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The Full-Dress Direct Mail Package

It’s a real treat to see a traditional 6” x 9” direct mail package like this one from Arthritis Self-Management.  We all know that direct mail is expensive but no format has every sold more net, paid subscriptions than a traditional package.  That’s not my opinion it’s a fact.

Even more exciting, this is a good package.  The outer envelope does its job.  It makes the trash can cut with bold copy that grabs and hold the reader’s attention revealing just enough information about the contents to make you want to open that envelope.  There’s also the promise of answers to important questions and a free issue for those that respond.  Yes, “free” is still a powerful word.  Copy continues on the back of the envelope ending with “Free Issue – May We Send Yours?”

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The contents of the package includes a four page letter (when was the last time you saw one of those), lift letter, small four color lift piece, order form with an involvement device and a BRE.   Each of these components has a roll to play in moving the prospect along to the order form and making them want to say “yes” rather than “no” by the time they arrive at that order form.

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The letter is very important because it represents Arthritis Self- Management’s personal communication with the prospect.  The copy above the salutation does a great job of bridging the gap between copy on the outer envelope and pulling prospects down into the letter.  The copy is involving and in the event someone feels it’s time to stop reading…the free issue is offered again.

The copy tone is just right – professional yet personal - and the letter includes lots of “dos” and “don’ts” for prospects dealing with arthritis.  It’s just full of benefits for potential subscribers plus it’s easy and inviting to read.  The letter is signed by the editor.  Who better to tell prospects exactly what Arthritis Self-Management will do for its subscribers?  The person signing the letter adds credibility to the magazine’s offer so the editor is a good choice to represent this company.

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The lift letter adds more reasons to buy from an entirely different viewpoint. Another staff member signs it.  Lift letters should always be from someone other than the person who signs the sales letter.  The copy on the outer fold says “Because it’s like giving your whole self a precious gift…” and the life headline continues inside “We have a gift for you … Our next issue with our compliments!”   More benefits copy and a chance to hype the free issue offer makes the lift work really well.

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There’s a nice four-color enclosure showing the cover of the magazine.  This piece continues the package theme of letting prospects see the kinds of questions they'll get answer to in the pages of Arthritis Self-Management and reinforces the no-risk, no money now offer.  It also adds more color and visual interest to the package.

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The order form is colorful, easy to use and includes an involvement sticker to move to the order portion of the card.  The instructions for ordering are clear and the price and subscription term is spelled out so there is no misunderstanding.  There is a reply side on the card so people can simply drop the order in the mail to accept the free issue offer.  A BRE is also enclosed – not sure why.  It may have something to do with the editorial content and privacy.  I’m not second guessing Arthritis Self-Management, I’m sure there is a reason for the BRE.

This is a very good direct mail effort.    It follows all the rules of sound direct marketing.  I’m betting it sold lots of subscriptions.

 



Elaine Tyson is President of Tyson Associates, Inc. a CT –based direct response marketing and outsource management company.