Archive for the ‘Direct Mail’ Category

abovethefoldWhen newspapers are laid out on stands or in vending machines, the part of the paper you normally see is the top. The headline. That part of the paper is considered the fold.

The paper is always folded over so that you see only the bit that's above the fold. That's where you see the attention-catching headline that makes you want to buy the newspaper.

This concept also applies to direct mail. It is actually a very important aspect of direct mail because the information that you most want people to see needs to appear at the top third of the paper. In this case, "above the fold" refers to the piece of a letter or a mailing that people read before they have unfolded it. You want that information to be compelling enough to make them want to unfold that paper and continue reading.

Keep this concept of "above the fold" in mind as you create and develop your squeeze pages, too.

On a webpage, "above the fold" basically refers to what people can see in their browser.

If someone has a huge monitor they will be able to see a big part of your webpage at one time. But more and more people use laptops and smaller devices with smaller screens, including Blackberries and phones, to view webpages.

This means that the area above the fold is getting smaller and smaller and smaller.

You need as much of the relevant information about your business as possible to appear above the fold. Your opt-in box - the specific box where people put in their name and their email address - should be right at the top of your page.

For example, if you are giving away a free CD or a free report, you should insert the opt-in box above the fold.

In the past, people would scroll down pages on a website looking for information, but it's a fact that the attention span online is getting shorter and shorter. Fewer people scroll through pages anymore. If you click on a page and don't immediately see what you're looking for, how long would you stay on that page?

Everything relevant should appear at the top so people don't need to scroll down.

Make certain that all of your most powerful and motivating information, your most compelling headline, your best bullet, your best offer, and your best call to action appear above the fold wherever possible. Catch people's attention right away and make them want to buy what you're offering.

Bernadette Doyle is a marketing specialist who helps entrepreneurs become client magnets and attract a steady stream of their ideal clients. If you’d like to receive invaluable tips and advice on how to attract clients with ease, register at

Looking for an opportunity to shine from the depths of the direct mail slush pile?

Though it might sound a bit cliché, everyone, even those of you who feel encumbered by a limited budget or a relatively small business volume, can do that.   Whether you're sending out 10 pieces of mail per week, or 1,000 pieces, you can not only entice people to open your mail, but you can keep their attention with a creative, lumpy insert.

Maybe you have, at times, felt intimidated by the "big boys" – the companies who have thousands or millions of dollars to spend on direct mailing.   But, despite what you might have come to believe about these huge corporations, you actually have an advantage over them for creative direct mailing.   If you have an inventive idea for lumpy mail, you don't have to sit in countless meetings with marketing committees, pitching your idea, enduring criticism, and perhaps, ultimately, having your idea shot down.   You are your final decision maker.

When you're creative with your lump mail insert, you can spur your recipients to action.   Here are few examples to stimulate your imagination:

• If you're intent on helping companies and individuals to find their own hidden treasures, you might consider including an old-fashioned scrolled treasure map with your promotional letter.

• If you consider a message to be of the utmost importance, you might want to stuff it into a bottle before mailing it.

• If you're hoping to entice inactive customers to fall back in love with your company, you might insert a boomerang with a message like, "Boomerangs always come back, don't they?"

• If your company has a mascot, you can have a lovable likeness of him or her reproduced as a lump.

• If your company helps people to find resources, for instance, you might want to include an ornamental needle-in-a-haystack.

• A complete comprehensive service might be accompanied by a small, silver platter and the statement, "I'll give you everything you need for start-up on a silver platter."

• Fortune cookies can be purchased, complete with customized messages inside, that deal specifically with your purpose or promotion.

If you're stumped for lump ideas, there are resources that can help.   Two examples are and   There, you'll find lots of creative ideas for lumps.   Maybe you want to announce a promotion, invite inactive customers back to the fold, broadcast an upcoming campaign, publicize a grand opening, or announce a new product or service.

Simply using bulk to create a piece of lumpy mail will, indeed, prompt people to open the envelope, but if you want to stay with them for longer than it takes to empty your promotional pen of ink, or to use that pad of custom sticky notes, you'll want to put some innovative thought into your lumpy insert.

Make your mail memorable with creative lumps…because when your lump is specific to your purpose, and unlike any other lump, it deems you memorable, worthy of the call or the click, and the investment.

Bernadette Doyle specializes in helping entrepreneurs attract a steady stream of ideal clients. If you want to get clients calling you instead of you calling them, sign up for her free weekly e-zine at

Picture it:   an administrative assistant, who is responsible for sorting the postal mail, brings the daily delivery to her desk for opening and distribution.   As she shuffles through the pile of promotional mailings, invoices, payments, and correspondence from customers (she can recognize most types of mail by the envelopes that they're in), she comes upon something peculiar.

It's not flat; there's no way that it could have traveled seamlessly through a postage meter.   It contains more than paper.   It's got depth!   She tries to determine what's inside by squeezing the envelope in the area of the biggest bulge.   With that, she hears the unmistakable sound of a duck, "Quack!"   What in the world?…

Of course, the office employee opens the lumpy envelope first.   In it, she finds a cute-as-a-button rubber duck that quacks every time she squeezes him.   The letter that accompanies the duck is from an insurance company that is conducting a promotion for new customers.   The little quacking duck is a perfect likeness of the insurance company's mascot.

The woman gives the duck a prominent place on her desk.   He makes her smile.   She makes him quack when coworkers walk past, making them smile.   When she knocks him over with a paperweight or telephone receiver, she sees the name and phone number of the insurance company on his bottom.   And most importantly (for the insurance company), she remembers their business name every time she glances at the duck, prompting her to not only recommend the insurance company to her boss, but to her company's own clients.

The power of lumpy mail is two-fold:

• First, lumpy mail begs to be opened.   Can you imagine yourself throwing away a piece of lumpy mail?   Surely, you'd be wondering what was in there, and might even resort to fishing it back out of the trash to satisfy your curiosity.

• Secondly, the item in the envelope that's responsible for its lumpiness will stay with your target for as long as they choose, effectively giving your company's name a front seat in that target's mind.

Many times, business owners focus on the letter that's enclosed in their direct mail envelopes; when, in fact, their focus would be better placed on actually getting that envelope opened.   And it doesn't matter who opens it…even if a gatekeeper at a large corporation is intrigued enough to set to it with a letter opener, your correspondence has a greater chance of completing its voyage to the decision maker's desk.

Emails cost nothing to send.   But with direct mail, you're paying for paper, envelopes, ink, and postage.   Unless people are opening those direct mailings, your spending is in vain.   Even with a conservative mailing list, you can spend hundreds, or thousands, of dollars in the blink of an eye.

Because you're investing so much more in direct mail, high response rates are more than desirable.   Direct mail experts site 1 or 2 percent response rates to direct mailings as satisfactory, even impressive.   But if you want extraordinary response rates to your direct mailings, a lumpy mail endeavor could result in response rates as high as 25 percent.   That means that, even if your budget is so tight that you can only afford to send out 10 pieces of lumpy mail, you can expect a response from 2 or 3 of your recipients.

So lump it up!   Mix up the mail bag.   Make mail interesting again.   Maybe you haven't the budget for big bulk mailing…but there's nothing stopping an honest shot at some lucrative lumpiness.

Bernadette Doyle specializes in helping entrepreneurs attract a steady stream of ideal clients. If you want to get clients calling you instead of you calling them, sign up for her free weekly e-zine at

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