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Seven Tips to Guide Your Direct Mail Design

leaves 1. Keep it simple.
Keep your message simple. Avoid cluttered design and cut copy to the bone. Extraneous information can impede the ability of your customers to understand and respond to your offer.

2. Color with contrast.
Color and contrast command the reader's attention. Even if your personal style is more subdued, don't be afraid to use jarring color combinations and stand-out contrast. Choose effectiveness over aesthetics to deliver your message.

3. Choose images that act as powerful metaphors.
The thing about cliches is they are often true: A picture really is worth a thousand words. In the case of your materials, tell your story with images and skip most of the words. Big, powerful, immediate. A good image should convey your intended positioning and the key benefit of your product or service.

4. Throw a curve ball.
Weird shapes. Dimensional objects. Make it curvy, tactile, out-of-the-ordinary. Shape matters. Better to be a Corvette than a go-cart.

5. Make it shiny.
Our brains are drawn to bright and shiny things. Notice the paint and hub caps on the next stand-out car you see. Chances are it will be metallic and chrome. Not drab and flat. Add a metallic ink or a foil stamp to capture the eye and draw it into your message.

6. Super-size it.
Extra-large materials sends a message that your marketing is extra important. Plus, they stick out of the stack. Make sure there's a partial element that pulls the reader in even if your large postcard or brochure isn't at the top of the stack.

7. Marry big, descriptive headlines with barebones, benefits-driven copy.
Big, bold headlines get noticed. Focus on the verbs, adverbs and adjectives that are descriptive and benefit-oriented. Your brochure isn't a blog: Write it more like Hemingway and less like the Harvard Business School. Pull them in and get that to take whatever the single action that defines your next step.


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