Drive Rapid Response to Your Direct Mail: 10 Pro Tips

Ever tried to talk on the phone while driving through thick traffic?

As much as we seek to multi-task, the truth is humans are finite. People juggle busy schedules and noisy lives, feeling overwhelmed constantly. In today’s information overload culture, generating a timely response to your direct mail marketing might be one of the hardest tasks around.

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The good news? Print postcards and mailers can help you accelerate your message and break away from the pack. When you take to the mailbox, here are 10 tools to prompt quick, profitable action:

1. Use clear, scannable content.

Use well-organized information so people grasp key ideas in a glance.

2. Feature action colors.

Red, black, and yellow accents grab attention and signify urgency.

3. Try arrows or creative text boxes.

Surrounding a product with graphic callouts can help readers absorb details quickly.

4. Use easy-to-read font.

If you want fast action, prioritize legibility above style.

5. Prominently highlight contact information.

Looking for a quick response? Be sure the phone number and URL are easy to find. For print campaigns, including a business reply card consistently brings a bump in sales.

6. Label photos.

When using photos, put captions directly under the image so people know exactly what they’re looking at.

7. Communicate urgency.

Direct mail usually doesn’t hang around for more than 48 hours. Tell people what you want them to do and why they should do it NOW.

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8. Test the variables.

Changing the size, color, or content of your mailer can offset list fatigue. Try changing just one element at a time so you can track the difference in response rates. If a new package brings in more money, you’ll know what’s working.

9. Add next steps for interested prospects.

A lack of helpful information can make your piece irrelevant. Use 1-2-3 action items, QR codes, or sidebars to help people find more information or move toward a point of sale.

10. Test and steal.

Need inspiration? Join lots of direct mail lists to see what’s working for others!

When surveying your finished product, ask yourself this question: Can people really understand the message without reading the body copy from start to finish?

If they can, you probably have a winner!

Information Design Workbook, Revised and Updated: Graphic Approaches, Solutions, and Inspiration + 30 Case Studies

by Kim Baer

Information Design Workbook, Revised and Updated takes a methodical, comprehensive, approach to conveying the fundamentals of effective, innovative information design. With loads of new case studies demonstrating the latest approaches, you'll learn about the history, theory, criticism, technology and media, process, method, and practice of information design, as well as learn how to create visually compelling and meaningful graphics.