10 Essential Elements Every Direct Mail Piece Needs!

10 Essential Elements Every Direct Mail Piece Needs!

By Angela Martineau-Parisi

1. A Clear Headline:

On the postcard there should be one primary message. The best way to communicate the message is with clear headline that is not cluttered with other text. The headline should be large enough that it’s the first thing your customer notices.

2. A Graphic that Supports the Message:

The picture should always support and clarify your primary message. The graphic should be easy for your customer to understand and add to the message that your headline is trying to convey.

3. Color that POPS:

Make the headline and other text stand out by choosing a color that does not blend with the background. Your customer’s eye can be led to the message by making it visually appealing and apparent. They should not have to search for your message.

4. Sub-headlines that lead into text:

If you have a couple of paragraphs with no sub headline there is nothing to entice people to actually read that copy. A sub-headline will give people the initial idea of the paragraph and a good place to start reading. Bullet points are a great way to keep the message to the poit and for those that scan your message they will still take away your features and benefits.

5. Benefits, Benefits, Benefits:

One of the biggest errors people make in advertising is telling all about them and not how their services can benefit the customer. One question everyone asks is “What is in it for me?” We call it radio station WIIFM!  Answer that question through benefits to help your customers realize why they need your service. Why should they choose you over your competition? Use the HAS/DOES test to determine features vs. benefits. Features are something your product or service HAS. Benefits are something that your product or service DOES.

6. The Offer:

An offer is a MUST. This sets you apart from your competition and serves as another benefit. An offer can be used to create urgency and generate higher response rates almost immediately. Use “Buy now”, “limited time offer”, etc.

Also, provide an expiration date which will give your customer a time frame to make them pick up the phone and Act Now!

7. Your company name and logo:

Although this needs to be on the mailer, it should not overshadow the message and the offer. This will after repetition give your company recognition, but it should not be the primary focus of the card. It is all about the customer and they need to know what you are going to give them and how to get it, keep that the primary message.

 8. Call to action:

If your customer is interested in your message, service, product and offer you need to tell them how to get it! “Call now”, “Visit us online”, “Come see us and present this card”.  The call to action tells exactly what you want them to do.

 9. Contact Information:

Provide your name, phone number and website directly following or above the call of action. Whatever you want your customers to do, give them the means to do so. If you provide your telephone number and website on the front of the card, repeat this on the back near the call to action. Don’t assume they will turn the card over to look for that information.


“No” today doesn’t mean “No” forever. Once you have identified a strong target market then invested your time and energy into creating the perfect direct mail piece, build a repeat campaign so your ideal target market sees your brand and message over and over until you become the company that resonates with the service they need. 

 To learn more about the best practices of Direct Mail and how to begin using them in your campaigns, contact our Inside Account Management Team at 1-866-319-7109 or okiam@prospectsplus.com