Digital Marketing Lessons
Related Categories
Related Courses
Free Resources

5 Proven Digital Marketing Techniques Hiding In Your Junk Mail

There’s gold in your mailbox…
If you’re sorting your mail over the trash can you are throwing away what direct mail advertisers have spent millions to learn.
These guys know what makes money… and they mail it over and over until it stops working.
The truth is… your mailbox is filled with PROVEN techniques that you can use in your digital marketing.
Here are 5 lessons…

Lesson 1 –  Your first job is ALWAYS to get your marketing opened

It doesn’t matter whether you’re sending an e-mail or a direct mail salesletter. If your message isn’t opened, it’s not getting read. And if it’s not getting read… you’re not making money.
Luckily, direct mail marketers have been honing the skill of getting their stuff opened for YEARS. And that helps you because you can use that envelope teaser copy as your email subject line.
There are 2 kinds of teaser copy…

  • Benefit-driven
  • Curiosity-inducing

This mailpiece from Omaha Steaks is using two benefits to get you to open their mailer: they’re telling you about a special offer and also that you’ll receive a FREE GIFT inside.
Direct Mail Teaser Copy
You can use that same “get something free just for opening this” type of offer. Write something like “Open NOW for your Complimentary Training!” and you’ve got an email subject line that will get opened.
Direct Mail Teaser Copy
Southwest Airlines didn’t use the word “FREE” on the envelope… they simply implied it. You could use that exact formula for your subject line…

Get ________, open for details!

(PS – If you want to see more awesome examples of benefit-driven teaser copy, just keep an eye out for credit card offers in your mailbox. Those guys know their stuff!)
Here are a couple examples of this technique in action in real e-mails from my inbox. See how you could easily put that same type of headline on an envelope and send it through the mail?
Example Email Subject Line
Good Email Subject Line
Now, the curiosity-driven type of teaser copy. This one doesn’t give much information about what’s inside, but makes the reader WANT to rip it open to find out.
Teaser Copy
The envelope doesn’t tell me much about what’s inside – it just makes me want to open it to find out.
You can use this exact headline as the subject line for your e-mail, just like you can use the teaser copy from ANY envelope as a subject line.
Here are some in action:
Example Email Subject Line
Once you’ve gotten it opened with your kick-ass subject line…  then your job is to get people to read it. 
Which brings us to our next point…

Lesson 2 – Use Images PROPERLY To Grab Attention

There’s a lot going on online.
You’re competing with Facebook, online poker, porn, Pinterest, or whatever other content your target audience is online to consume.  You’ve got to make your stuff interesting if you want a snowball’s chance in hell of getting read.
One of the easiest ways to get attention is visually.  Aside from copy cosmetics, one of the techniques I like to use to capture attention is to make it visually appealing.
Pictures do more than just look pretty on a page.  They break up the text and make it LOOK easier to read (easy = interesting!).
They SHOW what you’re saying, rather than TELLING about it (showcases = interesting!).  And, well, they look pretty.  Let’s not overlook the power of pretty.  They’re “shiny objects” and people are naturally attracted to shiny objects.  (shiny = interesting!).
GKIC used images in a SuperConference salesletter designed to look like a magazine.  By doing this, we grabbed attention and kept it throughout the entire salesletter.
Gene Simmons was the keynote speaker, and we made sure that his image showed front and center – that was one of the biggest draws we had!
Good use of Images in Marketing
You can do the same thing with your salesletters online – use a compelling image that grabs attention and gets your salespage read. 
Digital Marketer does this with their salesletter promoting their newest Promoted Posts product… and they use an image front and center to grab your attention, show you a benefit, and get you reading.
(A stellar headline helps, too.)
A good Headline

Lesson 3 – Credibility is King

You must overcome the “can I trust you?” objection.
Credit card companies are masters of building credibility.
They’ve spent a ton of money and a whole lotta time getting that “brand awareness” out there, and they use it over and over again. Their logos are right in that return address zone – you KNOW that you’re getting mail from someone you can trust.
Logo Increases Trust
So how do you translate this to online?  Check out what Digital Marketer does:
Email from Ryan Deiss
The name I see in my e-mail inbox is Ryan Deiss.
Ryan has spent a ton of time building his credibility – he’s aligned himself with credible people, shown how wicked smart he is, and given everyone here a ton of useful, actionable, and money-generating information.
So using his name as the “from” in this e-mail (even though the address is a customer service address), he’s using his credibility to his advantage.
Dan Kennedy and Bill Glazer call this “being a welcome guest” instead of an unwelcome PEST.
Build trust in everything you do… otherwise, it doesn’t matter if it’s direct mail or e-mail… you’re headed for the recycle bin.

Lesson 4 – Your Order Pages Need To Do Some Work, Too

According to Baymard Institute, shopping cart abandonment rate is at a staggering 67.91%.  Are you frickin’ KIDDING me?!  That’s 70% of sales that YOU’RE not making.
Here’s a hard truth about the sales process:  You’ve got to hold your prospect’s hand the entire time.  You have to CONSISTENTLY encourage them, show them that they’re making the right decision, and reaffirm the sale.
And that’s true with direct mail, too.  Your response forms have to reaffirm that sale at every step of the way.
Good Order Form
This response form from GKIC reaffirmed the sale two ways:  by showcasing the benefits (and using CopyDoodles to highlight them further) and reminding them of the freebie they’ll get when they join.
You can do this same exact thing online.
Check out that sidebar – everything that was outlined in the salesletter is neatly summarized here.  So if you’re at the order page and feeling unsure…  you’re reminded why you should buy right now.
Shopping cart abandonment is so high because people DON’T do the work they need to do to keep the prospect pumped about what they’re getting.  You don’t even have to write new copy – just swipe it from your salesletter!

Lesson 5 – Sometimes, it’s okay to go right for the wallet…

…IF the audience is right for it
So we’ve talked about envelopes and salesletters.  But what about postcards?  They’re a mainstay in the direct mail world!
There are 2 kinds of postcards:  Lead Gen postcards and Sales postcards.  We’re going to talk about the latter.  (Lead gen postcards are an awesome strategy – Dan Kennedy talks about this in one of his books.  I forget which one… but you should be reading them all anyway.)
Sales postcards work when you’ve got an audience that already knows you, likes what you’ve got, and is going to respond to your offer.  Because you’re not building out a super-awesome email sequence…  you’re going right for the sale.
This postcard was sent to GKIC members within driving distance of this event.  And just because it was a chance to see Dan Kennedy LIVE for about $50 (that’s SO cheap) doesn’t mean it was a no brainer sale – getting butts in seats is TOUGH!
That’s why we had this huge amount of copy on this postcard.  (The other side had just as much copy on it.)  It needed to do a little more selling than just “Hey, here’s Dan, buy a ticket.”  But we didn’t need to send an entire salesletter… it wasn’t THAT tough to get butts in seats!
So the digital equivalent of a postcard is… a promotional e-mail.  And Warrior Special Offers does this really well:
Digital Equivalent of a Postcard
Here’s the thing…
You get this e-mail and you KNOW it’s a sales pitch.  You KNOW that you’re going to click through and get a salesletter.  This e-mail doesn’t hide it at all.  Just like the people who received the postcard KNEW that they were going to be taken to an order form when they visited the website we set up.
But you’re only going to get the e-mail if you’ve bought something before.  Which means they KNOW you’ll buy Warrior Special Offers, because your buying history has proven it.  This is also a testament to segmenting your list.
Think about it – if I click the link, half the work is done.  I know I’m about to be sold and I’m saying “YES.  Sell to me!”  That’s PRECISELY the kind of buyer you want.
So here’s your homework…

  • Check your mail
  • Create a file and call it SWIPE.
  • Fill your swipe file with direct mail pieces that utilize these techniques — especially the mailers you see over and over again.  These are the ones that are working.
  • Then, find at least THREE ideas you can use in your online marketing and put them to work.

These ideas can be for your e-mails, your sales pages, or your online salesletters – whatever.
What digital marketing techniques have you learned from the masters of direct mail?  Let us know in the comments.  And if you have questions… ASK!
We’ll mastermind it together.

Alyson Lex

Alyson Lex

Alyson Lex is the Founder and CEO of Rock Your Marketing, which provides copy, strategy, info-product creation and funnel development to entrepreneurs, experts, speakers, and online marketers.  Schedule a 30-Minute discovery session to discuss how Alyson can help you make more money with your business, or connect with her on Facebook.

Subscribe to the DM Insider Newsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter that delivers the most actionable, tactical, and timely marketing tips you actually need in 7 minutes or less. Get an edge over the competition, for free.