copywriting-web-designMost have heard the basics of direct mail marketing; write a good headline, craft an offer, list benefits, and put forth a call to action.  Before putting pen to paper, however, you would be well served to look closely at the psychology that affects the behavior driving a person responding to your marketing piece.

First, let’s look at a framework for profiling your audience:

  1. Find out what makes them curious: People make more effort and dig deeper when they want to know more.
  2. Find the Why: Communicate features not benefits, but also show them how your product or service can impact their life.
  3. Make it easy: Easy to read, easy to understand, and easy to respond.
  4. Identify their pain points: This is an important driver of human behavior.

Now that we have this information, start to think about copy and design while focusing on psychology.

  • Opportunity vs. Threat: Create the feel of opportunity from your prospect’s perspective and the threat of what happens if they don’t act.
  • Number of Options: Keep it simple; if you frustrate the reader you will lose them.
  • Patterns/Colors: Use colors and patterns that are eye pleasing and that create contentment.
  • Position your copy effectively: People remember what they saw first and last, not in the middle.
  • Repetition: The more a message is repeated, the more it becomes true.

Careful thought, purposeful design, and well-crafted copy are the foundational pieces for effective direct mail. As with any other direct marketing communication channel, you want to test your offer. Consider also testing elements of your design such as color, patterns and word placements. Introducing psychology into the traditional direct mail best-practices list makes the process more complicated and time consuming. It is also what separates good from great direct marketers.