Direct Mail. Let’s Get Creative!

What a creative lot you are! We are genuinely impressed by the ingenuity and inventiveness of our customers producing original content for a wealth of printed marketing materials. You never cease to amaze us with the variety, style and scope of ideas conjured up to draw in new customers and retain existing ones. So with that in mind, let’s talk about direct mail and how we can make it more creative…

What is Direct Mail (DM)?

Direct mail is marketing or promotional material that comes through your door! Think booklets, brochures, leaflets and flyers! It is a catalogue or a small printed sheet of paper or card containing key words to describe your special event or business activities that’s sent through the post.

Direct mail can vary in size from A6 to A4 and are often double-sided to make the most of the space available. With a long-established history in marketing, they get their name from promoting music gigs or club nights and events – hence the congruous term “club flyer”. Additionally, they are widely used in political campaigns and charity events.

This example highlights some elements of simple, but effective DM design:

direct mail

  1. Benefit – free entry
  2. Headline
  3. Funky image
  4. Date and venue
  5. Link to online
  6. Lots of space

But what if you haven’t considered the direct marketing route? Or you feel your aptitude for being articulate or capacity to be clever with words is limited?

Three reasons to try Direct Mail

Reaching your customers directly with information about your brand, business or product is a tried and tested technique with a successful track record. The EazyPrint crew have sound reasons – three in fact – to encourage you to give it a go.

  1. Rising response rates. According to the Data & Marketing Association customer response rates increased year-over-year by an impressive 43%, and prospect response rates more than doubled – reporting an astounding 190% increase!
  2. Let’s get physical! In a digital age, having something to touch makes a refreshing change. Browse or peruse at your leisure.
  3. Catalogues capture online sales. 30% of people polled reported that a catalogue recently drove them online to shop (Quad Graphics Customer Focus)

Are you content with the content?

But aren’t we bombarded with umpteen bits of paper every day most of which we don’t even look at, let alone read and digest? How can we make our DM, postcard or flyer stand out?

Are you familiar with the KISS philosophy? Well the phrase ‘Keep it simple, stupid!’ aptly applies here. Try not to baffle your reader with an ultra-subtle message or a complex idea. A bold and catchy headline based on what you know about your customer is all that’s needed to encourage further reading. Differentiate yourself from your competitors by explaining what you do better or differently and why they should choose you.

  • Use numbers in the headline – check out examples that drop through your door. No one knows why but it works!
  • Use powerful adjectives like free, fun, new, valuable, beautiful
  • List facts, reasons to buy, ways to benefit.

It’s always good practice to invest in decent images and photographs as these communicate quality and professionalism. Similarly, any graphics included should be of good standard and appropriate to the message. That means no clip-art!

Use Google image search and search for images with a size of larger or medium that are labelled for reuse. Credit the creator where appropriate. Or use cheap online photo libraries like Shutterstock for great quality, royalty free images.

Google SearchUse Google images but filter for high quality images with permission for reuse

Work that body copy. This is the ‘meat’ of the content. A useful tip is to use at least five value statements about your business in the copy along with testimonials from satisfied customers. As space is limited bullet points are always effective in stating facts concisely.

Stay in contact. It’s so obvious it’s easy to forget – include contact details: business name; address; phone numbers; website address; company logo to helps customers recognise you. Also, list any Social Media links too so potential customers know where to find you.

Bear in mind the necessary ‘white space’ (or space not taken up with copy, images or graphics) rendering the content easier to read.

So, you have the essence of your content. Now what?

DIY or Designer DM?

EazyPrint is here to help translate your ideas onto paper when you chose the Professional Graphic Design Service. Or if you feel happy with what you’ve come up with yourself, they will assist in choosing the size and weight of paper, making the flyer artwork print-ready and setting up printing, which could be any quantity from 100 to 20,000 (or even more if you arrange this by phone). Whether you choose short or long print runs its affordable especially as there’s no VAT on printing flyers. If you supply your own artwork your flyers will be ready speedily in just three working days and delivered free of charge.

Don’t take our word for it take note of satisfied customers:

Steve M – “Excellent quality as always. The print quality of my A5 flyers is superb”

Martyn L – “From start to finish I received a brilliant service and I’m delighted with my flyers. Thank you so much.”

Data Decisions

The key objective is to ensure they reach the hand of our chosen target market and contain information of interest to them. You may have lists of addresses of current customers – you can validate these online with Royal Mail when your clients sign up online. Or you can buy lists. But a word of warning here to always heed legal obligations about EU regulations and the Data Protection Act.

Distribute that DM

There are no boundaries to the usefulness of this most effective marketing tool. You can be creative in distributing them too. If you wish to keep costs down try handing them out on the street, leaving them in pubs (with permission) or posting them through doors of carefully chosen postcodes.

Another choice is to enrol the assistance of a collaborative business and share a mailing. Or have them placed them inside local magazines, newsletters or directories. Finally, Royal Mail has a number of useful tools to help you make good use of the institution that is The Post Office.

Monitor Success

Either way, monitor effectiveness by trying to track your Direct Mail campaign. Use special discount codes to see where your online traffic is coming from. Or use a separate phone number on DM so you’ll know every call is DM driven.

Whatever your chosen method, have fun with flyers and bring out your creative side!

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