How to write a direct mail letter

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How to write a direct mail letter

how to write a direct mail letter


Direct mail letters work, but they have to be done right – so just how do you write a direct mail letter?

There are 9 core elements and if you do all these well, then the chance of your direct mail letters working will increase massively, resulting in more leads, sales and profits.

Objective of the letter

This is THE most important consideration when writing a direct mail letter – what do you want someone to do after they have received it? And you only want one objective. Is it to book a call, to visit your website, to buy something? Your objective MUST be the focus of the letter. I often talk about ‘laser-beam focus’. And this applies to every sales and marketing activity; you must write down what its number one objective is. This gives you complete clarity on what you’re trying to achieve

How to write a direct mail letter

Using the nine core elements, let’s address each one in turn:


You need to have defined your target market for this letter, and to know their goals, their fears, their frustrations and what they want to achieve. You need to deeply understand them. By doing this you will ensure that your letter screams out and says to the reader ‘this is for me’. When you achieve this, you’ve started to create the perfect targeted mailing.


The lack of any differentiator, especially in a very competitive market is a killer (as it is in EVERY industry). What is your differentiator –  your Category of One?. Make sure this is in there. It could be a guarantee or level of service, you could be the one and only doing something in your area. It could be your reviews. Read here for how to create your category of One?


99% of direct marketing letters don’t have a headline. Your headline should clearly state your offer.


Every sales and marketing strategy has to have an irresistible offer. Your letter absolutely must have an offer – to entice the reader to do what you want them to do – your objective – be that to call you, to visit your website, to buy your offer etc.


Get clear on the difference between a feature and a benefit. And make sure you focus more on the benefits. Your benefits (and features) need to focus on ‘WHY’ the reader should do what you want them to do.


If you haven’t used your Guarantee as your differentiator then use it here. Make sure your letter contains some form of guarantee or takes away the risk of doing business with you.


Why should someone talk to or buy from you? These could be testimonials, or reviews or a simple phrase such as “735 Customers Can’t All Be Wrong – Here’s Why… You see, our customers (all 735 of them) know how good we are – but just like you, before they ordered from us – they had no idea.”


It’s important to try to tie in the social proof to the objective of the marketing piece. Again, here you could use a testimonial, or the number of 5 star Google or Facebook reviews you have, or TrustPilot or similar.  How to get more reviews?


Every direct mail letter needs a strong call to action. This should reinforce the offer and have a deadline to make people act now. Without a deadline your letter will be put into the ‘do later’ pile and very often ‘do later’ never happens. A deadline stops procrastination.

Other important points for how to write a direct mail letter:

  • RESPONSE MECHANISM: Make it clear and easy how people need to respond.
  • SUB-HEADINGS: Direct mail letters are typically only one or two pages long—but they still require sub-headings to help drive the skim readers back into the copy.
  • P.S: A P.S. is relevant and very powerful in ALL letters. Very often a P.S is read before the body of the letter – make sure it reinforces your offer and your deadline.

Hopefully, you can see, as long as you follow this simple process you can’t go wrong. If you want any help putting together your direct mail letters. Give me a call on 07949 188923 – we are really good at writing direct mail letters that convert.


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