Six ways design can make your direct marketing more compelling

Direct marketing (DM) can be a useful way to communicate with your target audience, convincing them to take action. Direct marketing needs to be compelling to deliver strong results.

Graphic design is critical to the effectiveness of direct marketing. To cut through the clutter, it’s vital to make sure that your piece stands out with clear messaging, good branding and intelligent design.

While the specifics of each campaign will help determine its likelihood of success, there are six key ways you can use design to make sure your DM is successful:

1. engage the right audience

Design can tell the reader a lot about a brand.  People often make snap decisions about brands based on their look and feel. A particular colour scheme or font can make a potential customer decide that your brand is not for them.

For example, if you’re targeting an audience of wealthy retirees it makes more sense to include muted shades of blue and green with a clear, easy-to-read font and an uncluttered design. If the audience is younger, tech-savvy professionals then brighter colours and more detailed images may have better cut-through.

2. have a clear, engaging call to action

If you don’t clearly tell your target audience what you want them to do then your communication has been wasted.

If you want them to call for more information, enter a competition or attend a VIP sales event then it is absolutely vital that this is the strongest message they take away.

3. make your contact details prominent

Many DM pieces include the company contact details in tiny print in a hard-to-find place. This makes it difficult for your customers to contact you. Instead, make your contact details clear and easy to find.

4.reinforce your message through design

A DM piece is a chance to communicate with your target audience so you want your message to be clear and compelling. Too much information on a page can make it difficult to look at.  Keep it simple.

Having a great design that stands out and also works to reinforce your message is essential to DM success. Make sure you follow basic design rules, but don’t be afraid to get creative.

5. keep it consistent with other collateral

Continually build your brand’s profile in the minds of your target audience is an important part of direct marketing. Even if they’re not ready to respond to your call to action this time, they may be ready once they’ve heard from you a few times.

If your DM pieces don’t have a consistent look and feel, then your target audience may not realise the pieces are from the same organisation. The cumulative effect of the communication is lost. Even if the piece catches their eye, if it’s not connected to your brand then you may still lose the opportunity to convert them.

6. avoid standard or one-size-fits-all formats

There are plenty of templates around for websites and lots of direct mail uses a standard DL-size format to make it easy for delivery. Unfortunately uniformity makes it difficult for brands to stand out from each other.

Consider using a different size or shape to make your piece stand out from the others. While the cost may be slightly higher upfront, the results may be stronger, giving a good return on investment.

Good design can make or break a direct marketing campaign. Getting the message right is vital, however it risks being overlooked if you don’t capture their attention in the first place.

If you would like to know more about how our design team can help you contact Adam Benson on 02 9252 2266.