In an interview reprinted in The Golden Thread (the American Writers & Artists Institute student newsletter), well-known direct-response graphic designer Ted Kikoler makes the following useful points about putting together a direct-mail package:

* The biggest mistake direct marketers make is leaving the letter out of the mailing. Even if you are sending out a self-mailer, a mag-a-log, a book-a-log, or a postcard, Kikoler says, the recipient needs to feel that it’s coming from a human being.

* Another mistake is insufficient copy. “I’ve heard product managers say, ‘People won’t read long letters.’ Nonsense. Someone who is thinking of spending money asks quite a few questions that need to be answered. Answer them. … My primary role as a graphic designer is to make people read the copy.”

* Should you include a brochure? “A brochure looks beautiful,” says Kikoler, “but in most cases it hurts response.”

The reason? It allows the prospect to immediately see what is being sold and decide he doesn’t need it before the copywriter has had a chance to hook him with the copy. If you are interested in a side business or new career visit these links for copywriting, or for graphic design, from the American Writers & Artists Institute (AWAI).