By Joe Vitale 
Hypnotic Marketing’s Joe Vitale gives his mesmerizing tips on how to make your direct mail a smashing success. What are his tricks of the trade?
So many of you seem willing to spend hundreds, even thousands, of dollars on a direct mail gamble, that I feel compelled to give everyone a brief lesson in what it takes for direct mail to work. 
Far too many people try it and then say “Direct mail doesn’t work.” They often say the same thing about advertising. Well, it may not be the fault of advertising or direct mail. It may very well be that the three keys to success were not covered. 
There are three legs to a successful direct mail campaign: the list, the offer, and the creative. Blow it on any one of them and the whole campaign will die. But get the three elements right and you just might be able to laugh all the way to the bank. 
1. The list. This is THE most important element. Don’t think because you can get a list cheap, or even for free, that it’s something you can use. Don’t think because thousands or even millions of people will read a publication that you should advertise there. Those people may not be your prospects. The best list for you may be the one you pay an arm and a leg for. The more targeted the list of prospects, the better. If you are selling a book on, say, gambling, you want to find a list of people who gamble AND who buy books on gambling. Try any other list and you may end up saying, “Direct mail doesn’t work.”
2. The offer. What you offer to the list better be something they cannot get anywhere else, while also being something priced to make a profit for you. If you offer a book on gambling that anyone can buy down the street for two dollars less, you’ll end up saying, “Direct mail doesn’t work.” 
3. The creative. How you present your offer to your list has to be done professionally, so that all of the emotional hot buttons are triggered while also maintaining interest and going for the sale. Some of the best copywriters are paid upwards to $15,000 to write a single sales letter simply because the creative aspect of your campaign is that important. I’ve known many people who tried to write their own letters and ended up saying, “Direct mail doesn’t work.” 
Direct mail DOES work. Just ask Robert Ringer, who launched his series of best-selling, self-published books with direct mail and advertising. Or ask John Kremer, who has successfully used direct mail to sell his own books. Or ask me, as I’ve used it to sell some of my work. But, again, those three key elements have to be there or the direct mail or advertising won’t net you a dime. Hope this helps you save – and make – money.
—- Joe Vitale is founder and president of Hypnotic Marketing, Inc. His website is www.mrfire.com.