3 Direct Mail Design Tips

14th February 2018

Posted By: Emily Benton

In an ever increasing digital age some business owners and marketers see direct mail as outdated. We often get asked is direct mail a thing of the past and are email campaigns the marketing solution of the future? Well, the short answer is no, direct mail is still very much alive and when done correctly it can attract customers to your products and services.

Everyday our inboxes get bombarded with emails, how many of these do you delete straight away? How many do you actually read? Most people don’t make time to sort through their emails daily therefore your sales message might not get noticed,opened in time or entice the customer to follow the call of action. The same could be said for direct mail, we do get leaflets, flyers, brochures, etc pushed through our door daily. However, statistics from the Central Mailing Services website have said that the average UK household receives 2 pieces of direct mail per day, which is kept for an average of 17 days. Therefore compared with the floods of emails we receive this suggests that there is a higher chance your marketing message will be seen and read. Central Mailing Services have also stated that the viewers went online after reading it – 54% to engage with social media pages.

We are not trying to tell you email marketing doesn’t have value because that would be a lie! A well designed and thought out email campaign can see great response rates with successful end results. We believe a great marketing strategy consists of both direct mail and email campaigns. However, when we receive direct mail that has been done correctly, it always gets us talking.

Therefore when it comes to direct mail what’s the best way to capture customers interest? The answer: amazing design.

3 Design tips to engage potential customer interest

1. Stand out from the crowd

Get creative and think of something different! It could be a clever headline that relates to excellent imagery, an offer, or the media you print on. If you have a tactile product to sell, you could include a sample or even print on the sample. Using different textures or just printing on thicker card will make your direct mail feel special. You could create a piece that’s an unusual shape, opens up in a different way, contains pop up elements or folds out to reveal more of the design?

With all this being said, don’t just create a piece of direct mail that’s different for the sake of it, make sure it’s relevant to your industry and target market. Think of the marketing message first, then create the design concept around the message to reinforce it.

Depending on your budget there’s so many different possibilities to make your direct mail stand out and relevant to your prospects. Even with small budgets, you can still provide a cost effective creative solution.

2. Keep the design clean and simple

Sit down and really think about what’s the main message you want to get across. Strip down the unnecessary words and focus on the key marketing message, keep it simple so that it can engage your audience quickly. Don’t be tempted to fill up empty space with needless text or imagery. Empty space is a good thing, it grabs your attention by helping your eyes focus on the message. Be careful when placing text over imagery, make sure the wording can still be easily seen. If your direct mail is too busy, your prospect can’t focus on one part of the design and you will lose the impact of your message, remember less is more!

3. Include a compelling call to action

Don’t assume that the viewer will automatically know how to get in touch or what you want them to do. It’s essential to include a call to action that’s straight to the point, this will encourage your prospect to respond straight away. Adding an offer that has limited availability, a deadline or even a freebie generates more interest and urgency, helping promote a response. Need inspiration? Take a look at a few direct mail pieces that we have designed for our clients.




Central Mailing Services Ltd (2017). Direct mail statistics you should know 2017. Retrieved from https://www.centralmailing.co.uk/direct-mail-statistics-2017/