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Direct Mail Deadlines: How To Use Them Effectively

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Giving your prospect a deadline for ordering, particularly when
that deadline is a date and not simply a period of days (“Order
within the next 30 days”), will outpull mailings with no
deadline almost every time.

But you need to be cautious about deadlines.

If you are making a time-limited offer, give a reason. And make
it a good reason. Otherwise your readers may be skeptical. Your
time-limited offer needs to be plausible. And it shouldn’t make
you look greedy. A good example would be a line like this:

“We need to receive your order before 15 April because our
prices are going up by 20 percent after that.”

Also be prepared to see inquiries die on your deadline. If your
prospects and customers take your offer seriously, as they
should, do not plan on receiving any more sales after your
deadline arrives. If you extend your deadline once, and then
extend it again, you’ll create the very inertia that your
deadline is trying to overcome.

Plan your time-limited offers carefully. If your cut-off date is
too soon, your offer may arrive on or after the deadline. I
recommend that you mail first class for this reason.

And if your deadline is too far off, you’ll encourage

© 2005 Sharpe Copy Inc. You may reprint this article online and
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unaltered (including the “About the author” message).


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  • Posted On May 21, 2006
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