As important as any component in the actual mailer, you must provide a powerful message designed to make your audience take action. That action could be to call, stop in, make a purchase, etc. That action call must create a sense of urgency and provide some incentive for the prospect to contact you.
Creating a sense of urgency does not simply mean to create “this week only” events, but rather to find a way to create a deeper sense of urgency the prospect will feel, but conclude on their own. Today’s prospect is not as susceptible to responding to “One week only” events in non-retail products as they once were. (Mostly due to the overuse of forced urgency). Creating a coupon, gift certificate, or promotion with a fairly short, but not impending expiration date provides the incentive in most cases.
The urgency is created in the mind of the prospect because of the story you tell with your advertisement. In the end, if the prospect calls because he “just doesn’t want to go another day without hearing his grandkids” AND realizes there is a limited shelf life on the offer, we create the perfect scenario for a potential sale. Of course, we cannot always make everyone think this way.
Another method of urgency creation is providing them with a gift card or gift certificate. Our nature is that when someone gives us a gift card or certificate, that is $$ and we feel obligated to spend it, whereas a coupon sometimes is more easily discarded. Again, this doesn’t apply 100% of the time, but in marketing there are no absolutes.
During certain times of the year, a retail style approach using “while supplies last”, creates a real and believable reason for a special promotion or discount. Closing out old inventory is common in many businesses and commonly accepted by consumers. This is critical, as too frequently promoting “Biggest Deal Ever” and “One Week Only closeout” sales can have the opposite of the intended effect, and come across as not believable if not implemented properly.