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'm an amateur photographer in Brooklyn. My neighbors love my Brownstone neighborhood photos, and this year I took the leap and started a small greeting card business using my photos! At first, the process seemed intimidating, but the customer service at Modern made it easy. I used the phone and email for help, and everyone was very nice, professional and supportive. The finished product speaks for itself...the cards are gorgeous! I am using them for my personal holiday cards, as well as selling them online and in small local businesses. I can't wait to prepare my second set of photo cards with Modern Postcard.
Edie Hoffmann