Any tips on first direct mail flyer?

Hey everyone, been reading up now for the past 2 weeks about everything, this site is a great find! Now, I’m just about ready to go live with my site, but I was wondering if anyone had any tips about what to include in a direct mail flyer. Should I be specific, or should it be overly vague so that they would want to find out more when they visit my site? What have you guys done in the past to make it work for you, and what pitfalls were avoided on a 2nd chance mailing?

What’s the purpose of your flyer? Is it a general site announcment, or are you planning to run a specific promotion? Who is your target audience? What is the purpose of your site? What do you want them to do when the visit your site? How large of a mailing are you sending out? Is it off of a purchased list, people you know, or . . . ?

These are all things to consider before getting specific about what will and will not work.

Hey Jeeplaw,

Mafunk has some good advice there, and it really does start with defining the purpose of the flyer. I think any direct mail piece should be very specific, and it should state a specific benefit to the recipient to encourage them to take action - however you define “action.”

If you want them to call you for more information, you have to sell the benefits of picking up the phone and calling you.

If you want them to visit your site, then you need to sell the benefits of visiting your site. But stick to one objective, and don’t try to accomplish more than one thing at a time.

Personally, I can’t stand “Awareness” type pieces - you know, the mailings that say “We’re so and so, the new design company in town. We’ve been in business for 4 months and we do this and we do that. Here’s our phone number blah blah blah…”

It doesn’t inspire me to want to contact 'em, yet I see it all the time in print advertising and on websites! Aargh!

A much better approach is to send a mailing that entices the reader to want to visit your site - and offering something to them for free is a great way to attract their attention. How about offering a “Free guide to help your business profit from the internet” or something along those lines? When they visit your site for the free guide, you then request their email address to email it to them - and when you send it make a mention to encourage them to sign up for your free, valuable newsletter (you do have a newsletter, dont you?) :smiley: If you don’t, you should seriously think about it - as it’s a great way for you to build credibility with your website visitors and start developing a relationship with them.

At least if you don’t make a sale when they first visit your site, you have the opportunity to get to know them better and encourage them to do business with you over time.

Take a look at Seth Godin’s excellent book on “Permission Marketing” and also and [url=] - there is a wealth of info in those three resources that could help you out as they have me.

All the best,


If you are mailing this out or handing it out I think you have to get peoples attention first.
Upside down text in color in Chinese with a big word MYSTERY in english may get the thing opened if sent via mail.
If done via a posting on a community message board. I suggest a two pager, with something unique on one side to get people enticed to read the other page with your content.

Or you could go the extreme targeted method, if mailed just fit your product and price right there plainly on the envelope or paper if handed out. Most will toss it immediately but your extremely interested people will be sure to read it.

Thanks for some great advice guys. My targetted audience is the legal world. I’m a lawyer who has decided to go back to his roots…technology. I’m hoping to reach law firms that need I.T outsourcing or web design/hosting. I don’t want it to be too gimickky…you know? I may just try the straightforward approach. Keep it clean and presentable.

An interesting thing happened to me late last year. I was finally ready to start really targeting new clients. I did a cool flashy post card that would get their attention. I decided to introduce the company and also make them an offer. I offered them one year of free hosting with any custom design or redesign. Guess what. I had no response. None! I should have followed up with a phone call but that is another story.

After about a month I chose another (similar) group to mail to. I wrote a simple letter on linen paper that introduced the company and included my business card. No offers… no flash… no nonsense. I had no response again. Until recently. Out of nowhere I have been getting some calls from people that got my letter and business card and “filed” it away for when they needed my service.

Wow Matt - How many pieces did you mail with each campaign? I’m really surprised you didn’t have ANY takers at the time.

Care to share the pieces you sent to them with us? Maybe I can make a few suggestions that might improve your response rate.



My 0.02$

That is exactly why just sending a letter is not enough :rolleyes: If you send 100 letters probably 1 hits a company that actually is in a need of your services at that very moment. That is why you need to call after sending the letter and find out what is the need. And that’s what salespersons are here for: they try to make the possible customer to realize the need exists even the customer wouldn’t know it himself.

If you never call they read the letter and put it in the X-pile of papers “for future needs” - among the 50 another letters they’ve got. They never even remember getting any letters from you after 2 days. Calling makes them to remember you and same time you get valuable information when there would be a chance to hit. Also many times calling to lead X has given a lead to company Y - if you make a good impression they might say “well we got all we need at the moment but there’s one company in our neighbour/our client/my friend who might need your services. Do you want their number?”


I think it was around 150 each mailing.

I did save one postcard. It’s stock that I got form Vistaprint. I’ll see if I can get it scanned in later today (busy!)

Ok here is the postcard. I dug it out. It is the last one. I did a quick scan and crop so it is cut off a little on the right.

The back was the services we offer, contact info and the web hosting deal. I know…I know…I should’ve listed benefits instead (or in addition). It was supposed to be part awareness / part offer. Not a good combo I suppose?

Anyway I thought it was “eye catching” :lol:

I forgot to mention that I did have a couple of these come back, but they were ones that I handed out not mailed.

Thanks Matt - Looks like you’ve learned your lesson, so I won’t beat you up for not listing all the benefits of doing business with you there. Although I’m curious now, and wonder what a postcard mailing with a great benefit laden headline and call to action would do for ya. :smiley:

I’m still debating a postcard mainling of my own, but some other good leads have come in so I may put it off for a while. If I do something I’ll be sure to share the results of the campaign with you here.

All the best,


One thing to remember about post cards. The have a “hand life” of about 30 seconds with the adverage person.

A CDROM has a life of 1 hour, (unless it’s AOL, in that case it .03 seconds or less). A business card CD has a “hand life” of 3 days.
JusT my 0.02 worth on marketing stragety that has worked for me.

Couple Pennies…

Any business person can tell you, word of mouth advertising is the most powerful advertising tool that you cannot buy!

If you have any association with individuals in your target market, or someone who may know someone, you have a better chance of making some long-lasting client relationships. Get involved with local business mixers too!

Marketing well involves a mix (more than one ingredient). I believe someone else suggested it too, follow-up calls on a mail-out is beneficial if you take the time to respect the client on the phone, find out if your target is really being hit correctly. Meet people (personal touch always adds a bit of value over the next company who has gotten money hungry and only sees a monthly paycheck, rather than a human.

After that, most successful businesses are based on problem solving (finding a need and filling it). Is there a specfic need your target audience has (beyond standard hosting services)? Find out and see if you can fulfill it.

Mail-out campaigns generally have the lowest rate of return. Be more than “eye-catching”, start a conversation on a human level (not with cheesy stock letters either), with thoughtful headlines that speak directly to your target’s needs.

As for your target on this one: Legal world tends to be very stiff. You can either buck the system and try to add a little character and style to it, or show them you are as sophisticated as they are and would like the opportunity to do buisness with them.

Best Regards,
Michael Wisniach
3rd Cherry Designs

I’ve done many postcard mailings with great success. But I’m in a different field (retail sales) so I don’t know how my results will translate. My company was essentially a direct mail company five years ago. We built an email list largely through visitors from search engines and a few highly targeted newsletter sponsorhip advertisements. Many of our existing customers also of course visited our web site when it came about. We began sending an email newsletter – first monthly, then weekly. Today we no longer send our once regular newsletter in the mail.

To convert our existing customers to email we sent a postcard – about 5000 of them – simply saying “Visit the new to sign up for our free email newsletter – save 10% off next purchase.” We got 1800 newsletter signups (36%)!

You know your field well – is there something that you can offer: a white paper, etc. – that would be of real interest to prospects?

Further postcard tips:

A) The offer should be restated with a similar look and feel to your mailing somewhere on the website so that responders don’t have to search for it.

B) If you really need to save money, you can make the postcard, upload it to the US Post Office online and they’ll send it for you, with a discounted postage rate too!

I am having the same problem with the postcards. I understand that you should call the potential customer after you mail them. But what should you say when you call them back? I know that you can’t give me a word for word, but maybe just a scenerio of a call back. My audience have been small businesses within retail or service. I just don’t really know what to say when I approach people or call them back after handing out flyers or business cards.

You’re right, there is no perfect formula…

So, be direct, polite, and LISTEN!

Have a goal when you are calling. What do you want to get out of the call? A meeting? A bid opportunity? A sale? An opportunity to get them more information. A brochure, pamphlet, video, etc.

Introduce yourself again: They probably will barely remember your mailing if at all.

Re-Qualify the lead: You may or may not be hitting your target market, come up with some questions that determine if these are even the right people to be receiving your marketing efforts in general, or if you just have the wrong person within the organization. No mail list is perfect.

LISTEN: There is not much that annoys me more than someone who does not listen to what the client is saying. If they aren’t going to give you the time of day, don’t push it!

Don’t Ramble: Give the other person a chance to speak, majorly annoying to listen to someone read to you. Be natural.

Don’t give up, be consistent in your efforts, and you will eventually breakthrough. Mail-outs typically have a low response. Get to know people.

Best Regards,
Michael Wisniach
3rd Cherry Designs

Thank,[b]thirdcherry[/b] .

I will try to put your advice to use. Hopefully it will help.

I’m a bit late on the game here with this conversation. But I still thought it worth chiming in. I’ve sent out a lot of direct mails – and I mean millions and millions of letters. Personally I found that about 5 years ago the impact of postcards style and even catalog style mailings from a performance perspective were being passed by a very personal looking letter.

To the extent that some of my best performing mails ever, I actually had people hand write the address on the envelope and purposely made them look a little crumpled and dirty.

There are a lot of assumptions I could make about why, but the only that always stuck with me is that as email usage grew and grew, people started receiving less and less personal letters. So if you’re mailing came across like that it instantly inherited a novelty factor of ‘ooohh I’ve got a letter’ and got the attention you crave.

I suggest your direct mailing advertisement must be professionally designed. Make sure that it is simple yet attractive and focuses on the services you offer and benefits to your reader.