Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Verisimilitude is not only a great sounding word that literally rolls off your tongue when you say it ... it represents a great idea when creating direct mail.

Verisimilitude is the appearance of being true or real.  Direct formats with verisimilitude are convincing and engaging, as well as response-generating,

An example of this is the direct mail letter at left that's convincingly disguised as an email. It appears to have been sent to and printed out by Curtis Walls, New Car Sales Manager at a the Independence Honda dealership where Jessica Best bought her 2010 Honda Fit.  It looks like it was an email from his general manager.
The piece is artfully personalized starting with the subject line (Subject: Jessica Best's 2010 Honda Fit) and the handwritten note (Jessica, My manager emailed this to me.  Check it out--you can upgrade your vehicle with no money down.)

Here's the copy in full:


We desperately need pre-owned vehicles-especially any Honda Fit in good condition we can get. I was looking at previous customers who bought one from us and want you to get a hold of Jessica Best asap.

Make sure you let Jessica know that by trading in the 2010 Honda Fit, it's quite likely they can upgrade their vehicle with no money down.

I ran some numbers and created a list of vehicles on our lot Jessica qualifies for and included the new payment, terms and conditions.  You can check it out at this secure webpage:  (PURL goes here)

I need you to get on this, though, because these deals are only good through the end of the month.

It's signed by the general manager.  The only small flaws I found were first,  the reference to "they" and "their" in the second paragraph.  Since Jessica bought the car and she's obviously female, the pronouns should have referred to "she" and "her."  The second flaw is the super long PURL that isn't a hot link.  The longer the URL you ask your reader to enter into his or her browser, the more likely a mistake will be made.  And mistakes kill response.

Other than that, the concept is brilliant.  I wish I'd thought of it. 

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