Looking to boost response on your next direct mail piece?
Of course you are! That’s kind of the point. Well, design can have a BIG impact. Follow these tips from an actual, real-life graphic designer and watch your response level grow.
It stands for Call To Action and is the single most important element on your mail piece. WHY? Because it is the instruction that the recipient needs in order to respond. So your CTA might be a phone number (ideally to a trackable number), or a URL. It might even be a physical coupon that need to bring in to your shop. The point is, the recipient needs to know what to do next.
- Log on?
Don’t leave them in the dark, or your mail piece will end up in the trash bin.
Once you have your CTA, you need to make sure that it STANDS OUT. It should take up substantial space on the piece, or be repeated more than once. Put it on both sides of your piece to ensure it gets seen. You can try highlighting it with bright colors or include it in a dotted frame to emulate a coupon. Point an arrow to it if you have to. Just make sure that the recipient doesn’t miss it.
Now that you have a clear, strong CTA, you need to entice reader’s to look at your piece with eye-catching imagery and graphics. Make sure to only use photos that are professional-quality. Stock images are great.
Avoid pulling images off the internet or scanning them in from hard copies. They will be too low resolution and grainy, not to mention the copyright infringements you could face. Choose imagery that complements your brand as well as your messaging. And at the end, ask yourself honestly if you would look at the piece if it showed up in your own mailbox.
Fonts are powerful tools when it comes to design. You might think that it doesn’t matter as much as the message it is relaying, but this is not the case. Choose 2-3 fonts ONLY that complement your brand. You should be consistent across all of your brand collateral with font choices. Don’t use overly-stylized fonts for main headlines or the CTA. Make sure that whatever you choose is legible and clear and doesn’t distract from the message.
And once you choose your fonts, also choose your styles. Consistency is key. So if you decide that all headlines will be bolded in green at 18 point size, stick to it. This will help establish a natural hierarchy in your piece and will help the reader absorb the information faster.
EDIT, EDIT, EDIT
Have you heard that quote about removing one accessory before leaving the house? Well that rings true with graphic design too. It can be easy to get carried away and want to put EVERYTHING about your company or product or service on the mailer. But having too much on your mail piece will make it cluttered and reduce the impact.
If you really feel like you can’t cut anything out, try rethinking the whole campaign. Maybe you end up sending out a series of pieces instead of cramming everything into one. It’s always better to hit your audience multiple times than to hit them once with something that makes you look messy and unprofessional.
And if all of this is just too much, you can always have an actual, real-life graphic designer do it for you. I just so happen to be one, so give us a call!