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What works best – a letter, self-mailer, or postcard?

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In his book Secrets of Successful Direct Mail (Bottom Line Books), the late mail order consultant Dick Benson says: “Self-mailers almost never work.”             

“Testing has consistently proven a one-page letter with a compelling offer outperforms a glossy mailer [in business-to-business lead generation] by 100 percent,” says Liz Taylor of Liz Taylor Marketing.             

And in a recent issue of his e-newsletter, copywriter Alan Sharpe says, “In business-to-business direct mail lead generation, letters invariably outpull self-mailers, including postcards.”             

As a copywriter, I’ve always been prejudiced in favor of sales letters, because it’s my favorite form to write.             

But obviously, a sales letter is not always better than a postcard or other self-mailer — and in recent years, I’ve come to love postcards for the results they can produce for marketers on a budget.            

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