and Get the Results You’re Looking For

Writing direct mail content may seem fairly simple, but in reality – it takes planning, drafting, and analysis to yield results. If you’re hoping to create concise, creative, and intriguing copy for your next direct mail campaign, follow along as we lead you through the top tips, from knowing your audience to crafting appealing incentives.

Know Your Recipient

Before even beginning to craft a direct mail piece, it’s pertinent you know who you’re sending to. Not just the list of contacts – but who they REALLY are. Their geographics, demographics, and even their psychographics. Learn about them through surveys, by research into customer trends and data, through your team (especially customer service), and so on. There are many steps you can take to get to know your current and potential audience – but make sure you take one of them before writing. The more you know about who you’re sending to, the better you can cater your content. And, keep in mind that using this understanding to not only cater – but personalize, is key.

Keep it Short & Simple

When it comes to direct mail, you want to keep text as short and simple as possible. These days, viewers have fatigue from constantly being bombarded with promotional content. Not only are they sometimes too tired to look at an ad with minimal text, but they’re also surely too tired to read large blocks of content. Keep your piece at a maximum of 3-4 sentences, with 20-25 words per sentence (if possible). Show the reader (that you know and care for according to step one, above) respect their time. Make it easy with bullet points, text hierarchy, and so on to help guide the viewer along a path.

Be direct and avoid the fluff. Direct sentences not only show respect for the viewer’s time, but establish more trust and in turn, authority, as you’re not being wishy washy or trying to confuse the recipient. Additionally, only be repetitive in your text if it’s meaningful and helpful to the overall message.

Lastly, and this one’s important – only include what’s necessary. If more information must be provided, lead the recipient to a QR code or a URL with additional content.

Write Intriguing Headers & Sub-Headers

Even if the recipient doesn’t care about your direct mail – they’re still going to (very likely) read the headline. So, make sure it’s an intriguing one, as it could make or break your piece. And make sure it’s legible and appealing, and that it tells your recipient exactly what they should expect from your mailer.

Include a Clear Call to Action

The call to action is what you want the recipient to do, and it should be obvious. This is just as important, if not more important, than the header of your piece, and many of the same rules apply to writing it. It’s important to not only make sure it’s intriguing, legible, appealing, and concise, but to include it on both sides of the mailer (if possible). You should also try to create FOMO (the fear of missing out) through a sense of urgency or scarcity. For example: “Only 20 spaces left” or “Expires in 30 days!”.

With that said, keep in mind that you should only have one call to action on your piece to not confuse the reader and make sure they know just what action you want them to take.


Although not always needed, incentives can be very effective when it comes to direct mail. Including a discount or exclusive opportunity can entice the reader to act, or at least finish reading the copy or flip the mailer over.

Incentives can contribute to something we touched on above, FOMO, by making the recipient feel that the mailer is exclusive and that they’ll miss out if they don’t take the next step or keep the piece handy. Like the call to action, it’s best to include the incentive on both sides.

One additional benefit to incentives? They’re great for tracking. For instance, if someone uses a discount code or coupon, you can easily tell if the campaign effectively caught their attention.

Show Proof

Including a review or testimonial on your mail piece can often increase credibility and show you have loyal, happy customers.

If you’d like to take an even easier route, simply including a recognizable, associated logo or a star rating can show your expertise and credibility and can quickly build trust.


Even if you have amazing, well-crafted, direct content and beautiful design – if there’s even just one or two errors on your mail piece, your credibility goes down immediately.

With that said, make sure you have at least a few proofreading eyes on your piece (or even utilize a tool like Chat GPT) before sending it out.

Think Through the Format

It’s important that the right copy be in and on the right format – whether that’s a classic postcard, package, newsletter, flyer, brochure, dimensional mailer, or something else. But keep in mind – just because your mailer is bigger, doesn’t mean you should fill it all up with more even copy. Like we said before, short, sweet, and to the point is best.

Design with Purpose

We’d be remiss if we didn’t remind you that design is just as important as the copy when it comes to direct mail. Be sure to think through branding, colors, textures, graphics, images, and so on to make the best impression and appeal to your audience.

With that in mind, are you to send carefully crafted, effective direct mail pieces that include concise copy and enticing CTA? We’d be happy to help you set up and execute your next performance-driven campaign. Reach out to the experts at Strata.