11 Shades of Direct Mail Color Strategy

The use of color in direct mail is very important. The right colors can increase your response rates. Why is direct mail color so important? It is a powerful communication tool, because color evokes feeling within us and ignites emotion.

The use of color in direct mail is very important. The right colors can increase your response rates. Why is direct mail color so important? It is a powerful communication tool, because color evokes feeling within us and ignites emotion.

In direct mail, we want to use the right set of colors to drive response. It does not matter if you are sending a letter in an envelope, a postcard or a self-mailer, all direct mail pieces are affected by color choices. Color is what people notice first without ev,en realizing it. So how can you use colors to increase your direct mail response rates?

Direct Mail Color and Feelings

  1. Red: When you choose to use this color, you are conveying messages that are exciting, passionate, dangerous, energetic, or action-oriented.
  2. Blue: This color invokes feelings of harmony, peace, stability, calm, and trust.
  3. Green: This is the nature color, so it gives off feelings such as growth, generosity, fertility, and health.
  4. Yellow: The sunshine color is happiness, positivity, optimism, and fun.
  5. Pink: This color gives feelings of femininity, playfulness, immaturity, and unconditional love.
  6. Orange: This interesting color gives people the feelings of creativity, adventure, success, balance, and enthusiasm.
  7. White: You may think of white as a non-color, but it invokes emotions such as innocence, goodness, humility, and cleanliness.
  8. Purple: This royal color makes us feel power, nobility, luxury, spirituality, and wisdom.
  9. Black: This color gives the feelings of mystery, power, sophistication, and elegance.
  10. Brown: This color feels like comfort, security, and being down-to-earth.
  11. Grey: This less commonly used color represents neutrality and balance.

There are a few things to note in selecting colors for direct mail campaigns. First, colors can be perceived differently, and some people are color blind. Second, the meanings listed above may vary from person-to-person, based on their own experiences. However, the vast majority of people see the meanings listed above when they look at the colors. Also, keep in mind that these meanings are based on studies in the United States. If you send mail to other countries, you should check to see what the colors mean to them.

Do your current mail pieces convey the feelings you intended? Brighter colors are more energetic and can invoke a quicker response. Make sure you are incorporating white space in your design to give the reader a less-crowded look and a less-anxious feel. When contrasting colors, make sure they complement each other.

As with any direct mail design changes, test your colors. Split your list in half and send half of your list one prominent color, while sending the other half another color. See which one gets a better response. Did you know that 93% of buyers focus on the visual appearance of your direct mail pieces and they base a big chunk of their decisions on it? So choosing the right color and the right offer will really drive response. Are you ready to get started?

3 Methods of Increasing Direct Mail Response Rates

Many marketers struggle with how to increase their direct mail response rates year over year. There can be many reasons for falling response, such as the offer, the creative or the list.

Many marketers struggle with how to increase their direct mail response rates, year over year.

There can be many reasons for falling response, such as the offer, the creative or the list. Sometimes, it’s because the lead attribution is unclear. Because many customers travel through varying channels before purchase, it can be hard to know where they originated.

So with ever-increasing pressure to stay out in front of current marketing trends, it becomes very important to validate the use of direct mail.

Therefore, we need to find ways to continue to increase direct mail responses.

3 Ways to Increase Direct Mail Response Rates

  1. List The first place to look to increase your responses is your list. This is your most valuable asset. Hopefully, you have maintained a good clean list that you can rely on to be accurate. If so, you are able to glean a lot of information about who your customers are and what offers will interest them. The most effective way to target offers to the right people is with variable data on your mail pieces. This will create unique pieces, with not only variable offers, but also corresponding images. It is not enough to personalize the piece with just a name; you need to target your messaging and offer to each person through the use of variable data.
  2. Offer  Your offer drives people to respond. When you get a lackluster response to a mail campaign, you need to look at what offers you used and who you sent them to. Start by looking at the wording of each offer. Are they too long or confusing? Did you provide a good incentive? Is the offer easy to find on the mail piece? You want your offer to be simple, concise and relevant to each person. Create some new offers on your next campaign to test which offers get the most response.
  3. Creative  Before anyone actually reads your mail piece, they make a decision on whether to read it or to throw it away. Your creative design matters. The images you choose are very important, as they convey your message before anyone reads what you have to say. The wrong images have a big impact on response. Have you made any changes to your creative design recently? What formats have you tried before? Sometimes, just changing from a postcard to a letter in an envelope can help you increase responses. You can test different formats at the same time. Create curiosity about your mail piece and do something different. You may be surprised by your results when you change things up.

These are by no means the only factors that contribute to direct mail response rates; they are, however, the three most important ones. Yes, timing matters; but in many cases, that is out of your control, anyway. So focus on what you can control and create the best direct mail pieces for each of your customers and prospects. Your mail service provider can look over what you have been sending and any new ideas you have in order to help you find the best fit for you and your customers/prospects.

Direct mail response attribution can be a challenge; but if your direct mail results really matter, you can find ways to track customers, even with omnichannel experiences. How, you ask? The easiest way is to provide different offers for different channels. You can then track exactly which offer was responded to and what channel they chose. Just keep in mind that most people who get direct mail pieces are going to make a purchase online. So be prepared. Are you ready to get started?