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Direct Mail Response Rates Low? Eliminate these Mistakes

Are your direct mail response rates lower than you expect? Check your sales letter or direct mail package against this checklist to uncover the reasons for your poor response.

You are mailing to people who are never likely to buy
You are not mailing to others in the same business who influence the buying decision
Your list is out of date
Your names and addresses are not formatted correctly for proper delivery
Your list has job titles only, not names

You are using the wrong format for your audience (self-mailers to professionals, for example)
Your letter and brochure are not complete sales pitches in themselves
Your liftnote or buckslip confuses your offer or main selling promise

Your envelope gives too much away, so your prospects throw it away unopened
Your mailing envelope looks like junk mail
Your package is addressed to "Occupant" and not to a person by name

Your letter lacks a strong, customer-focused headline
The opening line in your letter is not compelling
You spell your prospective customer's name incorrectly
Your letter lacks specifics about product size, weight, color and other vital details
You discuss product features but not customer benefits
You talk too much about your company and not enough about your reader
You do not create enough desire
Your letter lacks urgency
You do not offer a guarantee

You are offering the same thing that your competitors are offering
Your offer is not specific
Your offer is not exclusive
Your offer is not relevant
Your offer is not valuable
Your offer is not unique
Your offer is not useful

You do not ask for the order
You ask for the order, but too late in your letter
You conclude by saying, "If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me"
You give too many ways to respond—or not enough

Your reply device is too cluttered
You do not tell prospects what to do to buy your product or service
Your reply device is not postage-paid

You are mailing at the wrong time of the year
Your letter is arriving on the wrong day of the week
You are mailing too often, so prospects ignore you
You are not mailing often enough, so prospects do not remember you

By Alan Sharpe
© 2005 Sharpe Copy Inc. You may reprint this article online and in print provided the links remain live and the content remains unaltered (including the "About the author" message)
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Read other articles in this issue:

Direct Mail Response Rates Low? Eliminate these Mistakes
Tips to Help Your Telemarketing Campaign
9 Steps to Building a Profitable Customer Relationship

Newsletter Overview

June 4, 2020

Direct Marketing Tips

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