August 27, 2015

How to design bad direct mail for your organization

Filed under: Marketing & Promotion — lidia @ 10:00 am

How to design bad direct mail

Direct mail has been declining in popularity—which means it’s a great time for your organization to take advantage of it (your piece is sure to stand out).

Being a marketing designer, I can’t help but analyze the direct mail that hits my mailbox. Below are some of my “don’ts”—and ways to make your direct mail more successful.

Direct mail DON’Ts, i.e. pieces that go straight to my recycling bin:

  1. No return address: Who is this coming from? Why should I open it?
  2. Generic content: How does this relate to me? Why would I buy this?
  3. Poor design: This seems like a no-brainer to a designer such as myself, but trust me: good design sells.
  4. Cheap paper: If you’re spending the money on printing, please use a nice, heavyweight paper*—especially if your piece is targeted to creative people (we’re a finicky bunch!)
  5. No design: I’ve received direct mail that resembles an office memo, 2 pages typed and stapled together. If you are reaching out to me, at least make it interesting to read.
  6. Too many mailings: A weekly postcard is not necessary. Save your dollars and send to a small, targeted list.

*No neon shades of copy paper, please!

Direct mail DOs, i.e. pieces that encourage me to take action:

  1. Simple yet eye-catching design and layout
  2. Well-written content that I can relate to
  3. A multi-channel campaign: a postcard followed up with a corresponding email
  4. Unique format or size: i.e. an interesting fold, square or oversized**
  5. An offer I can relate to or take advantage of
  6. A personal note or handwritten message that conveys a personal touch

**Make sure to check postal requirements

Don’t have an in-house team to give your direct mail the love it deserves? We would love to help your next direct mail campaign achieve results!