Direct Mail

Writing Direct Mail Copy

By 27 August 2023February 1st, 2024No Comments
how to write direct mail copy

How to Write Direct Mail Copy?

The direct mail copy is perhaps the most significant aspect of the direct mail you send out to your target audience. We know that direct mail recipients have a higher response rate than most digital marketing campaigns that are now popular. Despite the high response rate generally seen in direct mail campaigns, your efforts will go in vain if you can not get the recipient hooked on your direct mail copy.

how to write direct mail copy

As a wise man once said, “Beauty is on the inside,” and it couldn't be more true for direct mail. You could use the most aesthetic images and beautiful fonts and still come short of your expectations if the direct mail copy is mediocre or even boring. You need to perfect the art of writing direct mail copy if you wish to keep the reader engaged and eventually lead them to conversion. The overall aesthetic appeal of the direct mail piece will go a long way when it comes to catching the attention of the reader.

However, you still need to have a well-written direct mail copy if you hope to boost your conversions through a direct mail campaign. A mediocre direct mail copy can only get you so far, and this article will help you understand how you can write and use well-written copies for your direct mail campaigns. The article explains how to write a direct mail copy and what aspects you need to consider when writing a direct mail copy.

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1. Know Your Audience

The first step to writing a good direct mail copy is to understand who your target audience is, their needs, and the best approach to push them toward a successful conversion. The most important part about knowing your audience is figuring out what things they want or need. Once you have figured that out, you can start thinking about a compelling copy that can push them to take the desired action.

Closely Analyze Your In-House Customer List

You can get the process started by analyzing your in-house customer list. Try and find the common traits or identify patterns among your existing customers. For example, you can identify large clusters of customers that reside in a certain area. Furthermore, you can also look at their buying behavior to find any recurring trends.

Talk With Your Frontline Staff

You can also talk with your frontline staff, who have direct interactions with the customers and leads. The frontline staff will have a better idea about the customer's pain points than anyone else in your company.

Conduct Surveys

Apart from this, you can also conduct surveys via mail, email, or even calls to determine whether your company meets their expectations. This way, you can get to the bottom of the issues and get the information straight from the customers.

Direct Mail Insights

Using an advanced direct mail tool like PostGrid, you can access important insights from your previous direct mail campaigns. This will also help you identify the characteristics of your direct mail and which of those are effective for your customers.

Also Read: Bulk Mail Marketing Services

2. Direct Mail Format

After you have identified with the audience and their requirements and before you start writing a direct mail copy, you need to first decide on the direct mail format you want to use.

  • You need to determine whether you want to send your audience a postcard, an envelope mailer, a brochure, or something else.
  • The length of your copy depends on which direct mail format you choose, and it will also dictate the other copy elements that you can include in the mailer.

If you choose a postcard as the direct mail format, you will have to keep your message short and concise because of the space restriction of the mail piece. This means you can only include a simple heading with an offer and an attractive call to action. Whereas if you are to opt for a brochure or a flier instead, then you'd have more room for subheadings and paragraphs.

If the purpose of the direct mail campaign is marketing, then it is usually best to keep it short and concise regardless of the direct mail format.

3. Captivating Headlines & Subheads

As far as copy elements go, the headlines and the subheads are a must-have. Perhaps their role is even more prominent in direct mail campaigns.

  • The headline is possibly the first copy element the recipients will notice, and it is bound to be read by them
  • Ideally, your headline alone must be able to convey the whole story to the reader
  • In other words, the reader must be able to tell whether or not your direct mail is relevant or useful to them just by reading the headlines and subheads

A few guidelines you should follow for ensuring that your direct mail headlines are concise and include the benefits in your headline and subheads.

  • You can try prioritizing your benefits in terms of preference by the customers
  • You may then use the most significant benefit as the main headline and then list the rest as subheads
  • Apart from this, you can also ask a question to your audience using the direct mail headline and show the target audience that we understand their pain points

4. Highlight & Elaborate The Customer's Benefits

Your customers need to have full deserves to know exactly what can be expected from the offer that you put forward. So, your direct mail needs to convey how and why the customers can benefit from your product or service.

  • One thing that you need to understand before you can highlight or elaborate on the benefits of your product/service is not the same as its features
  • A feature is merely an aspect of the product, and although it can be beneficial in use, the benefits should be the result of having that particular feature
  • There are a few ways that you can ensure the benefits of what you are offering are clearly conveyed to the customers
  • You can start by placing the benefits right at the beginning of the sentences or paragraphs

Furthermore, you can also try invoking the feelings of the customers and appeal to them emotionally rather than logically. To do this, you need to explain the benefits to them in a language that truly speaks to them.

Finally, you must make it a point to avoid using industry jargon that could confuse the customers or feel alienated from the product or service you are selling.

5. Keep The Copy Short & Concise

It is unlikely that you will need to use excessive paragraph copy in your direct mail unless it is a sales letter or large brochures. However, if you end up using paragraph copy on your direct mail, make sure that you keep it short and to the point. That being said, it does not mean that you can compromise on making a convincing case for the sake of making it short.

Put yourself in the shoes of the customer and ask yourself whether something is important to you or not and avoid needless rambling.

To keep yourself in check while writing a direct mail copy, give every idea its own paragraph, as talking about multiple ideas together can get confusing to the reader.

  • You should also ensure that the messaging is kept consistent and impactful
  • As a rule of thumb, always keep your paragraphs short unless you absolutely have to elaborate more
  • Finally, try to tell the story of your product or service in a story format that is more entertaining to the reader

6. Offer Something of High Value to The Customer

The one thing that can guarantee a response to your direct mail campaign is an irresistible offer that is of high value to the customer. Typically the entire direct mail campaign revolves around the offer you are going to put forward to the customer, and therefore it is a vital part of your direct mail.

As far as the prospects are concerned, the value held by the offer will be the ultimate reason why the prospect will decide to make a purchase or take the desired action.

One way to make sure that the value of the offer is conveyed aptly to the prospect is by using engaging words when writing direct mail copy. Pique the prospects' interest with words like “FREE” or “Super Sale” and get them excited about the offer.

You can also try creating a sense of urgency in the prospects by making the offer time-restricted or stock-restricted.

Finally, you must also make sure that the offer and redeeming it is absolutely risk-free and do not require any form of remuneration from the prospects.

7. Use a Prominent CTA

CTA or call to action is yet another crucial aspect of your direct mail. The CTA is basically a simple sentence or phrase that is specifically created to let the prospect know what their next should be to redeem whatever you are offering.

  • The CTA typically highlights the major benefits of the offer or the major pain point that the product or service you are offering will solve for the prospect.
  • The CTA can be used to create a sense of urgency or excitement in the prospects.
  • Before preparing a CTA, you need to make the “taking action” part seem convenient. For example, you can use QR codes for easy access to your website or landing page.
  • CTAs are supposed to be clear and not cause any confusion, and hence you should only use one single CTAs in direct mail.
  • One clearly defined CTA is enough to lead the prospect to take the desired action.

Additional Tip: Use Direct Mail Automation

So far, we have discussed the significance of direct mail copy and how you can create them in such a way so as to boost your response rate. Although the actual generation of an ideal direct mail copy still needs a human touch, you do have the option to automate the messy part, including personalization, printing, and mailing. This way, you can ensure that your direct mail is optimized for speed and accuracy, which is quintessential for the success of your direct mail campaign.

The best way to automate your direct mail is to use an advanced direct mail API like PostGrid. CASS-certified solutions like PostGrid even have features like address verification that compare the addresses you have against the official address database maintained by the USPS. This means that you can ensure beforehand whether the addresses are real and deliverable, which ultimately means you can maximize your direct mail deliverability.


Direct mail copy is arguably the most significant aspect of your direct mail campaign. It is important to carefully analyze your direct mail campaigns to get insights into what works for your business and what doesn't. Using direct mail insight and tracking your mails is an important method of finding your business's right direct mail strategy and optimizing it. Even if you have the perfect direct mail copy, it is not necessary that it will get you the desired results unless you have optimized your campaign with advanced automation capabilities.

Most businesses prefer to optimize their direct mail process with the help of tools like PostGrid. Solutions such as PostGrid are equipped with advanced features like address verification, address autocomplete, and more that let you have authority over your direct mail campaigns.

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