Improve Your Direct Mail Response Rates with Powerful Headlines
Posted On Dec 31, 2014 in Direct Mail by

Quite often, advertisers and business owners put the majority of their time and energy into the wrong places when it comes to direct mail.

For example, I've seen many advertisers obsess over the colors and alignment of the text, images, and design of their postcards.

Some go so far as to demand that each line of text starts and ends using the exact same amount of characters and spaces. The more I think about it, perhaps we are all slightly OCD when it comes to one thing or another.

But here's the point...

Time and energy should be spent on conversion-boosting optimization -- not tinkering around for self-satisfaction. At the end of the day, direct mail is about ROI.

One of the most overlooked ways to boost conversions is to focus on sales copywriting.

What is copywriting?

It's a fancy word for "persuasive writing" geared towards selling prospective customers on your products and services.

Here's an example of typical headline compared to benefit-driven headline.

Benefit-Driven Headline

Standard Headline:
Frankie's Pizza Grand Opening on Saturday March 14, 2015

Benefit-Driven Headlines:
You're Invited! Celebrate Our Grand Opening on Saturday March 14, 2015
Bring This Flyer With You for a FREE Small Pizza! Plus, Live Music and Games for Kids!

As you can see, a headline is much more powerful when driven by benefits. The key is to add as much value as possible while connecting with your target audience. If your target audience is "families with children" you can increase conversions by adding "...Music and Game for Kids!" to the copy.

While benefits are powerful action-drivers, there are other ways to grab attention too.

You can also position your direct mail piece as "news" through creative writing.

For example, let's look at the same grand opening headline positioned as local news.

News Headline

BREAKING NEWS! Frankie's Pizza Opening in Richmond on Saturday March 14, 2015
Family-owned restaurant opens doors to ALL with FREE pizza, music, and games for kids.

People love local news, and want to be a part of exciting events and stories within their community. By positioning your direct mail piece as news, you will capture the attention of your target audience and have an excellent platform to share important information.

Lastly, you can use exclusivity to generate massive response rates.

Why do exclusive offers work so well?

Because, everyone likes to feel special.

For example, you may want to offer an "early" opening special to local residents only. You could position the direct mail postcard as a ticket to a secret pre-Grand Opening events.

Let's look at the same grand opening headline positioned as an exlcusive offer.

Exclusive Headline

Shhh... It's a Secret!
Be the First to Try Frankie's Pizza at Our Pre-Grand Opening Event
Locals Only -- Get a FREE Medium Pizza! Sign Up at

This type of headline can also be a powerful method for database growth. In the example above, recipients are offers a free medium pizza in exchange for their contact information via registration online.

By using this format, the business can market to more customers in the future and also generate buzz prior to the official Grand Opening event.

So there you have it, several ways to make your direct mail campaign more successful with powerful headlines.

Improve your response rates and grow your business by directing your time and energy towards optimization.

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