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How to Make Your Direct Mail Come Alive (so you can get the response you want)

The great ad man David Ogilvy famously said, “Nobody was ever bored into buying anything.”

The direct mail you send to your prospect is in competition with all the other mail they receive that day. And it must also compete with everything dividing the attention of their mind at that moment.

Effective design is your opening salvo.

At Andrick & Associates, we design direct mail for our clients to entice their prospects to spend time with the mailing.

To put your reader in the mood to read, react, and respond. you’ll need to know your answers to the following questions:

  • Who will be reading your mailing?

  • How motivated are they to read it?

  • What action do you want them to take after they read?

  • What motivates them to take that specific action?

Consider how your reader feels about the issue you’re trying to communicate. When you understand his or her emotions on the subject, you can best match those emotions with the appropriate typeface, colors, and graphics.

But that doesn’t mean people will read every word you present. The good news is, you can use this fact to your advantage.

When you design your direct mail to first be skimmed and then read, you open more doors for your reader to walk through.

Here are some ways you can help convert skimmers into readers:

  • Make your headlines pop by including a strong border or lots of surrounding white space

  • Use sidebars to support the sales messages of your longer text

  • Use subheads, bullets, boxes, pull quotes, bursts, and other design elements to make the most important parts of your sales message stand out

  • Divide the text into bite-size chunks

  • Underline, bold, italicize, or highlight key words for emphasis – but do this judiciously

  • Use marginalia (notes written in margins) to call out sales messages to your reader

Good graphic design produces layouts that work. It’s vital if you want your postcards, letters, packages, brochures, and newsletters to be read.

Pages that fail to provide visual interest, simply don’t give your prospect an incentive to begin reading.

Your direct mail is a sample of who you are, and every mailing you send out should reflect the image you want!

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