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2020 Direct Mail Marketing Beginner’s Guide, Part 4: Designing Mail Pieces

By: Andrew Glover
March 9, 2020

Design plays a crucial role when it comes to creating a great direct mail piece. Designing direct mail involves more than just colors and imagery. A practical design guides your prospects and members through your advertisement and drives home your marketing message in a visually appealing manner. A great design also adheres to your brand standards and helps you establish a cohesive brand image that’s easily recognizable.

In this beginner’s guide, we’ll review the essential steps in creating an excellent mail piece. When creating your piece or working with a company that’s designing it for you, you will find valuable direct mail design tips to improve your communications.

Pinpoint Your Audience

You will want to pinpoint your audience before designing a direct mail marketing campaign. Geo-targeting, also known as location-based marketing, allows you to segment your target market based on where your prospects live. Marketing to prospects using geo-targeting data is an excellent way for you to start personalizing your message. After selecting your audience, you can narrow down what type of format will work best.

Choose The Right Format

Choosing the right format is one of the first steps in designing a mail piece. You have many formats to choose from, including postcards, letters, and brochures. The format is essential because it dictates the amount of copy and images you can fit onto your piece. If your goal is to provide an abundance of detail about your products and services, a larger mail piece like a brochure or letter package may be the best choice. If you only want to make a small announcement, a postcard might be your best option.

It’s also crucial for you to consider the reaction you want your prospects to have when they open their mailbox. Usually, the larger the mail piece, the more significant the impact. For instance, using a large postcard to make an announcement is more likely to grab your prospects’ attention than a small flyer.

The Message and Headline

A focused and compelling message and headline helps you cut through the clutter. Use a compelling, bold headline that tells your story and puts your offer out there. Keep the headline short and specific. If you are mailing in an envelope, place your headline message on the envelope and repeat it in the letter or brochure. Using subheads is a great idea, too, because you can easily guide your reader through the text. The subheads help highlight your most important points.

Always Personalize

Personalization is what makes your mail piece stand out from others. The first personalization step is addressing the piece to the right person. Spelling someone’s name correctly can have a significant impact. You can also tie what’s in the package to your message. Don’t send something random. Then give the prospect the next step. Once they open the package, it’s their move next. Let them know what you want them to do, like visiting your website or requesting them to call your organization.

There are several don’ts for you to keep in mind with direct mail and personalization as well. Don’t do a one and done marketing effort. No matter how clever your mailing is, remember that frequency matters. Plan a series and send personalized messages on a regular schedule. Also, teaser campaigns only work if you pay off the tease quickly. Don’t let a coy message play out too far. Make sure your audience knows who the piece is from and what you want them to do next.

The Body Text and Your Offer

Be clear and avoid jargon in the body of your text. An upfront message makes it easier for prospects to quickly read the highlights. For your offer, clarity is the key. Make sure your offer stands out and is compelling. Remember your audience and what they find enticing. Make your offer appropriate and persuasive to your target audience.

Designing Mail Pieces with Valtim

Valtim can help your organization design its next direct mail piece. We understand that every aspect of the design is critical, including choosing your audience, format, and writing a personalized message. We offer many beneficial and helpful personalization options, and we can help find your ideal audience using geo-targeting technology.

Contact Valtim to get started with designing your next mail piece now.

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