How to improve your offers on your marketing materials

An offer is a reason to act.  Focus on the offer first rather than the design of the direct mail piece.  The offer needs to be clear and a focal point on the mailer.  If there is any call to action, make sure that it is easy to find visually.  An offer is like bait for our customers to hook them.  Offers that are successful are:

  • Free shipping
  • Rebate or gift card
  • Spend certain amount of $ and receive specific percentage off next order (called a pull forward)
  • Low price add-ons


  • If you offer a discount, keep offering them if you order more.  (ex. Buy $100 receive 10% off – buy $500 get 15% off etc.)
  • Bundle products together
  • Offer free gift for spending $ (people will think they have to buy more – example Lancome says come in for free gift worth $25.00 if you spend $18…well everything costs $15 increments so they end up spending $30)

Price and payment terms are a form of offer that need to be merchandised to the extreme.  To do this, make a big deal about the special discount or terms.  An example of this would be staples copy max department.  They sent a direct mail piece out to their current users with a $10 free coupon that was half the size of the mailer.  They quadrupled their sales in copy max from return customers with that direct mail piece.

Always offer a solution to problems that are likely for the customer to have without your product.  Some of the best creative designs are done in a two column format stating problems on one side with solutions on the right hand side.  Its very simple and to the point.

The only way to know if an offer is successful is to test it.  Your customers should define the offer, not you.  If problem is conversion, then narrow the offer to force the customer to do/live up to something.

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