Writing Effective Sales Letters - Part V : More Common Mistakes in Direct Mail Campaign

Continuing earlier article on common mistakes in direct mail campaign - here's more common mistakes:

Mistake No 4 : Indifferent Copy

Nothing is more damaging in a business-to-business mail campaign than to have a letter that lacks the punch and poor in content. Direct mail is not meant to be good-looking and pretty but to create an impact and GENERATE A RESPONSE

Some of the best ways to make a poor copy are:

  • Talk vaguely on benefits - no specific facts Your customers rely more on facts than flowery language. Try to put more facts and figures substantiating your claim than using vague words on how useful your product or services are.

  • Use large graphics/images, too many colours, fonts and styles. In Business-to-Business correspondence, your recipient is likely to be a hard-headed businessman who has no time for such superfluous techniques - content is the most important driver here. Use graphics/fonts etc. to highlight content - not the other way round.

  • Lack of research on recipient's needs. To write effective sales letter with strong content - rely on specifics, facts. You must study the product, potential customers and the market context. There is no short-cut, no way around. Without facts, you cannot write good copy but with facts, even mediocre content can stand out and make an impact

Mistake No 5 : Saving the Punch Line for Last

A major mistake in writing effective content is to save the strongest sales pitch for last. We tend to write in a logical manner - starting slow and hoping to build to a climactic conclusion.
This is a major mistake as a typical reader decides whether to read or trash your sales letter in 5 to 7 seconds. If you are unable to hold on to his/her attention within first few lines - your mail is heading for trash folder.

Related Links:

Source: FAIDA - Newsletter on Business Opportunties from India and Abroad Vol: 3, Issue 33 December 5' 2002

Author : Dr. Amit K. Chatterjee
(Amit worked in blue-chip Indian and MNCs for 15 years in various capacities like Research and Information Analysis, Market Development, MIS, R&D Information Systems etc. before starting his e-commerce venture in 1997. The views expressed in this columns are of his own. He may be reached at amit@infobanc.com )

� All Rights Reserved. Limited permission is granted to publish this article in a web-site or printed in a journal/ newspaper/ magazine provided the publisher takes prior permission from author, do not make any change in the article (i.e. keep it exactly same as displayed above) and cite the Source of this article as The Great Indian Bazaar with a link to this page.