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Using Direct Mail

By Sue And Chuck DeFiore
Posted Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The advantages of using direct mail to promote your home-based or small business are:

Selectivity-the ability to send your advertising only to people and organizations who can use and pay for your product or service.

Flexibility-the freedom to use either the simplest or the most elaborate presentation, ranging from a single-sheet mailer to an entire package, and the flexibility to test all sorts of minor changes in your mailing pieces.

Control-unlike the random placement of a newspaper ad, your mailer stands alone, and you have room to tell the entire story with illustrations, testimonials and guarantees.

Knowledge of results-by coding every mailing, you can identify the source of each order as it arrives. To get the most out of your direct mail, be sure to pay attention to the following:

1. The outside envelope. Most direct-mail experts will tell you to place "teaser" copy on your envelope to encourage prospects to open it. Envelope copy such as "Look inside to learn how to save money at the grocery store" can be effective. But consider that if you put such copy on the outside of the envelope, you save the recipient the trouble of opening the letter.

2. The letter. There are four main ingredients in every successful direct-mail letter. The letter must attract attention, clearly explain the benefits to your potential customer, address any possible objections and call the reader to action. Long letters usually work better than short letters, especially on high-ticket items.

3. The brochure. Your brochure should be an extension of your letter. It's a place to tell your product's story with pictures and details. Some people will look at the pictures first, then decide if they should read the rest of your package.

4. A response form. Your package should have a separate response form and a reply envelope. The form should be easy to use and easy to fill out. Be sure to include your telephone number in case the prospect wants to ask a question or place an order by phone.

5. A reply envelope. Many businesses enclose postpaid envelopes for future orders. Even if you don't supply postage, the addressed reply envelope is an essential component of your direct-mail package. If a potential customer has to look for an envelope, they may put it down and have second thoughts.

Have a need to increase your profits. Make direct mail campaigns part of your marketing plan.

Copyright 2004 DeFiore Enterprises

About the Author
Interested in having your own successful, home based creative real estate investing business? Chuck and Sue have been helping folks start successful home based businesses for over 19 years, and we can help you too! To see how, visit (http://www.homebusinesssolutions.com) for the latest FREE tips and tricks, educational products and coaching in creative real estate investing and home based businesses. No time to visit the site? Subscribe to our "how to" Home Business Solutions Digest, it's like having your own personal coach: mailto:subscribeHBS@homebusinesssolutions.com