How To Get Your Mail Piece Read
by Alfred Lautenslager

There are several simple ways to grab and retain your readers' attention and make them interested in what you want them to read.

Put yourself in the reader's shoes. How do you read? Do you skim headlines in the newspaper? Do you look at pictures first? Do graphics and charts grab your eye first? Chances are all of the above you're your interest and desire depending on the subject matter. In most business communication, it is the headline that is read first and paid attention to most. Headlines should inform, be short, be fun while at the same time, they should be short enough to be memorable, and not too long.

There are many headline techniques including rhymes, alliteration, asking obvious questions, twisting fact. Hopefully the title of this article was at least part of the reason you decided to keep reading. Who wants to read an article like this when even the title sounds uninteresting?

Actually anything that is catchy, funny, easy to read and remember is good for headlines. Grabbing the reader's attention is paramount.

There are many ways you can keep a readers attention once you grab it. You can ask questions. Many times, even though we know the answer, asking a question will put you in the readers spot. Asking the right question will remind the reader of the potential problem that he/she has that you are about to offer a solution for. If the reader reads the question and says to himself, "Hey, that's me!" Then you're half way home to keeping their interest and pursuing to the next level of selling. Writing for your mail piece, regardless if it is a letter or a postcard does not have to sound like a formal business thesis. You can have fun with it; you can write it like you would say it. If it sounds boring while you are writing it, chances are it will sound boring when the reader is reading it. Writing like you would say it makes it readable and easily understood by the reader, and many times it sounds more interesting.

While writing, stop every few minutes and read what you've written. Is it easy to read, or do you have to stop and re-read parts of it? Do you have commas in the natural breaking places? Are your readers going to have to look up words as they go along? Most importantly, is your copy boring? If you're having a hard time getting through what you've written and enjoying it, chances are, so will your readers.

If your goal is to make an impact and create a name for yourself as a writer or business person, there's no greater asset than engaging writing. Attention-grabbing titles and informative, yet entertaining copy will give your articles, stories, web copy, and other documents a much greater chance of being widely read... and remembered.

The second thing to consider is the piece itself. The closer you can make your envelope, mailer or postcard look like personal correspondence or correspondence that is personalized, the better. Everyone knows that people sort their mail over the trashcan. You only have only a split-second for them to decide if they'll open your letter, turn your postcard over or read beyond the headlines, or not.

10 Tips and Techniques on how to get your mail piece read:

  • Make it interesting to the reader, prospect or customer, not just interesting for you
     
  • Ask questions. If you can get the customer to say, "Hey, that's me," then you're half way there.
     
  • Make sure you offer information that can answer the question, " So What" from the customer. What's in it for them?
     
  • People want it short, sweet and to the point. They don't care how well you write, how many words you use or the extent of your vocabulary.
     
  • Benefits should precede features. Benefits sell.
     
  • Don't write in the form of a business document. That's boring, stuffy and stale.
     
  • Be human. Write like you speak. When you write like you speak you are more easily understood.
     
  • Don't forget that Call to Action: call now, send for more information, visit our website, fax today, are just a few to consider.
     
  • Incentives are good. Premium offerings are good.
     
  • Testimonials are powerful. Don't have any? Ask your customers for them. Write them for your customers and ask them if that's what they said about you, your company, your products or services.

Getting your mail piece read is not difficult. You do not need a professional writer to make impact. Follow a few of these simple rules and you're on your way to grabbing many readers attention, and keeping it!

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