Answers to the Big Design Questions
In our upcoming (and first!) virtual show Direct Marketing Day @ Your Desk — a Virtual Conference & Expo on Mar. 15, 2011, in collaboration with Target Marketing, we're going to tackle all the big questions that direct marketers are facing in 2011.
Featuring the top experts on the hot direct marketing topics of 2011, this all-day event will kick off at 10 a.m. ET and be free to all who register. Register now by clicking here.
The show will open with an all-star roundtable of direct marketers who will discuss "Messages That Break Through the Clutter: 2011's Winning Campaigns from Every Channel." Panelists will include Alan Rosenspan, Gary Hennerberg, Carolyn Goodman and Neil Feinstein.
Later in the day, of great interest to direct mail copywriters and designers, is the session "Direct Mail Copywriting: Formats and Designs that Work Now." Featuring one of the top creative duos, Pat Friesen and Patrick Fultz, they'll discuss the eye-catching and cutting-edge mail pieces that are working at present.
Here are some recent design questions I had for the award-winning Fultz (and president of the John Caples International Awards), and which will give you a taste of what's to come.
What kind of incremental lift can come from format/technology?
Fultz: It's really about matching the concept to the list, the offer and then using the right format or technology.
A format incremental lift could come from taking a #10 package and using a 6" x 9" OE, but keeping all the other elements the same. Or going the other way.
Technology lift could be adding a personalized URL to an existing package for response. Testing is the name of the game.
Which call to actions are more successful?
Fultz: A clear, concise CTA is best. Too many times we make things complicated. Don't make a customer or prospect have to think ... you want them to react. And answer the question sitting in the back of their head "what in it for me?" Make it obvious and easy.
This is why the order card is so important ... do the math for them, fill in their name and address. Ask for as little info as possible. Use check boxes for choices. Easy, Easy, Easy.
Pay no money now is also a wonderful tool ... just keep in mind you may increase your delinquent pays, but we've found it will be far out weighed by the increase in response.
Can you talk a little bit more about getting prospects into the envelope vs. making an actual sale?
Fultz: Think like a storefront. Intrigue them, bribe them, give them a freemium (and show it through a window).
Make a statement that now one would ever do ... maybe something like ..."This offer is not for you! Or 98% of the rest of the population!" Now obviously you need to build this around a concept ... it could be a product that only 2 percent of the population needs.
I'd try the following items simply to make my package stand out in the mail as a starting point:
- Odd size envelope: Still staying within postal regulations, make the OE taller, longer or just plain different from a #10 or 6" x 9".
- Color, texture and/or weight: Make the envelop stand out using an overall unique color ... can you make it day-glow? Again, you need to work with the concept. Use texture by printing a spot varnish to create extreme textural difference. Emboss a pattern in an OE. Or, even just print a texture. This can be done when converting an OE. Paper weight is easy -make it very light or very heavy or choose a stock made from brown kraft paper.
- Odd windows sizes and/or shapes: Again, a relatively inexpensive method of making the OE different.
I need to get them involved in the piece ... to stop and pay attention longer than three seconds: "To stop and look at the store window."