Marketing in an age of skepticism is always difficult.
In the case of direct mail, your prospects automatically perceive that you’re selling them something.
When that happens, they’re likely to have a negative attitude towards even discovering what it is you have to offer. They will not be taking a look at your mailing piece to see your product or service because they perceive it won’t be in their self-interest to read the contents.
Fortunately, I have a solution for you.
Utilizing a value added component to a direct mail piece can help to override this initial suspicion prospects may have, and dramatically increase response.
Here are 5 things you should know about value added marketing:
1. A value added component will help get your envelope opened.
When you tell the prospect that they may receive something of value inside your direct mail envelope, they are far more likely to open the envelope.
For example, you can put a note about “A Free Checklist” enclosed on the outside of the envelope to generate curiosity. Here is one we created for the Wine of the Month club, to the left.
Other examples include an envelope we created that said, “Free Gold and Silver Checklist Enclosed,” for my client Monaco Rare Coins, and another was a “World Conflict Map Enclosed” on the envelope for a direct mail piece to those involved in international relationships and military.
You can also use article reprints as a value added incentive, such as “7 Surprising Ways to Help your Child Learn Enclosed” for direct mail pieces to parents of young children. It looks like an article you enclosed.
For seniors, one of the best responses was for “Hospital Survival Checklist Enclosed.”
2. The value-added component does not have to be expensive but it has to have value.
A value-added piece needs to be something that somebody would not only want, but preferably want to keep.
A prospect will keep something of use to them, such as a calendar, map, or book of stamps.
3. There is a great deal of variety of value added components.
Value added pieces can range in purpose, usage, look, and feel.
Here’s an example of a value added component we created for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles:

Each envelope contained a nickel, creating interest in the piece and encouraging the receiver to open the envelope.
For a Christian organization called The Navigators, they put together one direct mail piece for Christmas that included the following:

  • Personalized return address stickers
  • A booklet of Christmas carols
  • Christmas-themed envelope seals
  • A themed desk calendar
  • A personalized certificate of appreciation
  • A “Christmas Fun” booklet

This was a very extensive value added campaign, with multiple pieces. But they understood that adding value to an offering builds relationship, which leads me to my next point…
4. Value added components help create the relationship you need with prospective clients.
Value added pieces help create a sense of trust and generosity with a prospective client, and helps you generate more leads and sales. They motivate a person to make a purchase, or make a contribution.
Bottom line is: you are not taking money out of a prospective client’s pocket. You’re trying to help them.
That’s how you should be positioned with a prospective client- and that’s great marketing.
5. Value-added components can totally change the tone of your direct mail piece.
Value-added components change the tone of your direct mail piece by communicating that you don’t just want to sell the person something, you want to help them. It builds relationship with a prospective client by providing them with something they want to keep.
Value-added marketing will ultimately change their perception that you’re there to take from them—a value-added component says that you’re there to give.
If you would like to discuss incorporating value-added components into your marketing strategy, please give me a call at 310-212-5727 or email Caleb at