6 Questions to Ask Before Writing Your Copy

I took the bait this weekend, after literally waiting years to indulge, and I was disappointed. To say the least. I patronized a popular dessert establishment that is all over social media, and routinely in my mailbox. Their videos and posts feature long lines, huge smiles on happy customers, and great visuals of their product. I bought what could be considered a ‘standard’ offering and set off for home. It looked great on my plate, but the second I took a bite, I sighed, chewed the rest of it out of obligation and threw the remainder in the trash can.

It made me think about how you never want to fool your clients into thinking they’re getting one thing, while you’re delivering something else. The essence of direct mail postcard campaigns is finding the best right (I said what I said) audience for your product or service. And part of that process should be you asking yourself questions about positioning and your targets to ensure you aren’t pulling the wool over their eyes. Here are 6 Great Questions to Ask Yourself before you put anything in the mail and ask for someone’s hard-earned money.

  1. Should I test the price, lists, and copy? Yes, yes, and yes. To some of you, that’s no surprise. As a business owner, you need to understand what your clients are willing to pay for your product or service, of course. But you also have a responsibility of playing with lists and the copy of your postcard to find what works best and creates the most long-term success (read: repeat and future sales). The lists and copy will change over time, but they are an essential ingredient in understanding how to speak to your target.
  2. How is my product different from/better than the competition? If you can’t immediately answer this question, you have another problem. I’ve gone as far as signing up for the services my competition is also offering to judge pros and cons. Maybe you can buy the same product, or download the whitepaper, or rely on a friend to do a little opposition research. Learning about what differentiates you from your competition allows you to honestly position the superiority of your offering.
  3. Can my direct mail be integrated with digital marketing? Yes! Today’s technology is amazing and it continues to evolve at a crazy pace. You don’t have to make the reader wait for more information. They can snap a code at the mailbox and be surfing your website on their phone in seconds! That means they’re that much closer to making a purchase or asking for more information. Take advantage of this instant gratification culture wherever possible.
  4. Should I offer a money-back guarantee? No. This is Pandora’s Box. If someone isn’t happy with what they’ve purchased from you, let’s let that be a conversation they initiate, and a resolution we come to after mutual deliberation. Giving someone an opportunity to get work done for free simply by saying you guarantee they’ll be satisfied, or they’ll get their money back is ludicrous. How do you undo a pool installation or duct cleaning or dog training? If the cookie is trash, it’s trash. But it shouldn’t automatically be free. Get my point? Stay away from guarantees.
  5. Should I consider a celebrity testimonial? At first blush, my answer to this is always a solid ‘no’. People are siloed in a lot of different camps politically and otherwise. You might think this certain celebrity is fantastic, while your targets might find them offensive or caustic. You do not want to purposefully associate your business with anyone potentially detrimental to the growth and reputation of your business. Who doesn’t love (for example) Tiger, or Brittney, or Charleton Heston, or the Gronk? See what I mean? They might be lovely people, but for various reasons, I’m not sure I’d want them representing my business.
  6. Should I consider using audio or video? This is naturally going to be tied to a landing page or QR on the postcard, but I’d say it’s an option. If you aren’t going to be the featured face of your company, take pains to find someone photogenic, with a comfortable approach and ease of speaking. Are they relatable? Do they sound like they know your product? Or are they a freelance actor spewing lines and failing to connect with your target audience? The connection is key, so if you don’t feel it, don’t use it.

There are a lot more facets to great postcard design than just these six, of course. But this is a good place to start. The physical elements like color and images, etc., are also important, and you should add them into your design process at the right time. Beneath the campaign, you also want to sell a solid product. I’ll never go to that dessert place again, but I’ll probably always be attracted by their fantastic campaigns.

Give Opportunity Knocks a call today. Our Success Coaches are standing by with what you need to attract a sweet tooth or a dentist. We know the right questions to ask to build you the best direct mail postcard campaign you’ve ever seen. Sprinkles aren’t just for winners anymore.