A mailpiece rarely exists in a vacuum. Typically, there are other marketing channels to consider, current campaigns to utilize, or other branding efforts to take into account. Many times, we’re tasked with developing an entire campaign, whether it’s part of a direct mail promotion, multi-channel campaign, or a mixture of the two. When one of our Multiple Service Organization (MSO) clients, asked us to help them launch a new product bundle through direct mail, we knew it was a chance to unify the campaign with a host of direct mail design elements that would work across multiple channels.
When Creating a Family of Design Elements, Start with the Big Picture
Looking at the big picture of the campaign helps you decide the tone and messaging direction of the campaign. It also helps you keep design limitations or considerations in mind; for instance, photographs may work in a direct mail piece but be less effective in online communications. While the new product bundle campaign wasn’t necessarily a multi-channel project, we couldn’t disregard the idea that elements of the mailpiece could be used online or in other media channels, especially since this was a product launch. Keeping in mind that our direct mail design elements would also need to work in an online medium helped us establish what elements could work across marketing channels and which ones had to be unique to direct mail.
Focus on the Elements that Make the Most Impact
You’ve probably heard the phrase “gild the lily”—trying to make something that’s already great even better. It can be really tempting to overdesign or create too many elements. Really, it’s best to stick with a few elements that can work across multiple channels for easy brand/campaign recognition and optimal effectiveness. Remember, design elements should guide the prospect to the strongest selling point and the call to action. Don’t just design for the sake of designing.
When creating design elements for IWCO Direct’s clients, we first look at what’s going to best help sell a product. For instance, our MSO clients generally benefit from icons because they give a quick visual overview of what products are being offered (phone, internet, etc.) without forcing the prospect to read in depth. Graphics that show speed or connectivity are also great for this vertical because they showcase major selling points and give the mailpiece a sense of cutting-edge technology and super-fast speeds. In the case of the new product bundle, we also created an icon to help introduce the new product and give it its own identity amongst the company’s other offerings.
Unify the Elements through Colors, Fonts, and Graphic Treatments or Styles
In order to make the elements part of one cohesive marketing campaign, there must be a common thread across the design elements. Tying them all together can easily be done by creating the elements using similar colors, fonts, and graphic treatments or styles. In the new product bundle example, we chose bold, jewel-toned colors, circular shapes, and chrome finishes. Each element was eye-catching on its own, but also complementary to the others. None of the elements were competing for the prospect’s eye or distracting recipients from the offer.
Remember to Keep Your Client’s Brand First and Foremost
When designers work on campaigns, there’s a certain amount of “wiggle room” granted in terms of sticking to brand standards in order to help the product stand out. However, even a unique product identity should always live within the world of the brand. A product’s brand carries the client’s values and should never be dismissed. For the new product bundle, we took the company’s main brand color and added different depths of that color throughout the graphics to tie the elements back to the brand while still making sure the product stood out on its own.
Results Matter—So Here They Are
All of these tips are generally good practice, but they also help IWCO Direct clients see measurable impact in the success of their campaigns. In the case of the new product bundle’s campaign, the new logo and graphics were used across multiple channels to launch the new product offering, driving a 33% lift in response. This isn’t an unusual outcome of our unique combination of data-driven marketing, creative, and production capabilities; with the right mix, we often help marketers boost their response rates by at least 25%.
IWCO Direct’s design professionals are experts in creating attractive, compelling direct mail design elements that help your offer stand out and boost your campaign’s effectiveness. If you’d like to see what a unique family of design elements can do for your next campaign, contact me today
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