Direct Mail Reply Devices Must Tell Sales Letter Buyers How To Respond

Alan Sharpe

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My brother-in-law says you should be thankful for truckers because everything you buy was handled at some point by a trucker. LoWayne is a trucker, so he’s biased. But I think he’s right anyway.

You depend on truckers for your life. And, if you are a direct mail marketer, you depend on direct mail response devices for your livelihood. Response cards and order forms are the devices that deliver the customer’s order to your business. Without them, no direct mail transaction takes place.

That’s why one of the most important parts of your direct mail sales letter is the copy that tells your buyer how to order. Somewhere in your letter and on your coupon you need to give explicit instructions telling the prospect what the prospect must do to close the sale. Here are a few ideas.

1. Tell them to complete the form

This sounds self-evident and redundant, but you must tell potential buyers what they need to do. So start with telling them to complete the order form. In your letter, say something like this: “Complete the enclosed order form now. ”

2. Tell them how to return the card

If you are using a business reply card, tell the buyer right on the card to complete and return the card to you. Make sure buyers know that they are required to do something.

3. Tell them what to include

If you are using a business reply envelope, tell buyers what they need to put in it. Maybe it’s a check. Maybe a survey. Spell out what you need the buyer to do: “Return this card in the enclosed postage-paid envelope with your check for $96,989, made payable to Sharpe Copy, Inc. ”

4. Tell them what they get in return

Whenever possible, describe the benefit that buyers receive for completing and returning the reply device or order form. For example, “Complete and mail this card today to receive your free Oriental Tea Sample Pack. ”

Sales people don’t make a sale until they ask for the order. And your sales letters won’t close sales unless you ask for the reply device.

About the author
Alan Sharpe is a business-to-business direct mail copywriter and lead generation specialist who helps business owners and marketing managers generate leads, close sales and retain customers using business-to-business direct mail marketing . Learn more about his creative direct mail writing services and sign up for free weekly tips like this at .

2006 Sharpe Copy Inc. You may reprint this article online and in print provided the links remain live and the content remains unaltered (including the “About the author" message).


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