If it sells, it is creative. This, in essence, is the first rule of direct mail design, according to legendary designer and author, David Ogilvy. But what sells? Here are a few tips to keep in mind when designing your next direct mail marketing piece:
- The basics are in your mailbox.
When you need inspiration, just go to your own personal direct mail idea vault... your mailbox! You probably receive tons of good direct mail each year. Set aside packages that catch your eye. The companies mailing these have spent thousands of dollars researching the best methods. Why not learn from their research?
- Always try to beat your previous response rate.
Play around with the design before sending the mailing out again. See if minor changes make a significant difference in the response rate. Send out different versions of your design to similar groups in your database, and test to see which one results in the most responses. Whatever you do, test it, and then test it again!
- Use words that grab the reader's attention.
Here is a recent list of "Words that Grab Attention," produced by Starch INRA Hooper Research Worldwide:
Announcing / Discover / Easy / Exclusive / Free / Guarantee / Health / Help / Immediately / Introducing / Know / Learn / Love / Money / New / Now / Powerful / Profits / Protect / Proven / Results / Safe / Save / Secret(s) / Today / Trust / Understand / You
As you design the mailer, remember... have fun!