Direct Mail Lift Notes: Boost Response By Breaking The Lift Letter Rules.

Submitted by: Alan Sharpe

Do lift notes still lift response rates in business-to-business mailings? Yes, as long as they stand out.

A lift note, of course, is an extra component slipped into a direct mail package to lift response. It s also called a lift letter. Publishers call it a publisher s letter, because it s usually signed by the publisher.

The classic lift note is a sheet of paper that folds in half. On the front is usually a teaser. And on the inside is a note, usually written by someone other than the person who signed the letter.

In the olden days, lift notes invariably lifted response. Direct mail marketer Harry Walsh says lift notes, usually reiterating the no-risk guarantee, used to boost response by around 11 percent no matter what copy was used. Amazing but true.

Not so today. Your prospects are much more savvy to the devices that direct mail marketers use to boost response. Their Phoniness Filters are on 24/7. So we have to do something different than simply enclose a note from Donald Trump.

Direct mail marketer Barbara Harrison says the best rule for using lift notes today is to abandon the rules. For her client, the Tuft s School of Veterinary Medicine, Barbara once wrote a lift note from a dog.

The lift note was one of two found in the package (which promoted the school s newsletter, Your Dog ). That s one rule she broke. The first lift note was from the dean of the school, and drew attention to the expertise and credentials of its canine authorities.


The second lift note, the one written by the mutt, described why dogs hate the newsletter so. This newsletter, said the dog, makes its owners too smart, and teaches owners how to break dogs bad habits. This unique lift note added significantly to the strength of this control, says Barbara in the chapter on lift notes in 2,239 Tested Secrets for Direct Marketing Success, the book edited by Denny Hatch and Don Jackson.

Other ways to break the lift note rules:


Sales manager signed letter, company president signed lift note.


Sales manager signs letter, company janitor signs lift note.


Lift note stresses guarantee of customer satisfaction.


Lift note shows a letter from a disgruntled customer who received money back, and includes a photocopy of the refund check.


Lift note is signed by celebrity.


Lift note is signed by Horace, the obscure parts supplier in Podunk, Alabama.


Lift note reiterates main selling point of main letter.


Lift note introduces a weakness of the product.

2006 Sharpe Copy Inc.

About the Author: Alan Sharpe is a business-to-business direct mail copywriter and lead generation specialist who helps business owners and marketing managers attract new clients using direct mail marketing. Sign up for free weekly tips like this at


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