Way back when people used to compose something called “letters,” they often ended them with a brief afterthought called a postscript. If you’re too young to remember “duck and cover,” you may not have heard of these quaint messages, but they would begin with the abbreviation “P.S.”

Postscripts commonly served as an opportunity to add even more affection to love letters (as in the song, “P.S. I love you”). Savvy direct marketers knew they also provided an excellent way to call attention to or reiterate some benefit they were trying to sell. And it wasn’t conjecture or wishful thinking – test after test proved that a letter with a “P.S.” generated more responses than one without.

Yet I’ve seen many clients react negatively to postscripts in direct marketing letters. “Why do we need that? We’re already getting the message across in the body of the letter!”

It’s simple. The P.S. is second thing most people read (after the signature). So model your work on others’ success by using your P.S. to restate the key benefit of the letter, to introduce a special offer, or to plant a question in the reader’s mind.