Chapter 4

Design Your Mail Piece

Okay, so we have our list broken down into a spreadsheet.

The next step is designing an effective mail piece.I’ve tried everything. I’ve tried silly stuff, statistic-based informational mailers, personal statements of virtue, and a dozen other approaches. I find that a simple, straightforward letter with a bit of recipient personalization (using the homeowner’s first name, for example) works best.

Here is a copy of my favorite mail piece:
It’s not too slick, but slick enough that I can across as somewhat competent.  If you'd like to use my letter, feel free to download it by clicking the button below.
Download Letter
I don’t sign every letter. You can if you’d like to, but I think it’s a poor use of time.  Just use the script font.

However, I do use the mail merge feature in Microsoft Word to personalize my mailers with the recipient’s name and property address. 

This small change is a hassle, but it helps to bring in more calls and gets easier the more you do it.

Here is how you can personalize the mailers:
1.  Click “Start Mail Merge”
2.  Select “Labels”
3.  Click “Select Recipients”
4.  Click “Use an Existing List!”
5.  Upload the Excel spreadsheet with your list
6.  Highlight the Recipient’s Name
7.  Click “Insert Merge Field”
8.  Select “Name”
9.  Highlight the Property Address
10.  Click “Insert Merge Field”
11.  Select “Property Address”
12.  Click “Check for Errors”
13.  Click “OK”

That should do the trick. 

Microsoft Word should create a new page for every recipient on your list. You can print these out and put them somewhere safe.  Take care not to mix up their order—we’ll be printing the envelopes in the same collated order and we will need to make sure that we get the right letters matched up with the right envelopes.

Here is the sequence required in Word to create the labels:

1.  Click “Start Mail Merge”
2.  Click “Labels”
3.  Select “Avery 5260 labels” and hit OK
4.  Click “Select Recipients”
5.  Click “Use an Existing List”
6.  Upload your list, click OK
7.  Click “Insert Merge Field”
8.  Click “Name” and go to next line
9.  Click “Address” and go to next line
10.  Click “City”, add a comma, then “State”, add a space, then “Zip”
11.  Highlight the three rows of text and center them
12.  Click “Update Labels”
13.  Click “Check for Errors” 

Voila! 

Then load up your printer with Avery 5260 label paper and hit print. Take your stack of labels and place them next to your stack of mailers. 

Grab an envelope, put your first label on it, and then put the corresponding mailer into the envelope making sure the name on the mailer matches the name on the envelope.  Now do that hundreds or thousands more times.

You can add a return label if you’d like.  I do personally, I think it yields a higher open rate. 

Then put a live stamp on each envelope to create a mailer that will look interesting, not look mass produced, and will stand out from junk mail. 

All you have to do now is pop them in the mail and wait.

Quicktip: take it easy on yourself and get envelopes with pull off adhesive strips. Don’t try to save a couple bucks by licking or gluing each envelope. Licking more than a couple envelopes would be insane and the glue takes longer and can damage the envelopes.
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