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Direct Mail: Creative Dos and Don'ts

By Javier Canez, Lead Graphic Designer for Modern Postcard

When it comes to your direct mail campaign, one of the hardest obstacles may be deciding what creative to include on your mail piece. While everyone has their own idea of what's cool, here are a few ideas for what works:

  • Keep your customers in mind. Design that appeals to you may not resonate with your customers. Disregarding your recipient can often lead to lackluster returns.
  • Humor is a great way to go as long as the joke is quickly and easily understandable. And unless you're ready to take the heat, steer clear of controversial or offensive subjects.
  • The offer is the most important element of direct mail, not the creative. Make sure the creative supports the offer by making it easy for people to find and understand.
  • Leave space for the address. We see issues with this all the time, but there are postal regulations on where to leave open space to address the mailer. If you don't take this into account, mailers may not reach your recipients. Click here for more info.
  • Don't get too crazy with fonts. Just like the web, you only have a few seconds to catch someone's eye. Don't waste those precious seconds forcing the recipient to figure out what your card is even saying.

The biggest thing to remember is that your card is supposed to motivate your recipients to act, to respond, to be your next sale. The creative should supplement your message, not hinder it.

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I am very pleased with my most recent job from Modern Postcard. Even tho' I sent what were probably confusing instructions and substandard images, the layout, design, color, and printing results were excellent. Job was done on time and shipped to me immediately, so I was able to meet a mailing deadline. I will continue to use Modern Postcard's services, because nobody else I have tried comes even close to their quality and reliability. I have already received lots of compliments on the most recent card. I highly recommend Modern Postcard, especially for people in the arts, where quality of image counts for a lot.
Martha Daniels Ceramics