your direct marketing, mail, email and digital communications.
Direct marketing, mail, email and digital is a combination of words and pictures and ideas. A great idea without compelling words often goes unnoticed.
Great words without the ability to attract the consumer’s attention often doom those glorious words to oblivion. Great visual images without substantive words and ideas often diminish the outcome.
Prospects and clients will miss the best words and most monumental ideas unless something attracts their attention.
The “attraction” for direct marketing, mail, email and digital is design! Here are 11 techniques you can use today.
Good design is the proper blend and balance of color, shape, size, illustrations, photographs, and typography.
Usually, one large, central graphic has more impact than many little ones.
Let your design direct your readers’ eyes. Because people read from left to right, the eye typically catches the first few words of the headline, moves across the top of the page from left to right, down to the lower left corner, then right again. Picture a big letter “Z” and you have it.
The eye moves from dark to light, from large to small, and from bright to drab. It notices things out of place — unusual sizes, colors, or shapes.
In body copy, small type is easier to read than large type. The old stand-bys of 10-, 11-, or 12-point type are about as big as you ever want to get for running copy in the body of your solicitation. Paragraphs and sentences that use larger type sizes make the reader work too hard. There is just too much eye movement back and forth.
When you have six ducks in a row, all the same size and color, facing the same direction, except one, what do you see? Correct! You see the one duck that’s facing the wrong way.
Good design means showing restraint. Eliminate color, visuals, and unnecessary backgrounds around important text blocks. With the ease of designing on a computer, it sometimes becomes too tempting to “throw in” some color or borders or special effects. That extra color may hinder your ability to attract attention and lead your reader.
Put the product close to your reader. Make photos and illustrations large. By cropping photos, you direct your readers’ attention to exactly the part of the photo you want them to see.
Outline product photos to remove unnecessary or distracting backgrounds, except where you show the product being used. Then, you want to bring it to life with a background that relates to your product.
Tone down your graphics. Words lose their impact when they are overpowered by unnecessary graphics.
Avoid bouncing around with many different design elements — be consistent. In most cases, when you hold to this very simple, effective design strategy –– that we call “Choose one!” –– your finished design will look extremely sharp.
Chose one typeface style for your headlines.
Choose one typeface style (the same or an alternate style) for your body copy.
Choose one style of border.
Choose a three-color color palette.
Choose one thickness of line for boxes or rules.
Choose one style of art… that is either photographs or illustrations.
Then, stick with what you choose!
Conclusion: A strong design improves your ability to attract attention and obtain a response. You can achieve both more readily when you turn to a professional direct marketing designer that has experience and resources readily at hand.
How can I help you? Thanks for reading and please share. Any questions, use firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have an interest in what direct marketing can do for your business, request a copy of our publication, "Direct Marketing Success." Use the emal address above with DMS as your subject line for a free copy.
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Marketing Communications Group, Inc.
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