Graphic Design and Direct Mail Marketing

Direct mail marketing continues to be a favorite promotional method.  It’s easy to see why.  Empirical data verifies its success, it’s relatively inexpensive to implement and it provides excellent tracking data from which a smart marketer can calculate real return on investment.

Direct mail marketing works only when the targeted recipient looks at the materials.  Research has demonstrated that a direct mail piece needs to entice the reader from the beginning.  If it falls flat and fails to draw the recipient’s attention, it won’t produce results.

That’s why quality graphic design should be a component of any serious direct mail marketing strategy.  The inclusion of appropriate graphics and smart design will beautify the mailing and will attract attention in ways even a great headline can’t.

Recipients are often inundated with incoming direct mail.  In order to stand a chance, your piece must trigger an immediate interest in the materials.  Copywriters have honed their skills and refined their approaches to direct mail in order to produce the best possible results, but the words on the page can only go so far.  In the words of the oft-repeated old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words”.  Graphics can make a monumental difference in response.

Use of corporate identity graphics and carefully crafted design has other advantages, too.  It inspires a level of comfort and a sense of legitimacy, which can produce a marked hop in conversions.  They use good structure and appearance to attract attention.  They also aid in the effort to build brand awareness.

If you’re sending out a mailing without a graphical component, you’re invariably losing ground to those who know better.  Direct mail experts are growing increasingly aware that the visuals accompanying text can have a profound impact on response rates.  Your competition may already be making use of graphics and design strategies that go beyond the traditional direct mailing “look”.

Carefully evaluate the next piece of copy you plan to use for direct mailing.  Now, consider what that message might look like if you freshened it with a professional design facelift and appropriate graphics.  How do you think performance would compare?

In almost every case, you’ll be able to sense the opportunity for improved results.

The days of sending a “plain Jane” letter on a sheet of white paper are behind us.  Today, you’re best bet of generating optimal results will involve the use of graphics and professional design elements to your direct mail outreach.

If you’re not convinced, run a few tests.  Send a portion of your list a standard mailing.  Offer the visually improved version to another segment.  Compare response rates and return on investment.  You’ll soon be making graphics and superior design regular considerations as you develop future mailings.