How to Choose Colors that Work Best in Direct Mail


How-to-Choose-Colors-that-Work-Best-in-Direct-MailTo deliver the response you want, every piece of your advertising needs to have the right elements: persuasive copy, a visually appealing design, and the right combination of fonts and colors. The right color often convinces prospects to try new products, while the wrong color makes prospects reluctant to read your promotional materials. Use the principles of color psychology to determine which colors you should use in each of your advertisements or direct mail campaigns.

Psychology of Color

It takes a potential customer about 90 seconds to form an opinion about a product. Some customers spend around 80 of those 90 seconds focusing on the color of the item. As a result, you have to choose the right color and use it at the right time. Not every color is right for every audience, so make sure you define your target audience before you create an advertisement or mailing.

Colors That Convert

Color appeals to our emotions and different shades trigger different emotions in people of all ages. The right color for your direct mail design depends on the feelings you want to evoke. These are the colors that work, and the reasons why they do:

Red: This color is associated with passion and love, so it makes sense to use red in an advertisement for a romantic restaurant or a product designed for two people to use together.

Orange: Created by a blend of red and yellow, orange indicates a wide range of emotions:

  • Golden orange is often used in promotions related to wisdom or wealth.
  • Dark orange can evoke feelings of distrust, so avoid using this color in your advertising campaigns.

Yellow: This color is ideal if you want to create feelings of joy when people read your promotional materials.

Green: Aqua and olive green are soothing colors that often evoke feelings of peace, protection, or emotional healing. Dark green is associated with jealousy and greed; use this color sparingly if you want to evoke positive emotions. Green is ideal for direct mail related to healthy food or the safety of medical products.

Blue: This shade is commonly used in direct mail campaigns and advertisements. Blue suppresses the appetite, so avoid using it if you are trying to promote cooking products, foods, or beverages.

Men tend to respond well to the color blue, so use blue liberally if your campaign is aimed at male customers. If your audience is made up of women, use light purple to attract attention.

Bright shades of purple are ideal for promoting children’s products.

Black and White: These two colors have different connotations, so use them wisely:

  • White is usually associated with purity or innocence, making it ideal for nonprofit mailings. Many people associate white with the medical field, so it’s also a good color for promoting medical facilities, medical services, or healthy foods.
  • Black usually has a negative connotation. Although it is associated with power and mystery, many people also see the color black as a symbol of death. Avoid using black backgrounds for your direct mail design; this makes it difficult for prospects to read your text.

Design Principles

Not only do you need to choose the right colors for your direct mail campaigns to rock the mailbox, you also need to use them in the right combinations. Avoid putting yellow or purple text on a green background, or you risk making the advertisement virtually unreadable. If you use a white background, choose a dark font for the text. Don’t mix more than two or three colors in the same advertisement.

Good copy is essential for direct mail success, but the colors you use also affect conversions. Take time at the beginning of a project to choose the right color scheme. The right combination of colors will help you persuade more people to buy your product or sign up for your service.

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