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Design Your Direct Mail for “Wow!”

What do all great direct mail pieces have in common? They engage people’s curiosity from the moment the mail piece gets into their hands. Here are five tips for capturing readers’ attention as soon as they open the mailbox.

 

  1. Know your corners. On a mail piece, the upper right-hand corner is where our eyes go first. Use this location to place teaser copy or compelling data such as “99% customer satisfaction rate!” It’s a secret that all highly effective catalogers know — and now you know it, too. 
  1. De-clutter. When the layout is cluttered, it’s hard for people to focus on any one thing. Use white space to draw the eye and make information easy to absorb. Instead of heavy blocks of text, use bulleted or numbered lists.  
  1. Tap psychology. Have you ever heard of techniques such as the Zeigarnik Effect, Von Restorff Effect, or Noble Edge Effect? These techniques use brain science to capture attention and engage your audience.
    • The Zeigarnik Effect is when information is left unfinished. Leave people hanging, and they feel compelled to open…
    • The Van Restorff Effectis the use of content that is out of place to capture attention. Old Spice used this to significant effect with its “Smell Like a Man” campaign.
    • The Noble Edge Effecttaps people’s desire to be associated with positive social or environmental causes.
  1. Let customers sell for you. People trust other shoppers more than they do marketers, so use customer testimonials to let other buyers promote your product. Use QR Codes or AR to bring those endorsements to life by taking shoppers directly to mobile video.
  1. Create a great CTA. How many direct mail pieces have unfulfilled potential because someone forgot to include a call to action (CTA)? Don’t assume that readers will automatically know what you want them to do. Add urgency or additional value by giving a deadline, offering an extra discount for early response, or providing other motivators to encourage people to respond right away.

Want more ideas for great direct mail design that gets results? Let’s talk.

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