Direct Mail Marketing: 5 Design Tips

Direct mail marketing is a great way for your business to reach new customers, target a specific demographic for leads, and test new advertising campaigns. Unlike most type of online marketing, the efficacy of your direct mail campaign is easy to quantify with mailing and response data.

You can test and re-test new ad designs regularly within your direct marketing campaign. If you start out with a good design, you’ll get faster results and a greater ROI right off the bat. Follow these five design tips to improve your mailing’s chances of success.

Direct Mail Catalogue

1. Write Great Copy

The point of your direct mail campaign is to persuade your audience to buy your product or services. You may offer a coupon or special deal with your mailing, but in the end, your argument is what will convince the reader to contact your business for its products and services.

  • Your copy should provide a clear, easy to read argument for why your audience should take a specific action. It should be informative, but also easy to skim – utilize paragraph breaks strategically to create a clear scan path for the reader.

2. Improve Your Tag Lines

Brainstorming tag lines to catch your customers’ attention is a difficult process that can be made infinitely easier by writing your copy first. Once you have outlined your argument to the customer, it’s easy to pull out for emphasis key words and phrases that contribute to and complement your argument.

  • Don’t sacrifice copy quality for the sake of catchy or large tag lines. Your tag lines will catch your customers’ interest, but it’s your copy that will convince them to take the next step.

3. Use the Right Font

The font face you use in your mailings is extremely important. Since the selling point of your mailing is the copy, it needs to be readable in order to be effective. Exotic fonts, although effective from a design perspective, can hurt your bottom line if your audience can’t quickly glance down and understand it.

  • You have a little more leeway with headings to be creative, but for the body of your mailing, you should emphasize readability.
  • Use a simpler sans-serif font for maximum readability.

4. Be Careful With Colours

You may think that using lots of flashy colours in your mailing will grab your customers’ attention – but so does every other direct mail marketer who is targeting your customer. If your mailing looks like typical “junk mail,” it’s going to get thrown out without ever being read.

  • Use “selling colours” that are proven to work in marketing – red, yellow, and orange – rather than “trendy” colours.
  • Make sure that your background and text colours are high-contrast without clashing painfully.

5. Design with Postage in Mind

Besides your text, font face, and colours, there is one final element to your direct mail design: the size and shape of the mailing itself. Before committing to your package format, ensure that it is USPS compliant.

  • Compare the cost of producing and mailing various formats. Non-standard formats typically cost more, and a difference of ¼ or even 1/8 of an inch can be costly.
  • It may be easier to choose your format first, and then design your mailing to fit the format.

According to the Direct Marketing Association, US marketers send more than 90 billion direct mail items per year. In order for your mailing to stand out against the rest, it needs to have good design. To increase your initial ROI, make sure your mailing has good copy, is easy to read, and is in a standard format that’s cheap to produce and mail.