It’s a LIE!
Despite the ease of publishing and distributing information via the internet, direct mail is definitely not dead. In fact, used well direct mail has the potential to generate a very healthy ROI. You just need to know how to bring your concept to life in a way that excites your customers. Here’s how…
- Be Clear On Your Brief -
Great direct mail starts with your brief. Remember;
Your thought process needs to start with a sound understanding of your target market, as this will provide the insights you need to structure an appropriate message. Only then can you figure out the best medium. For example, could your message fit onto a postcard? Or do you need to provide more detailed information in which case a sales letter with supporting inserts will work harder.
- Insist On Design That Enhances Readability -
For sure you want your design to look good, but don’t mistake prettiness for effectiveness. The first job of your design is to sell – not look nice. And remember, the most brilliantly crafted sales message will fall flat if the design sucks. Design and copy support and enhance each other, and good print design has the potential to massively increase the readability and stickability of your message.
THE STARTING POINT IS YOUR HEADLINE.
Your headline must attract your target audience’s attention and encourage them to start reading. It means your headline must be dead easy to read and often the most prominent feature on your page. You’ll also want to consider typography. There are some fonts that are a big no no – some because they’re not legible and others because they convey the wrong tone. Similarly, your colour scheme is just as critical. Whilst colour is more expensive to print, you get more creative freedom and can make a stronger visual impact than black and white. But get the balance right. Too much colour and your marketing will become confusing and glaring rather than clear and compelling.
- Get Things In The Right Place -
As a rule, your reader’s eyes will scan your direct mail in a predictable way. And that means your layout is super-important. In fact, one of the key jobs of your designer is to take your raw files and position your wording and images for maximum impact.
• End a page with an unfinished sentence so readers have to turn over
• Add testimonials in a different font to make them stand out
• Place captions under images to draw attention to something of special importance
And don’t forget the white space – pack in too much content, and instead of clarity you’ll create confusion.
- Personalise It -
Your reader’s name is one of the most powerful pieces of information that you possess. That’s because it’s very hard to ignore something if it’s directly addressed to you. A generic salutation screams sales pitch, whereas a proper name is far more personal and intimate and helps to make a better impression as your reader starts to interact with your message. So it’s arrived on your customer’s doormat – but will it even get opened? We’ve become finely tuned to know what “junk mail” looks like and anything that falls into that category often heads straight to the recycling bin. So as well as standing out for all the right reasons, you also need to give serious thought to your envelope choice and design. In addition, consider making your mail piece “lumpy” by including a secret insert. It will stoke your reader’s curiosity and increase your open rate.
- Consider Your Print Quality -
For sure budget is important, but be careful of cutting quality corners to save a few quid. Instead decide what impression you want your letter to make and ensure its look and feel supports that. For example, if you’re selling a high end, high value product, it’s short-sighted to post 2nd class on cheap paper. The message is incongruent and you’ll struggle to get your reader to trust you. In addition, make sure you’re tracking the right figures. Cost per item is not as useful as cost per lead or sale. Sometimes spending that little bit more on an additional insert, or a bespoke envelope design can make all the difference to your ROI. Direct mail is a hugely important marketing pillar. In fact, get it right and you’ll create a valuable piece of marketing collateral that you can use again and again.
Get Thinking And Printing!