5 Tips for Creating Emails that Boost Direct Mail

Posted by Stephen Jensen on Sep 9, 2015 10:57:00 AM

Coordinate your Direct Mail and Email Campaigns

Coordinating your email and direct mail strengthens offers and increases subscribers.

The email inbox is where people engage with content more than any other single place. But the trick for using it to increase subscriptions is to create emails that support your direct mail efforts. Are your email and direct mail campaigns coordinated? Or are they two offers passing in the night? When it comes to conversions, think two channels, one campaign.

Here are five tips for creating effective emails that support and complement your existing direct mail campaign.

First, coordinate your offers

No matter what segment you’re trying to reach, it’s best to coordinate the offers you’re sending out via email and direct mail. You don’t want to confuse your audience or make them wonder whether a better offer might be coming through another marketing channel.

And while you’re at it, synchronize your creative as well. This way your follow-up email (assuming you mailed the direct mail first) reminds your audience of the previous mailing, further urging them to complete an action. Do this by using a similar look and feel in both the graphics and the text.

Timing is key, so overlap your touches

In outlining your strategy, plan to send your emails 4-5 days after your direct mail is set to hit mailboxes. This way your email reminds people to take advantage of the offer they recently received in the mail. Having a consistent look and feel, as outlined above, also reinforces they are getting the latest, greatest deal.

Engage your audience with the subject line

Once your coordination strategy is in place, it’s time to craft the email. And the most important feature is the subject line. The subject line is the door to your offer, so it must invite readers in. Otherwise, they will hit delete, and you’ll never get a chance to present your offer.

Keep your subject lines to fewer than 50 characters

Keep your message clear and compelling and focus on only one takeaway, ideally the offer. Use action words to convey how you want them to respond, and to connect them to complete offer details within the body of the message. This way you’re fulfilling on the promise made in the subject line. When reaching out specifically to former subscribers, be sure to address that you have a special deal for them as valued past customers.

Finally, keep your subject lines to fewer than 50 characters. This makes them simple to digest, and easy to read on mobile devices, which is critical.

Include a clear and concise call-to-action

Your call-to-action should be bold and direct. It should let recipients know exactly what you want them to do, and what they will get in return, such as “subscribe and save 50%” or “start your daily delivery today.”

Make your CTAs stand out.

Visual elements also help. For example, along with including one or two hyperlinks in the text leading to your order page, also use a prominently placed, colorful button below the offer that also goes to your order page. Make sure the button is above the fold in the email message, which is generally the top third of the page layout. This placement – along with its size and contrasting color – ensures that it stands out from the rest of the page, and should be the first thing people see when they open your message. Add urgency by including words like “today” or “now” in the button.

Include privacy policy and unsubscribe links

Linking to your privacy policy and providing an unsubscribe option are small but important additions to your marketing emails. Including these links gives visitors confidence that they can safely fill out the order form you are leading them to, and also reinforces your credibility.

In the case of the unsubscribe link, this is more than good form – it’s mandatory. All marketing messages by law must have an unsubscribe link at the bottom of the message. Failing to include one violates regulations outlined by the Federal Trade Commission.

Email marketing is a powerful tool – especially when paired with direct mail. So get your programs in synch and start closing more sales.

Stephen may be reached at sjensen@drg.com 


Topics: Newspaper Mail Co-op, Direct Mail, Acquisition

Stephen Jensen

Written by Stephen Jensen

After several years working in the direct marketing field, Stephen co-founded Direct Resources Group with Scott Zorn in 1993. Today, he manages a variety of customer retention and acquisition programs for clients such as T-Mobile and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, as well as donor acquisition and renewal programs for a variety of non-profit organizations.