There are many elements that affect the success of a direct mail pitch. Sure, the writing needs to be top-notch and snappy, but one thing often overlooked is a visual component. Why not get the proverbial thousand word value with a picture?
The trouble with print is that a picture can also be worth a thousand dollars. In order to use direct mail appropriately, the cost of print and mail needs to be carefully calculated. Obviously, all-text direct mailers are going to be cheaper than ones with visual aspects, but direct mail with visual tends to be more eye-grabbing and does increase the chance of the reader engaging with your piece. Below are tips for how to best use visual elements in your direct mail:
- Use color. Did you know that 90% of snap judgment is based on color? We’ve written about this before, but consider investing in colored envelopes and paper. After all, a blue envelope on the desk of your lead is going to pique more interest than the standard white. The majority of the time, it’s also not much more of an investment.
- Keep in mind that the list is still the most important thing. While marketers frequently perceive copy as the most important thing in direct marketing, the client often has a very different perception. The number one component of success in direct marketing is actually the list of clients you’re targeting, not what you’re writing or the pictures in your pitch. While you’ll want good content, put the majority of your time into an appropriately targeted list.
- Connect your direct mail and online marketing schema with design elements. If you’re having a hard time coming up with visual ideas for your direct mail, take a look at what’s going on in your internet marketing. It’s becoming more common to connect direct mail with online marketing, and this is a great way to expand brand presence easily. Plus, it means you don’t have to come up with an entirely new visual strategy for your direct mail; you’ve already done the heavy lifting!
- Don’t forget about cartoons. Cartoons have been effective in marketing for years. Think of children’s breakfast cereals for a potent example of how pervasive cartoons can be in marketing. Of course, if your company has an extremely serious branding presence, it’s unlikely that wacky cartoons are going to work for you. But if your brand is more fun and lighthearted, having cartoon mascots or another cartoon presence is a great way to incorporate visuals into direct mail.
- Photography is also an option. You will need to consult with your printing service and make sure you have images that are high-enough quality for print (most images you get from the internet are far too low-quality for this), but photography can be a stunning way to make your direct mail stand out from the pack.
Visuals can be costly and tricky, but are extremely powerful tools for direct mail marketing when used appropriately.