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5 Tips for Designing The Perfect Direct Mailer

Direct mail is an important tool in the direct marketing strategy that successful businesses use to connect with their clients. It includes non-digital promotional items like postcards, letters, coupons, brochures and more. Though they are often thrown into the recycling without a second glance, they can be an important step in broadening your customer base or increasing sales.  The following five tips will help you design the kind of direct mail that doesn’t get immediately thrown away, creating opportunities for your business that will help it reach the next level.


Color is an important factor in the design of your direct mail material. It will likely be the first thing your customer notices, which means it should reflect well on your business and invite the recipient to continue examining your promotional material. First, think about the function of your business. If you own a flower shop or a day care facility, bright colors are on brand and are good to use in the design of your direct mail. If you work in a law firm, however, you may want to consider a blend of muted colors to communicate professionalism.  Specific colors have also been scientifically proven to evoke certain emotions within us. For example, red often communicates a sense of urgency or importance, and would therefore work well to alert shoppers immediately about limited-time sales. On the contrary, pastels have been known to induce a calming effect, and are often used to catch the eye of conscientious shoppers. These are the kind of customers who may be interested in signing up for a savings or membership program.

White SpaceDirect Mail | AlphaGraphics | Orem, Utah

Many businesses become so concerned with what should be on the card or brochure that they fail to consider what should not be on the card. White or blank space on your direct mail material is just as important as the spaces with content. You want to draw your potential customer’s eyes to certain places on the page, and white space can help you direct their gaze. If there’s too much information crowding the page, your recipients will not bother to decipher the madness. 

Size & Shape

Think about the size and shape of the mail you get in your mailbox every week. Each piece is likely rectangular and about five by ten inches. When they’re all the same size and shape, it’s easy for one piece of mail from a business you don’t recognize to get lost in the mix and tossed into the recycling without even making it to the top of the pile. This situation can be easily avoided by simply designing your direct mail to be a noticeably different size or shape. Consider using a custom shape design in lieu of a rectangle or making it larger than competition’s direct mail.

Connect to Your Audience

Try to make your mail as personal to your recipients as possible. This is why it’s so important to understand your business’s clientele and strive to make a personal connection with them. For example, if you’re a business that caters mainly to younger clients, make sure your designs are keeping up with the trends of the day. Millennial audiences likely won’t respond to a piece of mail that looks like it was designed by your grandmother. If you have a small enough pool of clients, you may even consider hand-writing your direct mail for a really personal touch.

Think Outside of the BoxDirect Mail | AlphaGraphics | Orem, Utah

The best thing you can do with your direct mail is get creative with it. Customers will appreciate a card, letter or brochure that breaks from the mindless assortment of mail they regularly receive. For example, if you’re sending out a coupon from your pizza business, make the coupon look like a pizza. If you have a floral shop, send out newsletters arranged like a bouquet. Creativity of this kind also alerts customers to the nature of your business faster, which will catch their attention and increase the likelihood that they will stop and further examine your piece of direct mail. These five tips—experimenting with color, being mindful of white space, considering unorthodox sizes and shapes, connecting to your audience, and thinking outside the box—are just the start of a great direct mail campaign. With AlphaGraphics as your all-in-one design and print service, you can expand on these ideas and make sure that your company’s direct mail marketing campaign is a success.

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