in bad debts. However, make certain that someone in your organization is keeping tabs on bad debts.

67. Limited Time Offer—try it.

Good for only 30 days will increase your action NOW, when you want it. Use a specific date when that is possible, reasonable. "Good only until April 10" lets your audience know they have a limited time to take advantage of this special opportunity. LTOs work. Try ’em.

68. The most important sentences in direct mail are the first and last.

Your P.S. is one of the best-read parts of a direct mail letter. Use one.

Use one in every letter you write. Make certain it contains important information. An important benefit or some other piece of information you want to get across to your reader.

Your P.S. must suggest your thinking.

Or . . . must suggest buying.

Or . . . must tell the reader what to do,

Or . . . when and how to do it!

69. If one P.S. works, try two.

This is especially true if you have a series of product offerings. Use one P.S. to call attention to the ease of ordering, the other to a special offer good for only a limited time. Repeating 800 numbers, expiration dates, and other key factors is always good in the P.S.

Some Thoughts about Graphics

70. Whenever possible, use photography instead of illustrations.

Photos are more believable. Realistic. Detailed. Informative.

There are instances where a drawing or illustration is better because of the copy point you wish to make. But generally, if you have good photography, use it.

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