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Check your mailbox.

There’s probably an ad waiting for you. 

The ad is likely in letter form, sealed in a standard-size, nondescript, white envelope. You’ve received ads like this before, of course. We all have. It’s direct mail, a ubiquitous type of advertising used around the world by: 

Banks: “Apply for a credit card!”
Cable providers: “Bundle and save!”
Restaurants: “Make a Valentine's Day reservation!”

Any business, really, can put an ad in an envelope and mail it. But that doesn’t mean they’ll find success… 

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Many direct mail campaigns fail.

And it usually has nothing at all to do with the copy or the market fit. Usually, it’s because most of us leave the envelope unopened on the kitchen counter and, eventually, we throw it out, rendering the message irrelevant. It’s that simple.

Why? Because we’ve been here before. We know better. We know it’s an ad. Junk.

If your ad doesn’t immediately capture attention, it’s dead in the water. Goodnight. 

So one fix is to print fascinations (i.e., bullets designed to incite curiosity) on the outside of the envelope. This tactic will increase engagement rates. But it’ll also bloat the cost of the campaign. Customized envelopes are expensive. 

No good. 

Luckily, there’s a cheaper solution… 

Cheaper and more effective, too: this little-known trick will compel 8 or even 9 out of 10 people to open your direct mail!

What is it? 

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Put a penny in the envelope. 

Let me explain… 

Putting a penny in a sealed envelope is literally the cheapest, most effective way to compel an open. Because when the prospect feels it inside the envelope, she’ll wonder: 

Is it a penny? 
Is it something else? 
Why is there metal in here?

The bulkiness and weight caused by the penny will pique her curiosity, compelling an open. It’s that simple


And this is important… to make this tactic work, you must somehow connect the penny to your product or offer. 

Making that connection is the “creative” part. 

For example, if I had to somehow connect a penny in an envelope to the VeryGoodCopy blog, I might write:

Hey there, 
If you want to learn how to write effective copy, you have a couple of options: 
You could throw this penny in a fountain and WISH you’ll miraculously learn this intricate, ultra-valuable skill overnight… 
Or, you could SUBSCRIBE to the VeryGoodCopy blog and start receiving weekly micro-articles that, over time, will teach you everything you need to know about copywriting, completely free.
Go here to subscribe in seconds:

Or something like that.

On your desktop?  Look left!  On your phone?  Look down!

On your desktop? Look left!
On your phone? Look down!


It doesn’t need to be a penny…

You can create bulky envelopes with other items, too. (At the end of the day, attention is attention is attention.)

Just be sure you can somehow connect that item to your offer.

It really is that simple.


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Judge not lest ye be judged.