Five Ways to Appeal to Automatic Triggers in Direct Mail
In part 1 of this series, we discussed how to use emotion in direct mail to drive results. In part 2 we discussed using loss aversion to drive sales. In part 3 we discussed how to use scarcity and reciprocity to increase your direct mail sales. As well as exclusivity. In part 4 we discussed social proof and storytelling behaviors to driver higher direct mail results.
In part 5 we discussed how autonomy bias and the consistency principle can be used in direct mail to increase results. In part 6 we looked at how information gap theory and authority principle could be used to increase direct mail response. In part 7 we talked about status quo bias and framing to get people to take the action you want them to. Now we will discuss automatic compliance triggers. By using these human behaviors, you can gain a competitive advantage and increase sales.
Behavioral scientists have shown that people are more likely to buy when you give them a reason to. We can use prompts in direct mail to get people to comply with our request to purchase automatically without giving it much thought. How do we do that? We state what we want them to buy and add because, then give them a legitimate reason.
5 Ways To Appeal To Automatic Triggers:
- Dashed lines around coupons – makes people want to buy.
- Add pictures – makes your copy more believable.
- Add graphs – they provide and aura of scientific truth and credibility.
- Add equations – they provide a boost to your copy to show you are correct.
- Try before and after pictures – the pictures offer proof which makes your message more concrete.
A common mistake in direct mail is to assume that your ask is obvious and so is the reason why they need your product or service. Remember that a clear call to action and a reason to act are extremely important. Sometimes you may also need to include a reason to believe with your why they should buy. If you why could cause them to ask questions, you need to support it.
For example, let’s say you are selling hats at a 40% discount. People may assume there is something wrong with the hats. If you add that you need to sell these winter hats to make room for spring or summer hats, they will not question the sale.
People often use the amount of time or effort that is put into something as an indicator of the quality of that thing. This is called input bias. Since people automatically associate input with output, this gives us an opportunity to increase the perceived value of our product or service. Explain the time and effort it took to create your product or service. Make sure that you continue to use you language. You could say something like “We tried over 100 configurations to provide you with the best one.”
Other ways to add triggers to your direct mail:
- Tie your reason for them to respond to timing.
- Use your reason why to neutralize objections.
- Start off your request with the reason they should buy.
- Call attention to key copy points by putting a dashed line around them.
- Link your reason why to triggers like social proof or endowment or authority that we discussed in previous articles.
- Personalize your reason why.
- Instead of using because, you can use since, as a result, due to or therefore.
As you can see compliance triggers can really help to drive the response you want from your direct mail campaigns. There are many ways to do this beyond the ones mentioned above. Get creative and have some fun with your direct mail. In our next article, we will discuss maximizing your direct mail copy.
Summer Gould is Account Executive at Neyenesch Printers. Summer has spent her 31 year career helping clients achieve better marketing results. She has served as a panel speaker for the Association of Marketing Service Providers conferences. She is active in several industry organizations and she is a board member for Printing Industries Association San Diego, as well as the industry chair for San Diego Postal Customer Council. You can find her at Neyenesch’s website: neyenesch.com, email: email@example.com, on LinkedIn, or on Twitter @sumgould.