Near the end of the recent DirectMarketingIQ webinar "Direct Mail Formats — What's Working Now!" with Patrick Fultz, owner of DM Creative Group, and Nancy Harhut, Wilde Agency's chief creative officer, questions came pouring in from the large audience. (To view the $79 webinar, available on-demand now, click here.)
While many questions were specific in nature, some fell into the camp of smaller budgets and nonprofits. Here is how Fultz, award-winning designer and current president of the John Caples International Award, tackled them:
What are some ideas that are more cost effective for clients that have small direct mail budgets?
Fultz: Many of the packages I showed were very cost effective, using standard sizes like 6" x 9" envelopes and 8-1/2" x 11" or 8-1/2" x 14" letters. Also, #10 packages can work as well, with attention spent on their teaser lines and graphics.
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 envelope 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 spot varnishes 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, this is a relatively inexpensive method of making the OE different.
If you only can choose one format, I'd go with the tried and true 6" x 9" or 6" x 11". But remember, it's about the concept — not the format only. They must work together.