9 Elements of an Irresistible Direct Mail Call to Action

direct mail call to action irresistabel

The purpose of direct mail marketing is to evoke a response, not simply let people know your business exists. That means your postcards need a call to action that is simply irresistible. A direct mail call to action that incorporates these 9 elements will spur your recipients to respond.

1. Clear strategy.

What is the goal of your direct mail marketing? Who is your target audience? Why should they care about whatever it is you do or sell? What do you want them to do — call for an appointment, attend your festival or sale, visit your trade show booth, download something from your website?

2. Relevance.

You have to think like your customer in order to craft a meaningful offer and direct mail call to action, but these things must be relevant to your marketing goal, too. Compelling recipients to action requires connecting with them on an emotional level – they have to want what you’re offering. Saving money can be a motivator, but not if your prospects aren’t interested in your product or service in the first place.

3. Explicit instruction.

Use action verbs to tell recipients what to do and how to do it. “Call now to schedule an appointment.” Make the primary response mechanism most prominent – your phone number for “call now” – but include your other contact information, too, to add credibility and convenience.

4. Benefits.

Don’t just tell them what to do, tell them why. An irresistible call to action emphasizes what’s in it for your prospects if they follow up. Will your offer make their life better or easier or more enjoyable? Improve their personal appearance or sense of well-being? Why should they bother? Be direct and specific, focusing on how they’ll benefit:

  • Exclusivity.
  • Whiter teeth.
  • An enviable front yard.
  • A clean pool without the work.
  • A nicer apartment.
  • Uniquely delicious food.

5. Incentive.

Reward your direct mail recipients for taking action with a special offer that makes it worthwhile — something free, a discounted price, a no-obligation trial period. Make them a deal: “why not take us up on our offer? Give us/it a try and see what you think. Love it, or your money back.”

6. Sense of urgency.

If your CTA isn’t time-sensitive, it’s too easy for your prospects to set your postcard aside and promptly forget about it. Repeat mailings serve as reminders, but your primary goal is to get people to act right away. Use urgent words – today, now. Tell them there is an expiration date or limited quantity available so they don’t wait too long.

However, note that sometimes a strong sense of urgency is inappropriate. If your marketing goal is to grow your church’s congregation, a warmer, gentler “why not join us as a guest and see for yourself” approach will be more personal and appealing. The irresistible part is the new sense of belonging that will surround your prospect.

7. Confidence boosters.

Sometimes to be irresistible a direct mail call to action has to reinforce your prospect’s smart decision to respond. Include a testimonial quote — “best call I ever made!” You can also make your offer risk-free with a guarantee to seal the deal, though that is not appropriate in every instance.

8. Simplicity.

Putting two or three special offers on one postcard may make sense for your business and marketing goal, but research shows sticking to a single direct mail call to action will generate the most response. Too many options simply confuse people.

9. Conspicuous presentation.

Irresistible CTAs are visually obvious – big and bold in a contrasting color so they stand out unmistakably on your direct mail.

A well-planned strategy and well-crafted wording will convince prospects that what you have to offer is something they must have, right now, and they will be irresistibly drawn to take action.

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