How much white space should I leave in my direct mail piece? Is there a written rule on the amount of white space in a direct email promoting a new product to existing customers? How much white space shall one leave in a solicitation letter for our charity?
There has never been a right or wrong answer to the age-old question. Some experts say that crowded, busy direct marketing mail turns people off, and a clean, uncluttered approach appeals the best. Others argue that the more crowded a direct marketing piece, the more appeal it holds for the reader who is searching for a bargain, who has the free-time, or who has an affinity for your particular product or service.
If white space was sold on a cost-per-square-inch basis, it might be more valuable, and people might respect it more. They might even want to use more of it.
For those of you who prefer using white space as a design element, the trend is heading upward in your favor. Some say this trend started with websites. The large gaps between images and blocks of text whether the background color is white or not, are appearing more frequently.
Just presenting the important facts is moving to other direct marketing techniques as well. Just as Twitter allows only 140 characters per Tweet, it compels the writer to get the point across quickly. The added benefit of white space means that the all-important information is right there for a person to scan and react.
E-mail is another channel starting to see less is more. Communicate what’s important in the email and save the frill for a later serving. If you think people want to read more, send them to a separate web page. When designing the web page, leave blocks of white space between the text and other elements. Keep the use of photos to a minimum unless they help to accentuate the points within the copy.
The tablet and mobile crowd is another reason for the changes using white space. People are using them more and their desktop computers less. Even laptops are being left at home or at the office as they rely more on mobile devices.
Remember mobile devices are much smaller and one benefit of white space is it helps the reader to focus. White space sets ideas off and is friendlier toward your reader’s eyes.
Another advantage of white space is to be kind to the fingers and thumbs of your readers. Size does make a difference so make your links uncluttered from the rest of the copy.
No matter what your opinion is about white space, let your product or service, offer, and audience dictate whether or not you have enough white space.
Whoops, got to stop now before the white space police confiscate my keyboard.
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Everything marketing starts and ends with your customers… cater to them, listen to them and react to them. The results will amaze you.
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