Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Prepping for 2016: Mail and E-mail Copy Starters

If one of your New Year's marketing resolutions is to boost the response power of your mail or e-mail copy, take a look at these 61 proven ideas for letter and e-mail opening lines, courtesy of a Target Marketing magazine article by Pat Friesen, direct response copywriter and author. Back in 2012, Pat offered 48 copy starters, and her article and resulting webinars proved so popular that she's returned with even more ways to start a promotional conversation. Some copy starters are more appropriate to digital and some to print, but all share the goal of focusing on you-the-reader and using engaging language to tap response-driving emotions and plant the WIIFM (what's in it for me) hook that will get the recipient to read on.  For example, the list starts with the exclusivity appeal of "You are on a short list of people who..." and moves to the fear/guilt-inducing "Help!" (as with the "Help My 9 Lives Be Healthy" headline next to a healthy cat picture in a PetMeds mailer). There are starters that stroke reader need for approval, such as "You're appreciated...," and others that target greed/pleasure, such as this "Congratulations! You just received a FREE..." header used in a Carter's children's wear mailer. Friesen's list ends with some copy starters that may be a bit too quirky for your audience, such as "Duh!" and "Hey!" Yet those types of openers seem to be winning for some top politicians. To see all of Friesen's 61 ideas, go to

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