Direct mailings include letters, flyers, mass email announcements, newsletters—any piece of writing that can be mailed or emailed to customers and/or the general public. You’ve seen numerous examples in mailings from utility and telephone companies, and credit card offers from banks. Many colleges send out seasonal class schedules as advertising, and local restaurants mail colorful postcards offering temporary discounts.
Someone writes all this material and that someone is a direct mail copywriter. How do you locate and hire copywriters? What qualities and/or skills will you look for?
Copywriters abound on the Internet. The best ones have their own websites, which can be found by keying into a search engine “direct mail copywriter” or something similar. These writers are the elite, experienced ones who charge high prices for highly effective packages. Other good copywriters can be found through writers crowd-sourcing websites.
What do you look for? Here are some characteristics:
- A copywriter trained to think about others first. What does the child need? What is the grandfather trying to tell you? That writer has the ability to identify. They can recognize a customer’s needs and articulate how a company’s products or services can fulfill them. They can also identify the type of customer who would best benefit from a company’s products, i.e. a company’s best target audience.
- A copywriter who understands and works with the Law of Attraction. This writer knows that when a company portrays itself as the company it aspires to be, rather than trying to be everything for everyone, it will attract the kinds of customers it likes best. And this writer knows how to identify a company’s best features and write in a way that shows them off.
- A writer who has worked with direct mail before and recognizes the difference between a well-written piece and one that does not attract buying customers. This could be someone who themselves responds well to direct mailings.
- Someone with a history that reflects your customer base, i.e. someone with an engineering or programming background if you develop software platforms, or someone who was a former masseuse if you sell massage oils or tables. That writer will know which qualities of your service or product matter most to potential customers.
You could have different writers do different jobs and an editor to coordinate and package the whole. Other qualities to look for are those with a mix of journalism & marketing for newsletters, graphics/writing/selling for flyers, and editing/writing/management for project coordinators.
Remember also that direct mail is an ongoing project, designed to keep your image fresh in the mind of prospective customers. When you hire copywriters who work out well, be sure to keep in touch with them, so you can utilize them again for future mailings.
Susette H is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.