Studies show that you have about 10 seconds to grab your prospect’s attention when they receive a direct mail piece. The right creative can make an immediate, and even lasting impression, with your audience and can be the difference in a successful or not so successful direct mail campaign. Here are ways you can dramatically improve the outcome of every direct mail campaign through improved messaging and creative complete with tips and examples that will help you design effective mail pieces Let’s get started!

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  • Keep Your Goal Simple

    The more focused the objective for your direct mail campaign, the greater your success. What action do you want your recipients to take book and appointment, call and schedule, visit your website? Your answer will determine the format of your mailing piece, what important design elements to include, and establish the direction for the creative and messaging.

  • Make One Thing At A Time Measurable

    It’s important to determine the one key metric that matters most to you from your options that include response rates, the cost to acquire a customer, ROI, and the lifetime value of your customer. Success can mean different things and testing is more accurate when the measurement is focused, uncomplicated, and aligns with the goal. You can then use this information to make changes to elements of your piece and continue to improve your direct mail creative to drive improved response.

  • Identify Your Audience As Narrowly As Possible

    You have access to a great deal of information about your audience. Direct mail allows you to create highly targeted direct mailing lists from available data about your customers and the prospects that share their characteristics. Armed with this information, you can create compelling offers or share information that your audience will appreciate, find valuable, and that influences them to take action.

  • Determine Call to Action

    Every direct mail piece should contain a compelling, irresistible call to action (CTA). The clearer that call and the easier for your audience to respond, the more effective your direct mail piece becomes. This will help you determine what design elements like phone numbers, website address, maps, QR codes or coupon codes to include in the design of your piece or what special offers to tie into a promotion.

1. Eye-Catching and Emotionally Engaging Colors Build Immediate Trust

2. Stand-out and Easy-to-Find CTAs Inspire Acton

3. Bold Messaging and Easy-To-Read Fonts Provide Clarity and Crispness

4. Personalization and Customization (Text and Photo) Form Powerful Connections

5. QR Codes and Interactive Elements Seamlessly Integrate Across All Marketing Channels

6. Variable Data Printing Optimizes Personalization and A/B Testing

7. USPS Intelligent Bar Codes encode routing and tracking information

  • Motivate With Color

    Connect with your audience with colors that influence attitudes and actions and play a major role in getting your direct mail piece noticed immediately. Color psychology has long been a marketing tool for affecting human behavior and your prospects pick up subtle, yet powerful clues about your business. Determining the right color scheme that align with your brand can impact decision making. Here are ways certain colors influence your customer:

    Blue – considered to imply authority, trust, security. Light blue is associated with water, peace and tranquility. Dark blue implies wisdom, expertise, and stability.

    Purple – signals wealth, sophistication, royalty, and superiority, although it can also engender feelings of decadence. Dark purple conveys mystery and light purple produces feelings of sensitivity and harmony.

    Orange – this is the color of creativity, fun, and motivation. Associated with the sun, it evokes warm feelings and optimism. Light orange implies spontaneity and dark orange desire and action.

    Red – associated with energy, urgency, and power. Light red conveys love and passion and dark red implies leadership, vigor, and excitement. Red is also proven to produce feelings of hunger.

    Green – brings feelings of nature and health, prosperity, hope, and freshness. Light green spreads messages of healing and emotional well-being, medium green growth and life, and dark green prosperity.

    Yellow – represents happiness, optimism, and warmth. Light yellow signifies positivity, medium yellow energy, and bright yellow youthfulness. Yellow can also be associated with caution and warnings.

    Pink – associated with femininity, youthfulness, and quirkiness. Light pink is seen as healing and bright pink conveys boldness. A unique aspect of pink is over time its effect can lessen and produce the opposite reaction.

    Black – used to add sophistication, power, and elegance. It’s one of the most widely used colors because of its ability to make other colors appear brighter and more visible.

    White – the color of all colors, it evokes simplicity, cleanliness, and innocence. White is effective when used in combination with every other color, which makes it an ideal choice to deploy as background, text, or border, and to make design elements

  • Appeal Through Look

    Instantly grab your prospects’ attention with visual design that makes your mailer stand out in the mailbox and draws interest. Start by matching your message to the most appropriate direct mail format. Fortunately there’s one to fit any need and budget, whether you decide on postcards, envelopes, folded self-mailers, brochures, or catalogs. Keep text short and brief, use colors that the prospect will associate with your brand and that trigger emotional responses. Always leave lots of white space so the mailer is uncluttered to make it easy for the eye to focus on your message.

  • Appeal Through Feel

    In a world where consumers suffer from digital overload, the touch and texture of direct mail adds an enduring quality to your direct mail and sets your messaging apart. Gloss, stain, and soft touch finishes, print embellishments, and even odd-shaped envelopes like lumpy packaging grab and hold the recipients’ attention. Studies have shown that by merely touching and holding an object, a person begins to develop a sense of ownership.

  • Broadcast The Call to Action

    Your CTA must be the prominent feature of your direct mail piece. It has to work in tandem with the other elements like color, font choice, graphics, and images so that it stands out and promises value to incentivize your prospect. You can use the data you have to set up landing pages or a personalized URL (PURL) to support lead generation, increase conversion rates, and optimize multi-channel marketing.

  • Personalization Drives Higher Response Rates

    Variable data printing allows you to add elements that connect your customers with the products, services and offers that will resonate most. Include photos that connect the personal experiences of your prospects emotionally with your brand. Insert customized, localized maps and landmarks to bond with audiences and build community. Add authentic testimonials that provide social proof from others who share the lifestyle and values of your prospects.

  • Make Your Tracking Features Unique

    Incorporate tracking methods into your direct mail design that can include coupon codes, trackable URLs, QR codes, and trackable unique phone numbers to measure response rates. Every point of contact you provide on your mailer is an opportunity to record the performance of your campaign. Make your tracking information stand out and easy to find or include pre-paid coded reply or order cards to gauge success and gather more information about your prospect.

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