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The Persuasive Power of Postscripts
By: Dana Severson
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Postscripts are overlooked — it’s a simple fact of almost any direct marketing effort. Practically all attention is paid to subject lines and copy content. Both are important, yes…but maybe not as much as the postscript.  
Here’s the thing. Besides the first sentence, consumers tend to read the very end of an email or letter before they read anything else, especially when it comes to a P.S.
Postscripts are broken out from the body, making them much easier to read. And they usually highlight the offer, saving your readers time.
Postscript in Action
Not that long ago, I rebranded my business. Having spent years writing health and fitness-related copy, I needed a change and wanted to get back to my roots — marketing. On top of redesigning my website, printing new business cards, and networking to an inch of insanity, I launched an email campaign.
The subject line and copy content were the same on all correspondence. The only difference was that half of the recipients received an email with a postscript.
P.S. If you do give me a call, don’t be surprised to hear a deeper voice on the other end of the phone. I’m a guy. I only mention this because most people take a very long pause upon my ‘hello’…you know, what with the girly name and all.
My postscript had nothing to do with an offer. Its main objective was to spark interest through a tongue-in-cheek anecdote about my name. And it did — a lot, actually. Almost all of the responses were from the email with the postscript.
So when I talk about the persuasive power of postscripts, what I'm really getting at is how the postscript can persuade the reader to read the entirety of your message.
People read my email because they found the P.S. humorous. It took them by surprise and, for some, was the only reason why they contacted me.
I’m not saying you should do what I did. Looking back, I now think it was sort of a gamble, which, thankfully, paid off. But I think you should find a way to leverage the postscript. 
Postscript Best Practices
On your next email or direct marketing campaign, look for different ways to frame a postscript. For example, you can use it as:
  1. A final call to action
  2. An invitation to sign up for your newsletter
  3. An invitation for additional information
  4. An announcement for a bonus offer
  5. A promotion for a limited-time offer
  6. A highlight of the offer in the email
Regardless of how you use it, use it. You’ll be happy with the response.

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About the Author
Dana Severson is a freelance copywriter and marketing consultant in the Twin Cities area. Find him at his website for a little downhome advice. 
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