Direct Mail Hangs in the Balance

April 14, 2017
Whitney Wilson

Have you heard of the inverted pyramid? It’s a writing technique many journalists use to filter information by order of importance.

The most important information is delivered first, with the details filtering down to complete the pyramid at its point.

It works for some forms of writing, including newspaper articles and press releases, even your company memos, but it’s not necessarily a balanced approach. It’s one built more for story telling than compelling.

Delivering a message meant to persuade, motivate or raise awareness requires a different, more balanced approach.

Similar to the inverted pyramid, we need to put the main message front and center at the top, but allowing the message to trickle into nothing and stop leaves the targeted audience hanging in the balance – literally.

Basically that point … misses the point.

Our style is more of an hourglass.

Weighted but balanced.

We begin with a strong headline or tagline – where the words matter. Then we move on to the details, whether those are the specifics of a candidate’s plan or experience, the services provided by a company or the facts around a bill before the legislature or Congress.

We wrap it up with a compelling call to action that motivates a voter, constituent or consumer to take a specific action by a specific time.

It’s that call to action that puts the bow – the “stamp” – on a direct mail piece. Instruct voters to turn out on Election Day. Tell consumers to open an online account, sign up for more information or use a coupon. Empower constituents to make their voice heard, sign a petition or call their elected official.

Without that call to action, the direct mail piece simply hangs in the balance.