DMA's 'Getting Creative with Copywriting' Report Is Devoted Exclusively to Direct Mail Copy
November 13, 2007 — Dear Direct Marketing Professional: Do you know that a picture is worth a thousand words? Or would your direct mail creative efforts achieve higher ROI with factual, personalized appeals? The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) knows the answers and is providing them to direct marketing professionals in its first-ever, just-released report titled “Getting Creative with Copywriting,” which is filled with research devoted exclusively to direct mail copy.
This new DMA report contains 15 chapters that are presented in four sections, each dealing with a specific facet of copywriting.
· Section I, the overview, reports respondents’ overall general mailing and testing practices. The second half of this section examines who is writing the copy and where they obtained the information needed to write it.
· Section II reports analysis of nine specific letter and envelope components: personalization, letter openers, the length of letters, signatures, postscripts, top and marginal material, outer envelope copy, letter response forms, and salutations.
· Section III includes evaluation of letter styles — namely, motivators and tone.
· Section IV examines visual enhancers such as formatting for emphasis and location of images.
“This new report comes on the heels of our best-selling ‘Getting Creative with Direct Mail,’” DMA Research Manager Michelle Tiletnick said. “That earlier DMA report focused on where direct mailers place their copy, including envelopes, brochures, postcards, and incentives. Now, our new ‘Getting Creative with Copywriting’ takes the next step forward, honing in on the copy itself.”
According to Tiletnick, “Many books have been published by direct mail copywriting veterans about how to create effective copy, but what makes DMA’s new report unique is that it actually quantifies — with data provided by direct mailers — what works and what does not work in copywriting.”
Key findings from DMA’s new “Getting Creative with Copywriting” include:
· The majority of respondents (56.5 percent) write their copy in-house, as opposed to working with an agency or freelancer.
· 95.8 percent of service companies write their copy in-house.
· Personalized response forms received the highest effectiveness rating.
· Of those who personalize, 85.8 percent of them personalize the salutation, followed by the body of the letter (69.3 percent) and signatures (55.9 percent).
· Almost six out of 10 respondents overall (56.9 percent) have used invitations, making them the most popular letter opener among those studied.
· Based on respondents’ effectiveness ratings, the more pages a letter contains, the more effective it is. Respondents overall rated “eight or more pages” as the most effective length.
· Almost all respondents said that they do not test signatures (91.4 percent), making them one of the least tested copywriting elements.
· The most commonly used outer envelope copy was a teaser (54.3 percent), followed by stating a special offer (47.0 percent).
· The majority of respondents did not put any images on their outer envelope, letter, or reply device in their last direct marketing mail package.
“Getting Creative with Copywriting” costs $295 for DMA members and $545 for non-members. To purchase a copy, visit DMA’s online bookstore at www.the-dma.org/bookstore or click here.
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