When you’re trying to knock off a direct mail control, it helps to have some proven tricks up your sleeve. Here are four to pull out the next time you’re developing a new creative:

1. Affix a faux card to the letter.

To be clear, there’s no real reason to add a card — other than the fact that it boosts response nearly every time. For extra impact, personalize the card. And be sure to include the offer with a call to action in case the card gets separated from the rest of the direct mail kit.

2. Add an overline above the name and address.

One of the first things people look at when sorting mail is their name. If you use a window envelope, a simple overline above the name and address can help engage the reader and set the tone for the rest of the package. For example, an official mailing might include “Prepared for:” above the name of the recipient.

3. Leverage all available real estate.

If you have a one-page letter with a few disclaimers on the back, use the open space on the letter back for extra sell copy. This might be a summary of benefits, a simple “About Us,” a call to action, or (if space allows) all of the above. It’s an easy way to extend your messaging without adding costly components.

4. Include an involvement device.

If you want recipients to reply, you must first capture their attention. The use of an involvement device can separate your mailing from the seven other direct mail kits in their mailbox. For example, a headline on an envelope tab that lifts up to reveal a payoff on the letter inside.

The next time you’re tasked with beating a direct mail marketing control, try putting one (or more) of these proven tricks to work for you.