“Oh my goodness, you guys have got to check out this very average looking postcard,” said no one ever.
Everyone wants their mailings to be interesting and attention-grabbing and there are limitless ways to do that – but among the easiest, least costly and most effective is with color. Color is one of the most powerful elements of design, no matter the medium. It’s a form of non-verbal communication that adds an entirely different dimension to your words and images.
Color tends to make you feel a certain way. (For some, it can even trigger scent or taste memories. Seriously, it’s called synaesthesia: Look it up.) We all respond emotionally to color, whether we’re aware of it or not. Learning to use color and its psychology to your advantage can give you an important edge in growing your business.
A quick way to explore this is to go to Pinterest and search for “psychology of color.” You’ll find a vast array of brightly hued infographics discussing anything and everything about the role of color in marketing. Examples: Red can create a sense of urgency, while blue can convey a sense of trust in brand.
Stand Out In the Mailbox
In my opinion, far too few mailers make good use of color on their exterior envelopes. Often the only color you’ll see on an envelope is in the upper left-hand corner, where there may be a two-color logo. What a missed opportunity!
I’ve heard that marketers have about three seconds before a mailing recipient decides to look at your postcard or mailing piece – save it for later -- or dump it into the recycling bin. That’s THREE seconds to make your direct mail piece scream “LOOK AT ME NOW! LOOK AT ME LONGER!”
A simple two-color envelope might work for a consumer who is already familiar with your brand, but what if they’re not? If someone has never heard of you, don’t you want an envelope that will intrigue them to look on the inside?
Dressing up the outside of your envelope is an excellent way to start boosting your response rates. For example, you could provide a glimpse of what’s inside by adding a bold teaser message to the front of the envelope or the back flap.
Not only will the color elevate your response rates, it can also help to improve your return on investment.
Color Usage in Direct Mail
It’s not as simple as just splashing a rainbow of colors onto your mailing piece and sitting back to catch all the money people start throwing your way, however. Color must be used well to be effective. Here are some simple ways you can begin using more color to generate better response rates for your next direct mail piece.
- Envelopes – As mentioned above, envelopes are a great place to use color – try an eye-catching teaser to entice people to rip yours open!
- Product Images – Displaying your products in full color makes them appear more realistic to your audience. Use vibrant and colorful images to capture their attention.
- Personalization – I’m not a big fan of using pink for women and blue for men, but there are other creative ways you can use color to evoke an emotional connection with your prospect. For instance, say you’re an athletic shoe store and you know a customer recently bought a specific color of shoe. Use this information creatively by sending them a self-mailer or catalog highlighting products that will match their new kicks.
- Offers & Call To Actions – Use a warm, energizing color to bring attention to add a layer of persuasiveness to your call to action and offer.
- Don’t Overdo It – Adding too much color (yes, it happens) can be counter-productive if it makes your piece to look crowded. Limit yourself to a few complementary colors to stand out in the best possible way.