I stumbled across the name Dr Siegfried Vogele recently whilst undertaking research into the various options and types of Direct Mail, it was the first that I’d heard about him, and after reading just a couple of sentences I realised how much impact his research could have on a Direct Marketing Professional.
During the 1970’s (a long time ago I know), Dr Vogele used eye-scanning techniques in experiments to enable him to summarise how recipients react when they receive a letter. In doing so, he was able to equip all marketers with a template for success, one which still holds true today.
If you’re lucky, and I haven’t been yet, you’ll be able to find a copy of his book ‘Handbook of Direct Mail’ on Amazon or other platforms – for a reasonable price, unfortunately you won’t find a new one as it has been out of print for a number of years.
One of the key aspects that I have learned from the reading that I have done is that people receive letters in a similar way to the way they react to people knocking on their door. By asking a number of subconscious questions which, in order, need to be answered quickly, effectively and positively before you even get to the point where the letter is written.
What are these questions?
If you understand the process that the recipient goes through when they receive a letter, then you’re half way towards being able to tailor your message in a way that maximises responses. The research from Dr Vogele continued to include Envelopes and Multipage letters, and the research covered above is only the initial reaction – it doesn’t take into account the reaction when there are multiple ‘reads’.
With this understanding I’ve taken a look through a number of the letters that we’ve previously sent to our customers and prospects and noticed some very simple changes that we can make in order to increase our response rate. Give it a try, you may be surprised by the changes that you could make to your campaigns.
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