How “not” to design a Mailing Campaign
I recently received a mailing from a client, who shall remain nameless, and realized they made every mistake in the book in regard to a direct mailing campaign. While I’ve written on direct mailing campaigns in the past, I thought I’d try a different spin on “what not to do” and it might help you avoid making some common mistakes that will cost you in conversions and sales in the future.
No, or inconspicuous call to action
The whole purpose of a mailing campaign is to generate orders or leads. If you don’t tell the recipient exactly what you want them to do, they probably won’t. In this particular case, the client had a catalogue of Christmas specials. On the very back page of the flyer in the middle of a whole bunch of other text is “place order online at www…..” A much more effective call to action would have been placed in plain sight on the cover “Visit our Online Store for Special Deals and Discounts on…”
No, or weak offer
The number one (after the quality of the mailing list) factors that effects the success of your mailing campaign is the strength of the offer. “Free estimate” doesn’t cut it! In this particular case, the client “had 10% off with this promo code” as the offer. However, it was buried on the back page not really highlighted. The offer could have been “Visit us online and save 10% on….” Now you’ve got both a call to action and an offer in one!
I don’t know how many times I see this in mailers and websites. I know clients put a lot of thought and effort and money into the design of their logo, and it is absolutely important for branding. However, a logo alone doesn’t sell anything! Having your logo take up 25% of the space on the page is a complete waste of space. Your special offer should take up 25% of the space on the first page!
Not Considering the Delivery
If you’re planning to mail your marketing piece you’re first consideration, even before the flyer should be the envelope. What size envelope are you going to put it in? There are standard postage sizes, each have different costs. You need to choose a format that works and then design your mailer around the envelope. Not the other way around! Plus, your envelope is the first thing people see.
This particular mailer was mailed in a plain brown envelope and the mailer didn’t even fit! The client had to fold the bottom 2 inches to fit in the envelope.
Poor Choice of Images
You’re images should reflect the offer and what you’re selling. Too often people go for “cleverness” or a beautiful looking picture that has nothing to do with what they are selling. In this example, the client put a beautiful picture of a Christmas ornament on the front cover. Great if you’re selling Christmas ornaments. Not so great if you’re selling Christmas baskets.
If you really need to put a disclaimer or special offer conditions, do it in small print at the bottom of the page. You can always do an asterix and it will cover your but legally. There is no need for a giant heading “Disclaimer” right below your offer. Not only does it look out of place, but this is prime real estate you’re taking up with a huge negative!
Lots of Dramatic Fonts
While the creative use of fonts can be a real eye catcher, too much fancy script, different colour fonts and the over use of bold and italic makes nothing stand out. The purpose of using a different font, size, colour or bold should be to make key benefits or offers stand out from the rest of the text. Use Ariel or Helvetica for the rest, they’re great simple fonts that are easy to read.
Hire a Professional Designer
Many people are choosing to use services like “Vista Print” for their marketing materials. If you’re a skilled designer, or already have the artwork, these services can be a low cost printing alternative. However, when you factor in the cost of the envelopes, postage, printing, web design and all the other costs into a promotion, it just seems wrong not to have a professional designer do the artwork for a few hundred dollars. While the overall look of a mailer isn’t as important as the list, the offer, and the call to action, having poor design can take away from all the good work you did getting the right list and constructing calls to action and offers.
At Dare Marketing we’re here to help with Your Direct Mailing Campaign
Here at Dare Marketing we have over 20 years experience with direct mailing campaigns. We can help you develop and deliver a campaign that works. We’ll:
- Help you construct and offer
- Help you design and print your mailing
- select and purchase a mailing list
- Variable Data Print the addresses on the envelopes
- Prepare the postage and mailing
Contact us today and we’ll give your mailing campaign idea an expert review, plus show you how it can be cost effective to outsource your mailing to Dare Marketing.