Guidelines for a Successful Direct Mail Campaign
Creating a successful direct mail campaign is not something that is achieved by accident or luck. It comes from understanding your customer, understanding your offer, and understanding how design principles can connect the two.
- An offer. This could be an announcement of a new product, a coupon for a service, an invitation to an event, or any other message. This is the purpose of the material and everything on the piece – the words, colors, images, layout, etc. – should support and reinforce this message.
- Enough information for the customer to accept the offer. You don’t have to list every detail about your company or product, but you should include enough information that the customer can decide whether or not to take additional action, whether that action is going to the website for more information or going to the store to buy the product. The information should focus on how the offer benefits the customer, how it solves a need they have.
- A way to respond to the offer. This will depend on what the call to action is, but include listing a phone number to call, an RSVP card to mail in, a catalog to order from, a coupon to take to the store, or any other information or materials that the customer will need to accept the offer.
The message, design, and delivery of the material should work together to attract your customer’s attention enough that they will stop what they are doing and actually read what you have written. Remember that you only have a few seconds to catch the customer’s attention, so the first thing the customer sees has to entice them to learn more. Eye-catching images, bold text, and an intriguing message can help your flyer or brochure gain a second look and lead the customer to take action.
Surprise your customers, don’t confuse them.
Using unexpected images, bold headlines, and other eye-catching devices can encourage a customer to pay more attention to your material. But don’t mess too much with the order and layout that they are expecting or they won’t be able to follow the message. The exception to this rule is if you are intentionally trying to throw the customer for a loop to get their attention. Just make sure you are doing it on purpose and that appeal of the unique is greater (in the customer’s mind) than the inconvenience of dealing with the unusual.
Make Them Care
Everything you present in your communications with your customers should focus on their needs and how what you are offering can solve their needs. Use words and images that resonate with them and colors and designs that will help them identify with your company and the action you want them to take.
Communicate a Unified Message
Designers and copywriters should work together to create all marketing materials so that the text and the images work together to convey one focused message. Photos should support the copy and convey the benefits that your product or service offers. Headlines and body text should be carefully written to quickly and accurately communicate the main message.