If you are sending out “snail mail” letters for the purpose of prospecting, here are a few design and layout strategies to improve the response and results. But remember: The list, offer, and copy reign supreme!
1. Make sure you clean and validate your list! Mailing lists change at the rate of about 1% per week. That means the list you bought from InfoUSA or another broker may be 50% incorrect after one year. (Shameless plug: We do list cleaning as a service. To learn more, go to www.MSPSuccessMagazine.com/listcleaning.
2. Don’t overlook the color, size, and vitality of your signature. Together, this image represents who you are and says a lot about YOU.
3. Use serif fonts in print media, sans serif online. Serif fonts are easier to read in offline materials, whereas sans serif fonts are easier to read online.
4. Don’t be cheap with the envelope. It’s your salesperson’s clothing. Further, you want to design the envelope to get past the human spam filter in the mail room. To do this, make it look like personal mail, using a real stamp and addressing it in a handwritten font. If it’s a big enough prospect, consider sending it priority mail or via FedEx. You can guarantee it will get delivered and opened that way. If you mail a postcard, it’s easily thrown away.
5. Use a real stamp. Better yet, make it an interesting stamp or series of them. You can get your picture on a stamp by going to
6. Mail so the piece lands on a Wednesday or Thursday. Mondays and Fridays are not the best days to get business mail opened.
7. Always use subheadlines to encourage dual readership (scanners versus those who read top to bottom).
8. Use indentions and short paragraphs (three to five sentences max) to make it easy on the eyes to read.
9. Follow up, follow up, follow up! Call and email at least five times after the letter hits. Your first call should be within 24 hours of your letter landing on the prospect’s desk.
10. Make sure you summarize the offer OR have a drop-down offer in the postscript. After the headline, it’s the second most read part of a letter. For example, if you’re offering a free IT network assessment, you might consider a drop-down offer of a free report they can instantly go online to download, giving them a less threatening way to engage.