We’ve looked at the envelope with respect to the contents of an educational direct mail pack. This time we will look at the letter.

A few things you may have forgotten.

Maybe you have not included a letter in the pack. The purpose of a letter in direct marketing is to direct the recipient to the most important elements of the mailing, whether it´s the leaflet, action document or response device. It also allows you to highlight main points in the leaflet and to direct the recipient to what you REALLY want them to do.

MA letter should follow the creative guidelines that govern all direct marketing namely; AIDA.

  • A – Attention – what is going to grab the attention of the reader.
  • I – Interest – what is going to interest the reader to want to know more by reading on.
  • D – Desire – what is going to make them want to take action.
  • A – Action – what is the simplest way for them to take that action.

You have laser printed the name and address of the recipient on the letterhead, but have used a default salutation. As you already have the name it would be in your interest to use it. A person´s name is the most personal and valuable thing they possess.

You have not signalled who has actually sent the letter. A name and signature give authority to a letter and allows the recipient someone to return to with any queries.

You may not have included a P.S? When someone reads a letter the first thing they do after checking their name is spelled correctly is to glance down the page to discover who has sent it. This means their eyes see the P.S. as one of the first things they read. It is useful to have a repeat of an important piece of information in the P.S. that you cover further in the body of the letter.

You have just photocopied the letter with no salutation or even a name and address? This leaves a very poor impression of the College in the reader´s eyes as it appears you do not care about them as individuals or their teenager. No matter what it costs, we recommend you include a printed letter.

You have not illustrated the benefits of attending a College in the letter? A letter is the first thing someone will read as it usually directs them to read other pieces you have included. You can pick out certain pieces of accompanying literature that you think are important and direct the reader to those pages.

When addressing parents using our data we have listed examples of good practice for introductions on your letter. This is very important since if there is no reference to the parent in the introduction the reader may misunderstand who the letter is targeting, with consequences for mailing effectiveness.

Here are a few examples…

“I am writing personally to invite you and your son/daughter to attend…”

“Whatever your child wants to be… we can help put them on the right path”

“This is an important time of the year for you and your child”

“To the potential student in this house”

“Where will your son or daughter be in 2021?”

“Dear parent or guardian, please pass this to your son or daughter”

“Dear Parent or Guardian”

“Do you have children aged 16-18?”

“If you are a parent or carer of a teenager aged 14-16 who is in the process of making plans… Read On”

Next time we will look at things to remember in the content of your leaflet/mailer.

Please click these links to see each item in detail:

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