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Wednesday, March 11 2009
With the increase in direct mail volume at all-time highs, the need to grab a reader's attention in a sales letter is even more crucial. As a prospect sorts through loads of daily mail, he needs to know two things up front: what is being sold and how it can benefit him. Consider these six steps.

1. Know and state the biggest benefit for the reader up front. Readers spend, on average, five seconds deciding if they'll open a mail piece.

2. Remember the basic goal for your sales writing: increased response. You're not a writer, you're a salesperson who uses the medium of writing.

3. Review a sales letter you're presently working on. See where the "grabbing" material or "hook" is and determine whether it's too far down. Also try this: begin reading in your third or even fourth paragraph. Chances are you'll discover more reader benefits there than at the beginning.

4. Use specifics to grab attention. It's not enough to mention profits?use numbers, names, dates, etc. Use everything you can get a hold of to capture your reader's attention.

5. The "hook" can be placed in various places besides the first or second paragraph. Some prefer the superscript above the salutation. Others like to use the space where the inside address is usually found.

6. Be creative in your salutation. "Dear Friend or Reader" sounds trite. Personalize the salutation, if possible, using: "Dear Executive," "Dear Doctor," "Dear Homemaker," etc.

Craig Huey is president of a direct response advertising agency, Creative Direct Marketing Group, Inc and InfoMat. 310-212-5727 (
Posted by: AT 02:50 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email


Email Marketing Done Right - We've been lied to - It's not all about the "Open",...initially

Toyota & GMC; Preferred Vendor- Marketing & Eccomerce

What emails yield the highest open rates, and which are relevant to your campaigns success? 
Let's begin by addressing the "Open".
It's not enough to get the email solicitation (for lack of a better word... perhaps informational piece? Nah.. we all know it's a solicitation... 

Any email deployment company can promise high open rates, but if they aren't opening the message for the right reason it will yield limited results. We have tested this time and again. 

Example Market Test: 

We deploy an email campaign with the subject line: "What do you think of Candi's new Bikini?", and yield an impressive 15% track-able open rate. Not bad ... if that's my only goal... We'll call that subject line "A". 

We launch another email to the same business prospect list, this time with the subject line "B"; "Dealers add profit with Security System Installs". "B" yields a mere 2.5% open rate... but wait...

Now you may think the first subject line is the way to go, however let me share further results...

Test Subject line "A" received 5 click-throughs to the landing page with further details and order options.

Test Subject line "B" received 200 click-throughs to the landing page with further details and order options 

The question is.. what are we trying to sell? Security Systems? or "Pictures of girls in Bikinis"...
Which yielded the best return?.... 

The fact is, "it's not all about open rates"... It's about relevancy. Now.., what could we do with the contact records of those who "Opened" our email based on a relevant Subject Line?.... We now know they are in the market or have a need or interest in what we have to offer, based on the fact that they opened, our relevant subject line... and what could we do with the contact records... the knowledge of which business prospect took further action; i.e. clicked through, based on that 'relevant" subject line?

This leads me to the final word in my headline...'initially"... Once an email is opened based on a relevant subject line....action was taken (click through), the highest yielding "OPEN", on an outbound email marketing lead generating initiative is the "follow-up" email to those recipients who opened and read your initial email based on a relevant subject line. We've seen anywhere from 35% clear up to 65% open rates on follow up letters... Now how could this change your prospecting efforts?