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A Thousand Words for Free: How to Select the Right Direct Mail Images for Your Campaigns

Mike Dietz

Everyone knows the old saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words”—and in some cases, that’s true. In terms of advertising, a picture can capture attention, set the tone of the messaging, act as a point of entry or understanding for the prospect, and more. When it comes to direct mail images, it’s especially important to choose pictures carefully and with consideration for direct marketing best practices.

Match the images to company branding

There are a lot of different photography and illustration styles to choose from. While there’s wiggle room in what kind of pictures are used, it helps if the images you use in your mailpiece are in the same style as those featured on the company website and in other collateral and branding materials.

This helps ensure that the customer or prospect is seeing the company/brand from the same viewpoint and is hearing one cohesive brand voice. Not only will this build brand recognition, but it will also narrow the image search and keep the design tight and consistent.

Direct mail images should complement the copy, not replace it

Those who are new to direct mail will often try to use large images and minimal text on their mailings to make the form look more like a magazine ad than a letter. This is a major mistake. More often than not, direct mail relies on copy to sell the product. Images help the messaging points come across and break up the text but should complement the text, never replace it.

Placement is also important. Using an image on an insert, sidebar, or on the bottom of the page are great ways to break up text without distracting from it.

Make sure the pictures match the messaging

For example, if you’re selling small business insurance, photos of kids running around won’t help sell your product—unless, maybe, you’re selling to a daycare. Too often pictures are chosen based on their aesthetics instead of how well they help sell the product. It’s not about how the picture looks; it’s about what the picture says.

Consider your audience

Age, gender, ethnicity, location, and income are just some of the factors to consider when choosing a direct mail image. The more you can get a prospect to identify with the people on the page, the better chance you have proving the product or service being offered can work for them.

A picture can really do a lot for your mailpiece. To say a picture says a thousand words might not be so far from the truth―you just have to make sure that it’s saying the right thing. For more information on choosing the right image(s) for your mailpiece, contact me today.

link https://www.iwco.com/blog/2017/02/22/how-to-choose-direct-mail-images/
Mike Dietz

Author

Mike Dietz

Executive Creative Director, graduate of St. Cloud State University and IWCO Direct team member for more than 18 years. Personal business philosophy: “Beautiful design is fantastic, but if it doesn’t work it doesn’t matter.” Proud father who enjoys spending time with family, golfing and is a life-long Minnesota Vikings fan.

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