Ivan Levison —
Direct Mail, E-mail and Advertising Copywriting

Secrets of powerful fulfillment mailings!

Many software publishers make a terrible direct mail mistake.

They spend all their time, energy, and money developing a terrific lead generating piece, but badly neglect the important fulfillment mailing.

Let me give you an example. I just received an attractive self-mailer that did a great job of interesting me in a new utility. The benefits were all there. The copy was motivating, and the graphics were first rate. I wanted more information and called an 800 number to request an Info Kit. The publisher, who did such a nice job of getting me to raise my hand and identify myself, sent me a pathetic bunch of data sheets and product reviews.

Boy, did THEY miss the boat. Instead of treating the lead as a golden opportunity, they sent me a slovenly bunch of materials that was a real turn off. The bottom line? The company did the front end right but completely blew the back end of the two-step mailing process.

Don't you make the same mistake! Check out these fulfillment basics that can help you turn curious prospects into paying customers:

    1. Be sure to put the magic message on the envelope. It is imperative that you tell the reader, right up front (literally!) that the materials contained in the envelope were requested and are not junk mail!

    People know the name of your product -- not necessarily the name of your company. That's why your simple corporate return address may not mean anything to your prospect. You have to say something like:


    The WidgetPro Information Kit you requested!

    If you are not already doing this, run out and get a stamp made up and imprint each fulfillment envelope by hand. (Use red ink for extra impact.)

    2. Write a letter that's long enough to do the job. Lots of publishers write a two or three paragraph kiss-off letter saying, "here's your information" and that's about it. They simply don't give themselves the space they need to do everything right. I would argue that you need at least two sides of a page -- maybe more. Keep reading to see what you need to include in the letter.

    3. Thank the prospect for his or her interest. Don't take your readers for granted. Tell them that their interest is appreciated.

    4. Tell them what you've enclosed. You don't want to stuff an envelope with a hodge-podge of materials and expect the reader to wade through it all. No! Explain exactly what you've included and why it would be of interest. The letter is the place to position all the elements of the package and explain what's going on.

    Remember . . . you want to control your readers and tell them exactly what you want them to do and when. Don't let them rummage through your package without your guidance or they'll give up and throw your expensive materials away!

    5. If you give them a demo disk, (or just about anything else), get them to try it out immediately! One of the most important things you can do is get them to give your demo a look-see while they're still interested -- not later on. If a reader puts your disk into the black hole between their monitor and the desk lamp, it may never emerge again.

    This advice holds for whatever you've mailed to them. If you send prospects an executive report, ask them to read it NOW. If you enclosed an important White Paper, tell them to review it NOW.

    You can even tell them to check out the important advice they'll find on page 3. Or call their attention to the incredibly interesting chart on page 8 of the blue report. You get the idea!

    6. Ask for the sale. Don't forget -- when you do your original lead generation mailing you're selling the offer not the product. But when you mail the fulfillment package, you want the prospect to order. That's why it's important to play up your guarantee, hit all the benefits hard, overcome objections and skepticism, and close the sale. A limp, one-side-of-a-page light-weight letter just can't get the job done right.

    7. Don't forget to include a well thought through Business Reply Card. If you want them to order, spend the time creating an order card that works. This important item shouldn't be an afterthought!

    8. Mail again if you don't get a response. There's no law that says you can only contact a prospect once. After you fulfill, purge out the names of the non-responders and mail to them again using a less expensive piece. You can keep mailing until it stops being profitable.

© 2013, Ivan Levison & Associates. All rights reserved.