Create a Compelling Direct Mail Moment
In order to be as effective as possible, your direct mail needs to be compelling. There are several factors involved with this. You need to send to a list of people who will be interested in your product or service — targeting to well-qualified people will make your offer more compelling to them. You need a good relevant offer and finally you need a good attention getting design. For now, let’s assume you have a good list so that we can focus on your design and messaging.
When you create and send direct mail to prospects and customers, you are creating a conversation with them. You get to control the message. So as you consider what your message is going to say, here are a few things to consider:
- Decisions: Are you clearly stating the benefits your prospect and customers will get by purchasing your product or service? Write your messaging from their point of view — what is in it for them? They will be making judgments about your product or service quickly, so you need to have them fall in your favor.
- Layout: Do not overcrowd your message. Be clear and concise. Use bullet points, bold key information and vary the font sizes you use. Keep white space in your design to give a calmer feel. Too much copy and imagery too close together is overwhelming.
- Interpretation: People interpret your messaging differently based on their life experiences. It is best practice to have your messaging read by a variety of people to see how they interpret the meaning of what you are trying to say. You may be surprised that the message you thought was so clear is not.
Now you are ready to tackle the design. The first decision is what format you want to use. Do you want a postcard, self-mailer or a letter in and envelope? They can all be effective when done correctly. To make your postcard or self-mailer compelling, you need to consider more than if you use a letter. Consider the following things:
- Images: You need to select images that convey your message and draw attention. Emotions are very important. The right images can enhance the appeal of your direct mail piece. They are the first thing people see when they look at your mail piece.
- Colors: You need to select colors that create the feeling you wish to convey. Really take the time to plan out your color pallet. Colors have meaning, so make sure yours mean the right thing. Want more information on the meaning of colors? Check out this article.
- Fonts: Choose fonts that are easy to read and set the mood. The sizes matter as well as the format. Consider your audience before choosing. Larger fonts for older people really do help get your mail read. We do not recommend super script fonts. They are hard to read. Make it easy for people to understand.
Compelling direct mail is really well planned. You know your audience, you know your message and you know your design are all aligned to bring you the best results. Focusing on the perspective of your audience will drive response. One thing we did not talk about is the offer/call to action. Create your offer as a special onetime thing. Give it an expiration and an exclusivity that is only for a select few. Be very clear on how they can respond to get the offer and provide multiple ways such as web pages, phone numbers, email and more. Are you ready to create the most compelling direct mail ever?
A blog about Direct Mail Marketing, tips, tricks and what not to do.
Summer Gould is President of Eye/Comm Inc. Summer has spent her 23 year career helping clients achieve better marketing results. She has served as a panel speaker for the Association of Marketing Service Providers conferences. She is active in several industry organizations and she is a board member for Printing Industries Association San Diego, as well as a board member for Mailing Systems Management Association of San Diego. She is also a committee member for Visionaries in Philanthropy which benefits San Diego Meals on Wheels.