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This question has been answered, and points have been awarded.
Debt Negotiation Service: 2 Page Direct Mail Piece
Posted by Anonymous on
12/15/2004 at 12:54 PM ET
I am looking to do a 2 page direct mail piece to potential clients. National Debt Consultants is a company that helps individuals get out of debt through means of negotiations/settlement. We are looking to create a 2 page mail piece for mortgage turn down clients; to have them enroll into our "Monthly Payment Program" as an alternative to bankruptcy. I am looking for some insight on a good opener, and what sort of content I should include to make sure the potential client has a clear understanding of our company, the program, and benefits of using our service. If I put everything I wanted into this piece, I would have 10-15 pages. This is not what I want, so any insight and help would be great.
12/15/2004 at 1:46 PM
Welcome to the forum! You appear to be a new member, so let me start by recommending that you take a look at some of the excellent articles on this subject published by MarketingProfs.
There's a Search box at the top right corner of this page. Try the keywords "sales letter" there, and you'll see what I mean.
It's something worthwhile as you're waiting for the rest of the Experts here to respond to your question...
12/16/2004 at 6:26 AM
This is slightly more tricky than it appears at face value.
What you may find you need to do is create a range of pieces that place different emphases on which of your value propositions to focus on.
Test these by posting a small set to a random selection of your database. Measure the response rates for the various pieces of communication. The one that gets the highest response rate is the one that you should send out the the balance of the database.
Things which seem as arbitrary as the type of envelope you use for your direct mail campaign can have a real impact on the response rate.
The design of the material is almost as important as the wording. A clear design, with generous amounts of white space and short paragraphs with headings will work better than one page of undifferentiated text.
So - what is the key 'What is In It For Me' to focus on?
A heading like: "Consolidate your debt and clear your blacklisting' - may work.
Remember to add a clear call to action at the end of the mail. Experts also say that a PS generally works quite well.
- test, test and test again!
- change your message to suit the market segment
- end with a direct call to action
- use white space in your design.
12/16/2004 at 6:28 AM
Why have you got a two page restriction. If you are clear about your value propostiion, and it is well written, you should be able to get your message across on one page. Less is more.
12/16/2004 at 10:48 AM
You need to see this letter as part of an overall direct marketing campaign.
Your letter ends with a call to action - to either
- phone you (toll free ideally)
- visit your website
- our send a fax / post a letter
to find out more about the service.
I would keep the content down to the bare minimum to stimulate interest, and leave the rest for round two.
A media planner I know keeps telling me that the golden rule for media planning is 'concentrate and dominate' - so if you could spend some money on radio / banner advertising at the same time, by the time your letter arrives, your prospects have already heard of you, which makes them far more likely to read your letter.
Have you considered using a sales channel - like other brokers on a commission basis? That may help bolster your resources.
Should the letter be colour? It depends. If you want it to look like a formal business letter, then selective colour (in your letterhead and for headings) is appropriate. If you want it to be a bit more exciting, then yes. Colour is correct. The guiding principal to this decision is your overall brand personality - and the tone and content of the letter.
Sounds horrid, but luminous green or orange envelopes tend to draw more attention than Manila ones.
Envelopes with a 'window' are more likely to get opened than ones without.
12/17/2004 at 6:14 PM
I agree with Frances. If these people have just been turned down for a mortgage, they are pretty down in general, and may need a gentler, "we're on your side" approach. I agree to keep the letter to one page, but use call outs -- either section headers or bold face minimally so that the whole letter isn't "screaming" ... decide the three or so things you really want your reader to know and do, and bold face those in copy, or use the header idea Frances suggests.
I'd also be careful on asking questions. Make sure all the possible answers are acceptable to you before putting a question in your letter. Personally, they annoy me, but I'm just one person.
Finally, it is my feeling that people are pretty savvy about direct mail tactics, and are usually skeptical unless you can tell them in a positive way what's in it for you, the company. This is a risky proposition, I know, but I think it adds credibility to imply how the company benefits from the relationship. Especially in the business you appear to be in. I know that some of these debt reduction companies say "avoid bankruptcy" but when you get into the deal, it still turns out that the consumer's use of the debt reduction co is still reported negatively to a credit bureau, kind of negating the perceived benefit. Anyway, I guess what I am saying, make sure you are up front about the arrangement and the customers aren't disappointed or worse angry when they start investigating the offer.
I hope this is helpful.
Good luck to you.
12/17/2004 at 10:37 PM
You just have to take care of some of the ideas, Frances and Sharon have given above. A good copywriter too does the same thing.
Just to add to the advice. I would look for speficity, (eg. When you say "Millions of Americans are trying to keep up on their credit cards", i would like to see the exact number with a reference).
The old Sales letter format AIDA, still works! How do you build Attention, Interest, Desire and Action?
You have created attention by an attractive headline. Now you have to think of your follow through...
-What's your interest creating line?
-Desire building needs you to build on a case history, a success story.
-All this have to be done as cryptically as possible
-Your action line needs to give a deadline or a time frame to get you a response
If you feel i can help you further, do drop me a line. Check out my profile first (just click on jose04 above)
All the best!
Hope these thought help!!
12/18/2004 at 8:56 AM
Frances is an excellent copywriter, and her rates are reasonable given that she charges in SA Rands!
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