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9 Key Elements for a Successful Direct Mail Letter

Reading the MailThe content of a direct mail letter needs to be different than an ordinary correspondence letter. In fact, the only similar elements should be the salutation and the signature.

While it’s not necessary to have every element, if the letter is designed to sell rather than just convey information it should contain most of these elements.

The following are nine key elements to a successful letter.

  • The Headline focuses the reader’s attention on one or two quick benefits. It gives the reader a reason to continue reading your letter.
  • The Opening is the first sentence or two after the salutation. This is the place to state how your product will fulfill the reader’s needs.
  • Offer Preview – after the opening, make a brief reference to your offer. For example “Enjoy it for FREE, without obligation.”
  • Sell Copy – after the offer preview, get right into the benefits that your reader will realize when he/she tries your product.
  • Use Sub Headers when introducing new thoughts. Avoid having wall to wall text and use short sentences and short paragraphs.
  • The Offer – once you have fully described the benefits, let the reader know how they can acquire your offer NOW. When appropriate, use an expiration date.
  • The Guarantee – offer a guarantee in a positive light, such as “Risk Free” rather than “Full Refund If Not Satisfied.” People are more apt to try a product from a company that stands behind their product.
  • The Call to Action – ask the reader to respond right now before this offer expires.
  • The P.S. – after the signature add a P.S.  After the headline and first sentence, the P.S. is the most read part of the letter. Use this important space to repeat a key part of your letter.

The goal behind any direct mail letter is to Get Attention, Produce Interest, Encourage Need and Prompt Action. This can be achieved by using the above guidelines.  As always, the FNBR staff is available to help you design a winning letter campaign.  Feel free to call us Toll Free at 888-988-8148, visit or email us

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