An Old Saying That Can Help You Sell More Direct Mail Printing

Direct mail copywriter Bob Bly has a useful mantra for print campaigns:
“The letter sells, the brochure tells.”

 How to Sell More Direct Mail Printing

how to sell more direct mail printing


Here’s how you can use this saying to sell more direct mail printing.

An effective sales letter is designed to generate a response such as a phone call, email, or setting an appointment. In short, the letter translates a company’s offering into tangible benefits for the prospect that makes them want to respond.
Sometimes a letter alone is enough to generate good response.
In other cases, more information is needed for the prospect to make a decision.
  • Perhaps the product or service is highly technical and includes information and specifications you don’t want in a letter.
  • Perhaps it’s a new product that requires education of the prospect so they can fully understand its importance.
  • Perhaps proof is needed to back up claims in the letter and offer credibility.
  • Perhaps an in-print demonstration, visualization, or how-to procedure would clarify the letter.
You might use this with a client as follows.
Scenario 1 – If you’re printing a simple letter, even if it is successful, suggest a test that includes a brochure. Brochures are known to lift response rates significantly. But the only way to find out is to test.
Scenario 2 – If you’re printing a brochure, suggest a test that includes a letter. A brochure on its own is not likely to sell the appointment or product.
In both scenarios, be sure to encourage repeat mailings. For any given market at any time, only 3% are buying, 56% aren’t ready and about 41% are ready to begin. For this reason, repeat mailings over the course of several weeks or months always outperform a one-off mailing.
Also, those of us in sales know it takes multiple touches to get a cold prospect to respond, (an average of 8 times according to many sources) and then multiple exposures after the first interaction to close a sale.

Personalization can increase response rates.

One company worked with auto manufacturers to send personalized brochures to get them to activate their online accounts. They got a 9.7% conversion rate versus an average direct mail response rate of around 3-4%. 5-7% is considered an excellent response rate.

The bottom line is that direct mail letters and brochures go hand-in-hand in effective marketing campaigns. Encourage your clients to test both and to repeat them over time.