The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s book The Direct Mail Revolution: How to Create Profitable Direct Mail Campaigns in a Digital World. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | IndieBound

An effective direct-mail package doesn’t just ask for a response; it makes readers feel they’d be making a mistake by not responding. It also creates a sense of urgency, or gives a compelling reason why a response is required today, not tomorrow or next week.

It boldly asks for the order or some other response, such as a request for information. The focal point at that stage becomes the reply element: the part of the package the reader mails back to the advertiser to place an order or request more information. This is usually a reply card in the case of lead generation or an order form and reply envelope in the case of one-step marketing.