Graphic Design: Getting people to open your direct mail

Co-authored by Katie Beth Groover

Photo of a person writing a note to a customerPhoto of a person writing a note to a customer

(This is the first post in our Nuts & Bolts of a Marketing Campaign series)

Great printing starts with great design.

When it comes to a marketing campaign, great printing – meaning printing that rings the cash register – must start with graphic design grounded in sound marketing principles.

Laser Image customers work with us for years or even decades, so we’re comfortable making big efforts to win over strategic prospects. We know that even a lengthy campaign will pay for itself in time – if we attract the right customers.

To see how good design and modern digital printing presses can produce an attention-grabbing campaign mailer, let’s look at an example from our own 12 Touch Campaign.

Direct mail piece for the 12 Touch campaign

Direct mail piece for the 12 Touch campaign

Click image to enlarge

The first goal of any campaign must be to let your prospects know who you are and what you’re selling. We use an established marketing concept called AIDA: capture their Attention (A) and Interest (I) which will in turn lead to a Desire (D) for your product that culminates in an Action (A) to buy.

The first step – Attention (A) – means you need to get them to OPEN your mail and READ your message. We decided that using bright colors and an unusual format for our campaign letter (the first of our 12 touches) would grab the recipient’s eye. So, we designed a bright, square trifold mailer.

Our letter’s unique packaging requires the recipient to become hands-on involved. First, they open a hand-addressed envelope. Inside the envelope, a second “faux” envelope is folded around the square trifold mailer, presenting them with a nice package to unwrap – like a gift in the mail.

Once opened, we used two techniques to present a personalized message: digital (variable data printing) and an old school, hand written note. We feel the combination of personalization, vibrant graphics, and layered packaging gives our prospects a moment of fun when they open their mail.

Conventionally, designers have approached the problem of getting people to open mail by printing teaser messages on a standard envelope, or designing the envelope to mimic an official communication from a government agency. Sometimes direct mail comes in a plain envelope, in hopes of enticing a curious recipient to see what’s inside.

Today you have new and better options. Digital printing and clever new paper stocks — not to mention the power of personalization and the availability of short-run, affordable color printing – opens up new ways to grab attention and involve people with your message. The potential for this new technology is limited only by your imagination.

Long-term, nurture marketing like our 12 Touch program works for us but you may have other needs. Whatever they are, contact us. Our design team can create marketing pieces that work for you.

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