Essential Direct Mail Design Tips and Ideas

The USPS processed and delivered 509 million pieces of mail. That translates to 21.2 million pieces of mail per day and 353,000 per minute. Simply put, the USPS handles 47% of the world’s mail.

You may be wondering how businesses are able to convert prospects into buying customers with direct mail. Well, it’s no secret; the success of direct mail marketing is all about sending the right piece, to the right prospect, at the right time. But how do you get noticed in the mail box? Standing out in the mail is all about the use of impactful images with a strong Call to Action on your piece. And if you can add in personalization in your direct mail design, that will help you stand out amongst the competition!

In this post, we highlight essential direct mail design tips and ideas that will help increase your response rates.

Email marketing concept with businessman touching a mail button to send a message to a list of customers

Keep Your Brand and Design Consistent

Your postcard is a gateway to interacting with your customers. If you want them to take action – buy your products – you need to build trust immediately. How do you go about this?

By maintaining consistency in your brand and design.

When you do so, you promote bonding and familiarity between your brand and your consumers. Not only that, you reassure your customers that they are dealing with the same brand.  You want to create brand awareness and stay top of mind.

To achieve consistency, pay attention to the design and conceptualization phases. That means maintaining the brand message, color scheme, and other elements.

Understand What Your Consumers Want

If you don’t know what your audience is looking for, it is difficult to design postcards that will achieve a high response rate. You want your postcards to be relevant to your audience so making sure the design of the piece and offer speak to your prospect is very important.  Remember, when you target a specific audience with your direct mail piece, you are positioning your business as the go-to location for customers to find and buy the products they need.

So profiling your current customers and identifying the right target audience for your marketing message is key to setting up a successful campaign.  If you are unsure where to start, work with a reputable data company and they will help you find the right target market.

Understanding what your customers want and making sure your direct mail piece is designed accordingly is key.

Use Pre-Built Direct Mail Templates

Want to entice your airline passengers with a printable paper plane? How about using a briefcase design to entice business travelers? Want to celebrate the anniversary of your loyal customer or Christmas?

You can achieve this with a pre-built direct mail marketing templates.

A quick search on Pinterest will reveal hundreds of designs for your target audience. For instance, you can choose a coffee cup in a box as an appreciation gift. You can also use a brochure or a loft cube design.  Again, it’s about being relevant to your target market and speaking to them with your marketing message.

With pre-built designed templates, you get to save time and money. The templates are designed by professional direct mail designers. As such, you can achieve a higher response rate if sent to your target audience.

Use White Space Effectively

Adding white space to your direct mail design emphasizes the important sections. Also, it helps to organize your elements helping you avoid overcrowding design elements.

For instance, you can add white space between your logo and brand name or CTA. Here is a simple trick to utilizing your white space well.  Divide your layout into four parts – header, body, call to action and image. The header should be clear and attention-grabbing. For the body, it should have the important details. For your call to action, use an accent color to ensure it stands out.  The Image is the most important part of your direct mail design. Use high resolutions images that are simple and colorful.

Direct Mail Design Tips for Your Business

There are more direct mail design tips to keep in mind. After designing your postcard or brochure, proofread it. Also, give it to others to proofread your design. You can request your employees, your family or co-workers to do so.  Better yet, ask some of your existing clients if your design would get them to respond!  You are trying to find like customers, so why not ask them what would make them want to do business with you.

Their opinion will help you to create effective designs and campaigns.

Looking for great direct mail designs for your business. We at Modern Mail & Print Solutions can help. Contact us today!

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3 Tips To Optimize Your Direct Mail Marketing Campaigns

In a digital era, it can be easy to think that direct mail and print marketing doesn’t have as much of an impact; however, this couldn’t be further from the truth. As many as 92% of shoppers say they prefer direct mail for making purchasing decisions. However, shoppers will only make those purchasing decisions if you properly optimize direct mail marketing campaigns. Use these tips to make the most of your mailing lists. They will help optimize your direct mail campaigns as much as possible.

this picture represents how to optimize direct mail marketing campaign as a concept.

3 Ways to Optimize Direct Mail Marketing Campaigns:

Remember Your Target Audience

When you’re designing your mail campaign, you’ll want to focus on the target audience. A design meant to be opened by Millennials will look different than one meant for seniors. Make your message and offer specific to your target market.  Consider what types of mail your average customer is getting on a daily basis and keep that in mind when designing. Make sure your mailing list is targeted and hitting the right prospects.  Stay focused on your preferred customers to give your campaign the best possible chance of improving your business.

Use Eye-Catching Design

One of the difficulties of direct mail marketing is it can only be effective if the intended audience opens it. If your customer recognizes it as an advertisement or something they don’t need, they’re not likely to open or ready it. Make your designs eye-catching and unique, specific to your audience with information visible that’s sure to get the attention of your consumers. This will help you stand out against standard letters, bills, and other advertisements that might end up in their mailbox.  Personalizing the direct mail with Variable Data Printing is another way to stay ahead of the competition and standing out in the mail box.

Integrate Online Resources

Utilizing digital technology with your direct mail can be one of the most useful tools available to optimize your campaign.  Leveraging Personalized URL’s, QR codes and Informed Delivery with your mail campaigns provides a coordinated omni-channel experience to enhance your marketing.  This gives customers multiple ways to respond to your offers. Plus, it allows them to respond how they want and when they want to your direct mail piece.  Making things easy and seamless for the prospect is the best way to increase response rates!

Direct mail marketing is still be incredibly effective, even in the new digital era. Making use of these tips will help you optimize your direct mail campaigns to draw in as many new customers as possible. For more information, contact Modern Mail and Print Solutions today.

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What Is The Difference Between Direct Mail and Email Marketing?

Do you know the difference between direct mail and email marketing? Have you ever received a coupon, discount offer, or information on an upcoming sale in your mailbox? Or perhaps you prefer finding out about discounts via email promotions. In either case, you were the target of a marketing campaign designed to get you in the store. Today, email marketing and direct mail are two of the most popular forms of consumer marketing. Yet, many people don’t really understand these techniques. In this post, we will explain how these marketing methods work and how they might benefit you.

a graphic representing the different between direct mail and email marketing

Difference Between Direct Mail and Email Marketing:

What is Direct Mail and Email Marketing?

Direct mail encompasses a wide variety of marketing materials, including brochures, catalogs, postcards, newsletters, print services, and sales letters.  This marketing mean goes out via the postal system targeting either current customers, past customers or potential prospects that would utilize your services. The most effective direct-mail pieces often feature discounts and coupons for consumers.
Email marketing involves sending a mass commercial message, usually to a group of people that have shopped for your service before, using email. Email marketing includes using email to send advertisements, request business, or solicit sales or donations.

Direct mail vs. Email marketing

We typically look at a new email for just two seconds. Because of the sheer volume of emails in our inbox and advertisements on the web, digital messages can be slightly less memorable than print messages. Brand recall directly after seeing a digital ad is just 44%, in comparison to direct mail which has a brand recall of 75%. Although the US Post Office has increased postage costs over recent years, there are Drop Ship services available to save on bulk mailings that make direct mail very cost effective. Plus Print Services and Mail Services have dropped throughout the past few years due to advancements in presses and efficiencies making direct mail more affordable.  Email marketing might be cheaper to facilitate and might get a higher response rate of opens. But direct mail has proven to generate a larger return on investment.

Benefits of Direct Mail marketing

Direct Mail is the only marketing mean that allows businesses to target a specific type of prospect and hit them at their home or business with a marketing message knowing that it has been received. Other Marketing means like Radio, TV and Email marketing are all effective marketing methods but there is never a guarantee that your prospect will see your message, hear it or open it due to SPAM filters and full inboxes.  In fact, Direct Mail has the perception of a more personal form of marketing. While email has the perception to be rapid and informal. Research suggests that Direct Mail is better for generating new customers. In fact, 13.8 billion letters are sent every year, 12,098,60 a day are direct mail messages created by print services. In addition, the average lifespan of direct mail is 17 days.

Benefits of Email Marketing

The average return on investment for an email is $38 for every $1 spent. Each year, 74 trillion emails are sent, and the average lifespan of an email is two seconds. Email is better for generating profit fast with Flash Sales or huger offers. Email marketing is significantly cheaper and faster than traditional mail. It can reach a very broad network of prospects, but with SPAM filters and the majority of retailors sending daily emails, a lot of them go unopened or seen.
How do you decide between direct mail print services and email marketing?  There are benefits to each and they both should be a part of your marketing strategy.  But keep in mind when sending an offer or coupon to a potential prospect, research has found that 66% of consumers are more likely to remember to use a voucher if they have a physical copy of a coupon verses an email copy.  Hopefully this cleared up many concerns when it comes to the difference between direct mail and email marketing.

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Direct Mail Marketing and Millennials: How to Make the Most of Your Campaign

There is a significant amount of debate surrounding direct mail marketing and millennials. Although the younger generation spends most of its time cavorting on digital platforms, they still very much trust direct mail marketing campaigns. In fact, a recent survey found that 90% of millennials consider direct mail advertising to be reliable. In order to fully take advantage of this, your direct mail strategies must suit their needs and interests. Let’s take a look at just how this can be done.

Group of thoughtful business millennials, analyzing a Direct Mail Marketing and Millennials campaign with eyeglasses reading documents in the office.

Direct Mail Marketing and Millennials:

  • Build A Laser-Targeted Mailing List

Gone are the days of blindly reaching for customers; in this modern era, you’ve got a lot of accurate information at your fingertips regarding demographics. By leveraging this information, you can pinpoint the right people to target for your campaign; focus on demographics, behaviors, and life events. This will help to create a campaign that is relevant and even exciting for consumers.

  • Test and Track Everything

Despite your best efforts, no campaign will be perfectly suited for every consumer out there. The key is understanding what is working the best (and what isn’t) so you can take steps toward a more impactful campaign in the future; you can do this by testing and tracking every new campaign or strategy you implement. In turn, you’ll be able to make the most out of your marketing budget and see higher returns on investments.

  • Multiply Your Touch Points

Not every plan works immediately, which is why the “3-7-27” rule of prospecting exists. If you can get your message in front of a consumer three times, they’ll be able to recall who you are; after seven times, they’ll remember you or your brand; after 27 times, they’ll trust you. As a result of this rule, it’s important that you not abandon a campaign too soon — it may end up working out a little farther down the line.

At the end of the day, the details of your mail marketing services determine how successful your campaign is. If you’re reaching the right people and are saying the right things, but you’re not keeping comprehensive data on their responses or behavior, it will be impossible to figure out what is working and what isn’t. By following the above tips, you can ensure that you’re gleaming every ounce of useful data as possible from your direct mail marketing campaign and reaching the younger generation of millennials.

Take a look at our many direct mail marketing strategies for your next millennial-driven campaign.

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Direct Mail Campaign: 3 Vital Elements For Improvement

Marketing is a complex field. Many firms have some difficulties with their direct mail campaign process. Though each individual company may have different personal goals, they all must rely on marketing campaigns — either through digital strategies, direct mail advertising, or a mix of the two — in order to successfully achieve those goals.

However, even the best attempts can go awry; direct mail marketing campaigns can miss their target, digital campaigns can get lost in the fray, and mistakes can crop up in both. These are the problems many companies face with their direct mail campaign.

Direct mail campaigns, in particular, can be more difficult because less data can be mined from their implementation; on the flipside, they are more profitable if done well due to the fact that 92% of shoppers prefer direct mail for making purchasing decisions. Rather than take another shot in the dark, consider the following vital elements of direct mail marketing campaigns.

Close-up Of Postman Hands Putting Letters View From Inside The Mailbox referencing to a direct mail campaign

Direct Mail Campaign Improvements

  • Audience

As a business, your demographic is your livelihood. In order to appeal to their needs, you must understand who they are and — more crucially — how you can get in contact with them. Make sure all of your data is up-to-date: clean up your mailing list by eliminating false addresses and continue to track purchase history and geographics so you can better target them. The more information you can collect, the more you can narrow down who they are; the more you do that, the better your response rate will be.

  • Offer

You know who they are, but what do they like? Garnering loyalty (and making sales) hinges upon what you’re willing to offer your prospective customers; if your offer does not resonate with them, they’ll find one that does elsewhere. Consider taking a look at your past strategies — what worked, what didn’t, and how they differ.

  • Design

First impressions happen in fractions of a second, but can take a lifetime to change. You’ve got a great offer — now make it look great. Pay attention to colors, layouts, and spelling! Grammatical and spelling errors can turn someone off of your company before you have a chance to get your foot in the door.

By truly understanding these elements, you can build a direct mail campaign on their solid foundation. Then, all you’ll have to do is find a reliable printing company to handle your commercial printing needs. Don’t let another campaign fall by the wayside; improve your foundation and get started with commercial printing today.

Click here to learn more about direct mail campaigns in the Tampa Bay Area. 

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Direct Mail Don’ts: 3 Things To Avoid During Your Campaign

In this digital marketing era we live in, the consumer rules. With a plethora of businesses all vying for their attention, they have the opportunity to be choosy. Marketing strategies must be well thought out or they will fall by the wayside while your competitors scramble to the top. You have to be aware of direct mail don’ts to avoid client conflict.

Direct mail marketing campaigns offer a way to give your consumers what they want — personal attention and motivation to swear fealty to your brand. Let’s take a look at three things you should not do when working on your direct mail campaign.

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Direct Mail Don’ts

  • Fail to proofread

Although you may be excited about your mail processing campaign, don’t rush things. Nothing turns a customer off more — and puts your mail in the garbage faster — than a glaring typo, noticeable formatting issue, or overall poor print quality. Before you give the go-ahead to mass produce the product, take some time to actually look at it and read it over.

  • Forget to follow up

Direct mail marketing is an easy and profitable way of getting your company’s foot in a customer’s door, but it’s going to take a little more effort to fully secure a lead. Make sure that you’re re-engaging after that initial interaction, or your consumers may lose interest and go elsewhere.

  • Ignore the Internet

As effective as direct mail can be, it shouldn’t be your only marketing strategy. We live in a digital and mobile age. Meaning nearly everyone in the world owns a cell phone, so not establishing an online presence is damaging. Find a sustainable balance between direct mail marketing and digital marketing, and you’ll be hitting customers on all fronts.

You can’t create an effective direct mail advertising scheme without a quality printing company at your disposal. By utilizing all manner of printing services and implementing a direct mail processing plan, it will be surprising at how many new leads your company receives. Approximately 90% of millennials believe that direct mail advertising is reliable; by resisting the above mistakes, you can help raise that percentage even higher.

Additional resources about our direct mail services we offer, click here.

Additional resources about what other direct mail mistakes to avoid are here. 

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Ways To Improve Your Campaign: 3 Ways for Dang Good Direct Mail

There’s no doubt that the world is changing. As technology becomes more and more pertinent, advertising campaigns have to adapt. At the same time, consumer behaviors are shifting; the demand for personalized marketing strategies is higher than ever. Making ways to improve your campaign seem difficult. If your company doesn’t incorporate both mobile and direct mail campaigns in their marketing methods, it’s only a matter of time before you fall behind the competition. Here are three ways to bring your direct mail marketing campaign into the modern era.

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Ways to Improve Your Campaign:


It takes less than a second for people to form first impressions, and often times they change. Treat the design and aesthetic of your direct mail advertising like you would your store itself; it needs to be professional but not too serious, and casual but not lazy. As with most things in life, balance is crucial to success.


Though this will be trickier for new customers, personal campaigns can greatly boost your odds of a sale. It has been statistically proven that customer experience trumps cost — try to treat your customer like an old acquaintance rather than someone with deep pockets. Collect as much information as legally possible to create an experience that is personal and unique rather than vague and generic.

Provide Value

Even the best direct mail campaigns fail if they’re not relevant to their target demographic, or if they don’t offer something useful in return. For example, people are less likely to visit your site if there’s no promotional sale currently going on. Try to focus on things that will encourage your customers to learn more about your business; the closer they get, the more likely they are to support your company.

Did you know that over 60% of direct mail recipients went on to visit a promoted website? With success like that, your company will be one step closer to domination in its field. You’ll need to find quality commercial printing services to handle the production of your direct mail campaign, and then you can truly experiment with the benefits direct mail offers.

If you’re ready to get started on a campaign of your own, contact Modern Mail and Print Solutions at 888.430.6245 for all your commercial printing needs today.

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How to Make a Millennial Direct Mail Campaign Successful

Contrary to popular belief, millennials do read direct mail. In fact, research has found that about 77% of millennials actually pay attention to direct mail advertising. But it is important to know what millennials are looking for in a direct mail campaign in order to make it successful. So if you have a direct mail campaign in mind, here are a few ways you can ensure it attracts the attention of your millennial audience. Continue reading for tip to make a millennial direct mail campaign…

Group of young people with smart phones standing in a row outdoors against a wall

Make it personal

One of the main things millennials look for in direct mail advertising is personalization. And with customers saying only 31% of the direct mail they receive incorporates useful personalized content, it’s crucial to go beyond just using their name. Putting other personal elements like a birthday coupon or their reward program balance could give you that extra edge against competitors. Working with a direct mail and printing company to create direct mail that focuses on individualism is key when trying to appeal to millennials.

Link it to digital platforms

While millennials do check and read their mail, they often put a heavier focus on online marketing. This is why combining direct mail and digital platforms could be beneficial. Direct mail should be used to lead consumers to online resources. This can be done by including links to social media and websites or even adding QR codes for increased convenience. Combining print and digital marketing tactics is a great way to get the attention of younger generations.

Use an emotional angle

Millennials are known for taking action when something is important to them. This is why more and more marketers are working with a direct mail and printing company to create campaigns. They want to make emotional appeals to their customers. Making a social statement about how the company is making an impact is a way to attract a younger audience. Pledging to make donations, talking about the support of specific causes, or even just using the right colors and pictures can make a huge difference in standing out in the pile of mail.

While millennials do read their mail, it takes a little more effort to actually catch their attention. So consider implementing one of these tips and your direct mail campaign is sure to appeal to the millennial audience.

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Color v. Black and White Printing: Which One Is Right For Your Campaign?

Selecting colors for your direct mail marketing project might be one of the most important steps in your campaign. Though you may be tempted to simply choose your brand colors, and send the job to your in house printing company of choice, proceed with caution. Continue reading to learn which method is right for you: Color v. Black and White Printing…

Color card with magnifying glass.Similar photographs from my portfolio:

Color v. Black and White Printing

Though using your brand’s colors will certainly help your audience recognize your company, sticking with the same color palette isn’t always effective. Different colors send different subtle messages, each of which can boost or hinder your campaign. In some scenarios, color printing might not even be appropriate at all– after all, black and white prints can still convey information effectively while also reducing costs.

Whatever the goal of your campaign may be, use these three tips to motivate your audience with effective color marketing:

1. Work With, Not Against, Cultural Color Signals

Every culture in the world attaches different meanings to colors. Generally, in the United States, warm colors like orange and yellow communicate fun, energy, positivity, and urgency. In comparison, cooler blues and greens communicate growth, stability, maturity, and dependability. That’s why you’ll notice banks and hospitals using blues and greens, while ice cream shops use more pinks. Consider the message you’re trying to convey, and choose a color for your mailers that support those ideas.

2. Know Your Audience

Different audiences will react differently to color messaging, and some might even respond better to black and white. After all, black and white tend to convey elegance and authority, like in a wedding invitation or a legal document. If you’re mailing documents that need to be filled out and returned, definitely opt for the cheaper and more readable black-and-white option. Most in house printing services will offer several different color and color-free printing methods to choose from.

3. Conduct Cost-Benefit Analyses

Finally, learning audiences and color theories will help your team save money during the printing process. It might make sense to impress new clients, potential donors, or other VIP audience members with full-color graphics, since these individuals are most important to sustaining your cause. However, devoted return customers, volunteers, or personal acquaintances might not need to be wooed with pretty graphics. Your team may be able to save money by communicating with these already-loyal individuals through affordable black-and-white newsletters and brochures.

Overall, about 92% of consumers say they prefer direct mail for making purchasing decisions. However, direct mail might not be quite so effective if the color scheme doesn’t make sense for your business, budget, or campaign. Use these three tips to make the right color selection for all your mailing needs.

For more information or to learn about our in house printing services, contact Modern Mail and Print Solutions today!

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The Common (And Costly) Direct Mail Mistakes You Need To Avoid

The marketing campaign of a company tends to first rely on digital marketing to get the attention of consumers, and then on direct mail marketing to rope them in. According to 92% of shoppers, direct mail is the preferred channel for making purchasing decisions. With all of that being said, it’s extremely important for your business to produce the best pieces of direct mail possible. As long as avoid these common direct mail mistakes, you’ll be firing up your offset printing machine for production in no time.

Family Making Shopping list and coupons for modern mail and direct mail

You’ve Buried The Special Offer

You hope that your customers will be happy enough to get a well-design piece of mail from you. In reality, they are almost always going to be looking for a discount or special deal above anything else. If that offer isn’t apparent from a customer’s first glance, it might go right in their garbage can. Make sure that you lead with the offer and make it the focal point of the mailer. When customers can see the deal from the start, they’ll quickly understand how they can benefit from reading your mail.

Your Mailing List Is Ineffective

No matter how nice your mailer is or how good your offer is, it needs to have the correct contacts. The first step is to make sure that you’ve identified your audience. Then you need to create an up-to-date list of contacts who will actually like your offer. Before you spend time designing, be sure that you’ve nailed down your list to the right people.

You Don’t Have A Call To Action

Even when you’ve made your offer apparent, you need to include a clear call to action. Consumers can read an offer, but without a call to action, they it get buried by other mail. Make sure you tell them to take advantage of the offer through specific channels of contact like in person, on the phone, or on your website. You will also need to include a clear time frame that conveys a sense of urgency in order to inspire them to act quickly.

Direct mail can be a great advertising tool when done correctly. Steer clear of these mistakes. Above all, you will soon see the benefits of taking the time to design direct mail pieces and mass print them with offset printing.

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