Jet Mail 2/16/23 8:00 AM

Guide to Direct Mail Copywriting: How to Write Content that Converts

Guide to Direct Mail Copywriting: How to Write Content that Converts

Direct mail marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach new customers and grow your business. And while direct mail makes it easy to get your brand into the hands of target audiences, it takes great copywriting to convert.

Crafting compelling direct mail copy can be challenging, which is why we created this guide. Here’s what businesses across all industries need to know about writing high-impact direct mail content that converts, including:

The Basics: What is Direct Mail Copywriting?

Direct mail copywriting is all about writing persuasive copy that will sway readers to take action.

First, let’s cover a few basics.

It's paramount for businesses to write clear, effective copy that introduces your business using language that's easy to understand, feels non-invasive and reflects the unique nature of your brand. It’s equally important to connect with your audience.

As the late great George Gribbin said, "A copywriter should have an understanding of people, an insight into them, a sympathy toward them."

When you're writing direct mail copy, remember that you're writing to a person. So take a moment to think about your customer and put yourself in their shoes. Then, you'll be ready to start.

4 Tips for Writing Direct Mail Copy that Converts 

1. Keep It Simple and Short

When it comes to the length of your direct mail copy, keep it short. Studies show that realistically, people will read about 20% of the text on the average page, so verbose copy can be hard to read and likely ignored.

In fact, the average word count in direct mail campaigns has decreased by 124% in the last 20 years. That means every word in your direct mail campaign matters, and clarity and intention are what you need to succeed.

Additionally, it’s best to refrain from using marketing jargon, industry acronyms or technical terms that your target audience may not be familiar with. 

2. Attention Please: Write Headlines That Hook

While only 20% of all text is read, 80% of people will read the headline in its entirety. That makes it the most valuable piece of real estate on the mailer. If you're having writer’s block, try running a few rough drafts through an editor like Wordtune to help you fine-tune your thought process. 

3. From Their Lips: Use Testimonials

Chip R. Bell, the founder of the Chip Bell Group and expert on customer loyalty, once said, "Loyal customers, they don't just come back, they don't simply recommend you, they insist that their friends do business with you."

Testimonials can add credibility and build trust by showcasing how others have benefitted from your business. Remember that testimonials should be relevant to each audience segment. A one-size-fits-all approach to testimonials won’t resonate as well as if you tailored the testimonial to different demographics, such as age or location. Don't let the reviews be too flowery or excessive, but make sure they are genuine and accurately describe what the customer gained from using your business.

4. Personalize, Personalize, Personalize 

Today’s direct mail marketing is more modern than most people realize. Every mail piece can be personalized to address the unique needs of individual recipients or audience segments. Modern direct mail technology taps into customer data from your CRM to create highly personalized messages and offers. That information is then paired with an advanced digital printing technology, known as variable data printing, which allows for the personalization of every printed piece in a single print run.

Imagine the possibilities for your next direct mail campaign. Nearly everything can be personalized, including images, headlines, offers, CTAs, content and more. Be sure to read our guide on direct mail personalization for examples and inspiration for your next direct mail campaign. 

Our Favorites: Direct Mail Copywriting Examples

In need of inspiration? These creative, captivating mail-pieces illustrate the points above.

Starry: How to Cope With Your Current Internet Service Provider


Image credit: Starry, New York

Starry empathizes with their customers in this cute direct mail zine, and explains the shortcomings of their current internet provider and the benefits of switching to Starry.  

Why we love it: This direct mail marketing campaign shows that Starry puts the needs of their target audience first. It offers thoughtful solutions to their problems in the form of an easy-to-digest zine that keeps a permanent piece of its brand in the homes of prospective customers. 

Greenpeace: Save the Arctic Outlet Decal


Image credit: Alastair Bird, Greenpeace Save the Arctic Campaign

Greenpeace, a non-profit that promotes environmental awareness, mailed members adorable polar bear decals to apply on electrical outlets as a reminder to save energy to save the Arctic.

Why we love it: It's the definition of keeping it simple! With minimal text, Greenpeace conveys its message to conserve energy while using uncomplicated language and an aesthetically-pleasing design.

North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild: We’re a Beer State


Image credit: Matt Lee, North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild: We’re a Beer State Campaign

Talk about brewing up an awesome headline! More than a visually-striking mailpiece, North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild uses a headline that packs a punch.

Why we love it: This mailer used the perfect image and a well-crafted headline that brings attention to brewery legislation, while avoiding the usual red/blue divide by bringing up a bill to modernize brewery laws.

Florida Gulf Coast University: Testimonial Ad


Image credit: Who’s Mailing What

To show future students how attending their school can make a difference in their lives, the Florida Gulf Coast University adapted testimonials from past scholarship recipients to create a compelling case for enrolling.

Why we love it: Sometimes, the best words aren’t from your business. This mailer illustrates how the university benefitted previous students by using words that resonate well with prospective students.

DoorDash: Really Good Taste Ad


Image credit: Really Good Direct Mail

DoorDash keeps it simple with high-impact copy amplified by bold images and a clear offer.

Why we love it: DoorDash hit the Attention, Interest, Desire and Action (AIDA) Method right on the head with this campaign. Plus, the use of images, amazing copy and killer promos are simply unmatched. 

Direct Mail Marketing with Jet Mail

At Jet Mail, we understand the demands of fast-paced and competitive industries, which is why we specialize in fast, personalized and data-driven solutions for direct mail.

Our extensive menu of direct mail and digital printing services is amplified by our in-house fulfillment services, including inventory management, pick and pack, kitting, assembly, warehousing and shipping.

Contact us today to learn more about Jet Mail’s modern solutions for direct mail marketing. 


Get Started

To learn more about our services and how we can help expedite your marketing fulfillment, start by speaking with a Jet Mail team member.