Direct Mail Design That Is Working NOW
As I've seen in the Who's Mailing What! Archive, overall mail volume is down in practically every sector. Of course, that means that mail may have a greater chance to be looked at and opened, particularly if the design is right.
I talked to a group of experts recently about direct mail design and what exactly is working right now.
1. Understated but deft design
"I've been doing some work in the insurance and financial verticals lately, and the more serious and less easily identified as 'ad mail' the piece is, the better it does," says Nancy Harhut, chief creative officer at The Wilde Agency. "So that has meant pulling back on graphic, four-color OE treatments." And sometimes that means going in the opposite direction of where the designer wants to go.
2. Keep the prospect focused … on the message
Harhut says that overly designed packages may look good, but can turn off prospects in some verticals, such as insurance and financial. Reason: The message sometimes gets lost.
"Extensive use of color enhances eye-appeal, but as often as not it gives no lift to response by shifting emphasis from message to artistry," explains Herschell Gordon Lewis, copywriter and author of "On the Art of Writing Copy."
That said, color and design can be deftly used to pull the target in, direct attention and pop key messages both inside and out, says Harhut. A deft touch can make all the difference for a campaign.
3. Use more of the outer
The plain outer remains standard in certain sectors. In other words, the canvas is left blank, sometimes too often.
"I do see an increase in envelopes with heavy copy and graphics on both sides," reports Bob Bly, copywriter and author of the recent "The Marketing Plan Handbook: Develop Big-Picture Marketing Plans for Pennies on the Dollar."