Effective Color Usage in Direct Mail Marketing

Effective-Color-Usage-in-Direct-Mail-MarketingColors demand attention. If images are printed only in black and white, viewers tend to lose interest quickly. However, color  employed effectively makes people more likely to stop  and take notice.

Color’s powerful effect on people is an important consideration forany marketing plan—no less in direct mail marketing. Color can make the difference whether your mailing is read or thrown away.

Color Use Tips

The psychology of color is the power behind color use in marketing. People react to different colors with specific emotions. While there is  variance — individuals react to their favorite color uniquely—common color responses can assist businesses in their marketing plan. Studies of marketing and branding show 90% of snap judgments are based on color. Based on that alone, you cannot afford to ignore color in marketing.

Determining which colors to use requires assessment of the emotions you want your mailing to evoke. Each color has its own sentiment. For example, yellow is considered youthful and the happiest of colors, and blues tend to be perceived as comforting. Doing research on the emotions tied to particular colors will help make decisions easier. Two basics to keep in mind are the typical feelings evoked by the two main color families.

  • Cool tones are relaxing. Blues, purples, natural greens, and neutrals (i.e., grays) are calming. They inspire peace, strength and thoughtfulness. If your business is typified by these emotions, this is the color scheme to focus on.
  • Warm tones are energizing. Reds, oranges, and yellows are exciting and energizing. These colors are bright, cheerful and even passionate. A business that is active or even youthful should consider these hues.

Consider the colors used in each letter or postcard you send. What emotional message are you conveying through color?

One warning—more is not necessarily better and may add expense. Check with your printer to learn cost-effective ways to use color. Here are a few approaches they may suggest:

  • Colored paper or envelopes. Grab readers’ attention with colored paper or envelopes. Typically, this is less expensive than printing with more colored ink. Be careful which colors and shades you use, though. Text can be hard to read when printed on certain colors and may run afoul of USPS mailing requirements.
  • Colored heading only. Instead of printing the entire mailing in bright colors, focus on just one part, such as the heading. Color at the top of the page will attract attention without costing as much as a mailing printed entirely in color.
  • Postcards. If you decide you do want color on the entire mailing, save costs in other ways. Postcards are less expensive to mail and take less paper. You will also enjoy the added bonus that a postcard has a higher chance of being read as there is no envelope to open.

Direct Mail Best Practices