We’ve talked before about the importance of good design when it comes to your direct mail package (whether that’s a flier, an envelope mailing or a postcard mailing). In direct mail circles, it’s been pretty commonly accepted for years that the design of your mailing can be responsible for as much as 20 percent of its success. That’s a significant impact.
It’s also why choosing the right graphic designer for your mailing is so important. The most successful direct mail packages aren’t just attractive—they’re effective. You don’t want prospects to frame the postcard you send them—you want them to call you or visit your website. A good direct mail designer understands that.
Another thing a qualified direct mail graphic designer understands is that what appears on his or her computer screen is not necessarily what the prospect receives in the mail. Using reversed type (such as white type on a black background) may look dramatic and eye-catching on a large, backlit computer screen (showing at 200% of original size), but what does it look like on a 4.25-by-6-inch postcard that’s been through a sorting machine at the USPS?
Most designers will tell you that “white space” is key in design, but sometimes barcodes and space for recipients’ addresses eat up that white space—leaving the mailer looking crowded and difficult to read.
Then, of course, designers have to deal with the infamous USPS requirements and specifications. An uninitiated designer might opt for an unusual shape or size or color scheme in the interest of catching the potential customer’s attention (which makes sense from a design point of view). But if those choices violate USPS regulations, you could pay a hefty surcharge—or even have your mailing rejected completely.
So what should you look for in a graphic designer for your direct mail campaigns? Make sure you hire someone who understands that the goal of the design isn’t just to look good and get noticed, but also to get people to respond. Look for a designer who understands the need to work (creatively) within USPS requirements. And keep in mind that flashy direct mail projects may win awards, but effective campaigns win customers!