Direct marketing designs that get attention and customers

Obtaining more paying customers in today’s economic climate is both challenging and a must for you to keep your business doors open. How can you produce fantastic direct marketing that will pull in the customers and get your message out there?

To produce and design direct marketing that works for your specific business requirements the first step is to reduce the chance of a hit or miss result when working with your agency. Provide a good creative brief and develop a clear understanding of what you require the output to achieve.

Creative design in direct marketing can be subjective; however you can increase your success rate by applying the following principals:

a) Make it relevant
b) Test for results
c) Utilise a structured format
d) Style and tone
e) Media type

Make it relevant

Ensure you maintain a creative relevancy throughout the design process. Make sure that you keep your target audience front of mind when briefing and reviewing creative outputs. Will the output achieve the desired response you are looking to achieve? If the answer is doubtful, start again.

Ask yourself; will you’re creative output be:
1. Appropriate for your target audience?
2. Appropriate for the task?
3. Appropriate for the medium?
4. Appropriate for your brand?

Test for results

What constitutes an effective creative concept can vary between specific audience types and their demographics. The bottom line is – if you achieve your desired result, then the creative solution was valid. Hence assessing the creative qualities can only really be done by testing. Using a test group to see if they like and engage with the concept can allow you to fine tune or validate your ideas. You may decide to do a split test with 2 or more variations to find the best version.

Audience results to look for:
1. Grabbed their attention
2. Compelled them to find out more or read on
3. The message felt relevant to them and their situation
4. The creative idea felt consistent with their expectations and brand perceptions

Utilise a structured format

Developing a format that facilitates the required response is important when designing effective direct marketing. Try to structure your copy and design so that the recipient feels and increasing desire to act as they read through.

Does your design have?
1. Smooth flow between headline and call to action
2. Clear and concise outlines of the benefits for taking action
3. Copy that pre-handles objections which would naturally arise
4. Easy to understand call to action
5. A response mechanism that’s suited to the recipient type

Style and tone

In order to use the most appropriate creative style and tone for your target audience you need to know as much as possible about the receiver. Using the wrong tone or creative style in your communication can result in a failure to engage or can even illicit a strong negative response.

Junk mail only becomes junk when it is poorly targeted and fails to relate to receiver in a way that is personal and appropriate. When developing a creative solution will your style and tone be appropriate to:

1. Your audience demographics
2. Your brand positioning
3. What you’re asking the audience to do

Media type

Choosing the right media type for a direct marketing campaign will depend on a number of factors, including how well you understand your target audience. Consider the following:

1. Your audiences communication preferences and where they will receive it
2. How will the creative concept work in the chosen media type
3. Can you execute your creative concept to a high enough standard
4. Can you maximise the particular strengths of your chosen media type
5. Do you have the budget or skills required to utilise your chosen media

Creative execution example

The direct marketing example below appears thoughtfully executed and is engaging.

A direct mail letter sent by a Hospice using a “Christmas to do list” concept. They introduce the idea of choosing hospice gifts from their website. The concept is appropriate and authentic to the situation, the mad rush of Christmas when people are actually making must do lists before the big day. The concept flows throughout the pages and is well executed.

Hopice direct mail letter

Hopice direct mail letter