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How Color Impacts Direct Mail

One of the reasons so many monthly subscription gift box companies are coming into existence is we love to receive gifts and the surprises within. Any of these companies will tell you that presentation is a big part of the success. Color creates an emotional response and feeling and that's why direct mail experts have taken advantage of this for decades. [caption id="attachment_227" align="alignleft" width="300"]Direct Mail, Color Why leveraging all the colors you can will improve your response.[/caption] Knowing this, it’s important to understand the impact of color on your direct mail pieces. The right colors can increase your response rates. I recently heard from one color analyst that a Fortune 500 credit card company had a 20% increase in response rates by flooding the envelop with color. 20%! Imagine having a 20% lift in response with just one simple change! In direct mail, we want to use the right set of colors to drive response. Look at your color pallette and choose contrasting colors that work well together. Sending a letter in an envelope, a postcard or a self-mailer, all direct mail pieces are affected by color choices. Color is what people notice first without even realizing it. So how can you use colors to increase your direct mail response rates?

Direct Mail Color and Feelings

  1. Red: conveys messages that are exciting, passionate, dangerous, energetic, or action oriented
  2. Blue: This color creates feelings of harmony, peace, stability, calm, and trust.
  3. Green: It gives off feelings such as growth, generosity, fertility, and health.
  4. Yellow: Bright colors such yellow equate to happiness, positivity, optimism, and fun.
  5. Pink: Pink is still equal to femininity, playfulness, immaturity, and unconditional love.
  6. Orange: This color gives people the feelings of creativity, adventure, success, balance, and enthusiasm. And one reason I like this color in our operations space.
  7. White: You may think of white as a non-color, but it invokes emotions such as innocence, goodness, humility, and cleanliness.
  8. Purple: This royal color makes us feel power, nobility, luxury, spirituality, and wisdom. Purple is a color that only royalty was allowed to wear at one time in history.
  9. Black: This color gives the feelings of mystery, power, sophistication, and elegance.
  10. Brown: This color feels like comfort, security, and being down-to-earth.
  11. Grey: This less commonly used color represents neutrality and balance.
There are a few things to note in selecting colors for direct mail campaigns. First, colors can be perceived differently, and some people are color blind. The vast majority of people see the meanings listed above when they look at the colors. Also, keep in mind that these meanings are based on studies in the United States. If you send mail to other countries, you should check to see what the colors mean to them. Do your current mail pieces convey the feelings you intended? Brighter colors are more energetic and can invoke a quicker response. Make sure you are incorporating white space in your design to give the reader a less-crowded look and a less-anxious feel. When contrasting colors, make sure they complement each other. Did you know that 93% of buyers focus on the visual appearance of your direct mail pieces and they base a big chunk of their decisions on it? Choosing the right color and the right offer will really drive response.

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