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The Role of Design in Direct Mail Marketing

Marketing is a creative process that builds relationships and trust with your prospects. It has the potential to greatly increase your brand awareness and sales. Creative, high quality designs helps make your marketing really stand out from your competitors. This is especially true when quality design is combined with direct mail marketing.

Direct mail marketing differs from other marketing methods as it is tangible. Being able to hold and interact with a company’s marketing materials sets it aside in this digital age we are living in. Design has been evolving over the years as well which has led to incredible, stand out marketing materials that have a lasting impact. This has also been the case with promotional products, which are now far more than just free pens and key rings

In this post, we will talk about how design can greatly impact a direct mail marketing campaign. Contrary to what you may read elsewhere, direct mail has been making a comeback and has evolved in recent years. It has fantastic potential to increase your brand awareness and gain positive responses from your target audience. As a full marketing agency, we have an in-house team of designers who know how to make your business really stand out from your competitors.

More Creative Freedom

A benefit that direct mail has over other marketing methods is the freedom that comes with it. Your marketing is not restricted to certain sizes or templates. It can be as small as a postcard, or be a full catalogue displaying your products. Furthermore, they do not just need to be squares and rectangles. Direct mail in recent years has been more ‘out of the box’ when it comes to the shape of the marketing materials. 3D effects, pull-out tabs, unconventional shapes and sizes are a few examples of what you can use.

Therefore, when it comes to designing, you have more freedom leading to incredible final products. What can really grab your audience’s attention is sending them something exciting, that is so different from the other letters in their morning post. They will already be more engaged as your marketing sticks out. This will greatly increase your brand awareness and can generate a lot of buzz as your marketing is more memorable.

Colours that Get Attention and Stand Out

Colour is one of the major influences when it comes to grabbing attention. For your direct mail marketing materials, avoid overusing plain, boring colours e.g. white, black, grey etc. You want your materials to stand out and going for a plain design, with little colour will not spark any excitement. Your materials may be ignored and discarded before they are given a chance. A fantastic design will mean little if it is not partnered with colours that catch your eye.

Make full use of your brand colours as this will further reinforce your brand in the heads of your prospects. When you see certain colours you automatically think of brands that use those colours e.g. red and yellow is often associated with McDonald’s. Being consistent with your marketing across all mediums and using the same colours will mean people will think of your brand when they see these colours as it matches what they have seen before.


As with any marketing materials, the aim is to get the reader to take some form of action. This could be to purchase a product, book a meeting, visit your website etc. If you omit any of these, the only thing you will achieve is some brand awareness but there will be nothing to encourage the recipient to take it to the next stage.

Therefore, when it comes to designing your marketing materials, make any calls to action or offers easy to see. They can be in a different colour or font size for example. It should be easy for the reader’s eyes to catch the offer. They can then take advantage of this offer if they so wish. Use a unique offer code for your direct mail marketing. It will be easy to track the success of the campaign as you can track how many times the code is used.


Copywriting is a crucial part of a marketing campaign. However, with direct mail marketing, depending on the form of marketing you are going with, too much copywriting can put readers off. For example, if you are sending a small leaflet out to your audience, you do not want to bore them with a lot of text. Any and all words on the materials need to serve a purpose and all waffle should be removed. This is especially the case when you are working with a design that offers less space.

However, illustrations catch the eye of readers and present information in a more entertaining way than just text. As you want your direct mail to stand out, illustrations are better to look at and easier to scan through than just a block of text.


As mentioned above, direct mail marketing has the advantage of being tangible. The material you print your marketing on is therefore part of the design as well. There are different grades, textures, colours etc. of paper and card to use. This presents you with a great opportunity to create something truly unique that will even feel different in the hands of your prospects. This will also make your marketing more memorable, strengthening your brand awareness. This is becoming increasingly popular with business cards as well. They feel different, making them stand out from other business cards you collect at a trade show for example. They also have the company details on them, making it more likely the holder will get in touch,


Direct mail marketing is alive and well. New design ideas are always coming in, leading to innovative, memorable marketing that customers both value and remember.

As a full marketing agency, we run consumer and business direct mail campaigns on a regular basis. Alongside this, we have a team of in-house designers who can create designs that will truly stand out in the eyes of your prospects.

If you would like more information about this or about any of our other marketing services, get in touch today and a member of the team will be happy to discuss your requirements further.

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