While you certainly want to grab people’s attention with your direct mail, it is important to keep your focus on the information you are trying to convey rather than just the design. It doesn’t matter how pretty your design is if it’s not clearly getting your message across to the people viewing it. Here are some tips to make sure you don’t lose your message in a “pretty” design.
Make sure it’s legible.
This is the number one tip for any piece of marketing! As discussed in a previous blog post, your piece needs to be easy to read. Confusing headlines, too much text, and bad grammar or punctuation can easily land your design in the trash. People don’t want to expend any amount of effort to understand what is going on in an advertisement. Another very important factor is word legibility. Make sure that the text you use is a readable size, color, and font.
Focus on hierarchy.
What is the most important part of this piece? Are you trying to get people to purchase a specific product? Are you trying to get them to call a phone number in general? Figure out what the most important bits of your direct mail piece are, and make sure they stand out the most. The most important details should stand out against the rest. You can draw focus to a specific area by using a different color or size of text. You also need to think about the direction in which people generally read. If your direct mail piece is a letter, you don’t want your most important information to be in the last paragraph. In fact, should you be using a letter at all?
Choose the right format.
Would your message be better conveyed via a postcard, letter, or self-mailer? Format is important because it dictates the amount of copy and images you can fit onto your piece. If your goal is to provide plenty of detail about your products or services, a larger piece like a self-mailer might be the best choice. On the other hand, if you just want to announce a sale or provide a few coupons, a postcard is probably your best bet. PrimeNet has several customizable options for you to choose from depending on what your needs are.
Organize your information effectively.
You want your direct mail piece to flow and be easy to understand. It should make sense. All of your coupons should be in one spot, and contact info in another spot. Generally, each type of information should have it’s own section of the mail piece. If a customer wants to contact your business, they should be able to easily find your contact information without searching too hard.
Use effective and quality imagery.
The design elements that you choose to use should be of high quality and purpose. Don’t just put a picture on the piece for no reason. Any images you decide to add should be related to your business in some way. Additionally, you want to make sure that your images are of good quality. This includes things like: high resolution, good lighting, and being in focus. It’s also generally a good idea to choose photographs with a background that isn’t busy. If you choose to put text on top of an image, you want to place the text in a way in which it can still be easily read. This is most well done on top of a solid background.
Design with purpose.
Finally, make sure that your design elements serve a purpose. If you use decorative swooshes or bursts of color, use them to draw the eye to an important piece of information. Every single item on your direct mail piece should have a reason for being there. Without having purpose, these design elements can end up just making the piece too busy and far too difficult to easily understand your message.