Direct Mail Copywriting – strategic, sales-focused, results-based

Bob McCarthy and Sheryl King are both direct mail copywriters with many years of experience in a wide range of direct marketing applications.  Our direct mail copywriting assignments have been used to generate leads, orders, retail traffic and donors.

If you are looking for a direct mail/direct response copywriter, we invite you to learn more about the work we do.

For more than 30 years, we have worked on hundreds of assignments for both clients and agencies:

  • short-form direct mail
  • long-form direct mail
  • sales letters
  • fundraising letters
  • landing pages/sales pages
  • email prospecting letters
  • drip email sequences
  • direct response ads (print and online)
  • tip sheets, ebooks, white papers and other lead magnets
  • brochures, info kits and printed materials

If needed, we also provide graphic design services.

To discuss a campaign or get a quote, call Bob McCarthy at 508-473-8643.

What is direct mail copywriting?

If your understanding of copywriting has been influenced by what you see on Mad Men, you probably think that copywriters need to be clever, creative and maybe funny.

That’s not the case in direct mail – or frankly any form of direct response.

In direct mail, where results are measured against investment, the copywriter needs to focus not on entertainment, but on sales and persuasion.

Everything else is just a distraction.

We’re copywriters for leads, orders, traffic, donors …

I’m Bob McCarthy.  My partner Sheryl King and I have been writing direct mail copy since the early 80s.

Over the years, we’ve worked with many clients across many industries helping to generate leads, direct orders, traffic for retail and trade shows and donations for charities and other non-profits.

This is a challenging business because no matter how impressed a client is with your copy and creative work, it still has to work.  It still has to produce results.  And that’s not always easy because there are other factors – the product, the list and the offer for example – that directly impact your results.

Still there is nothing more satisfying that seeing your work produce a good return on a client’s investment.

Key elements of direct mail copywriting

Offer Strategy

Aside from the mailing list, nothing will have more impact on response than your offer. If you are mailing to generate sales leads, this means creating a white paper, special report of other educational document. For direct selling, your offer will focus on the price, discounts, deals and special delivery options.

Format Selection

Most direct mail campaigns do very will simple formats – letter packages, postcards, self-mailers. But some applications require more complex packages. Let’s help you decide.

Message Development

Messages are developed around key selling points of your product or service. We start with the main selling point, often called the Unique Selling Proposal. Secondary selling points are also developed and included in the promotion as needed.

Response Channel Options

The traditional response channels – reply mail, 800 numbers – are still useful and important, but today, we are use more landing pages (including PURLs) and QR Codes to capture response. Of course, if you own a retail store, the preferred response channel will be walk-ins.

Visual Strategy

As we develop your message, we will consider whether that message can be better communicated with a photo, chart or some other image. Visuals always contribute to a more attractive design, but the real test is whether that visual also delivers a message.

Credibility Builders

One of the challenges for every direct mail promotion is credibility. If your audience trusts you, you are half way there. Credibility builders include testimonials, endorsements, credentials and documentation.

Personalization Options

Any time you communicate one to one, it’s good to get personal. Personalization can include the simple addressing of an envelope and an inside letter, but it can also go much further than that. Using VDP technology today, we can personalize just about anything and have your name imprinted throughout the direct mail piece.

Calls to Action

With your offer and response channels in place, we will develop a call to action and then apply it throughout the mail piece. By placing the CTA in strategic locations, you can maximize response.

Testing Strategy

If you’re planning to use direct mail on a continual basis, you will want to start testing different components of the mail piece to determine what is most effective for you. This can be done over time. We will develop a strategy to test the most important elements first.

Landing Pages

Before the mail piece goes into the mail, we will create and host a landing page (or multiple landing pages) to be sure everything is working properly. Of course, capturing the contact information is just the first step. We will also set up an automated process for you to confirm the respondent’s email address, enter the contact information into a designated database and handle fulfillment of the promised materials.

Get started or learn more

So what’s your next step?  If you’re close to making a move, we’d love to talk.  Call Bob McCarthy at 508-473-8643 or send him an email at

If you’d like to discuss an upcoming campaign – or if you’re looking for ways to improve an existing mailing program – call us and let’s schedule an introductory call.