How to Design a Direct Mailer

by Contributor; Updated September 26, 2017
Design a Direct Mailer

How to Design a Direct Mailer. People are inundated every day with mail that goes from the mailbox to the trashcan without as much as a second glance. Yet, advertising through direct mail to potential customers can be an easy and inexpensive way to send a personal message to a targeted audience. Follow these simple guidelines to make a direct mailer that catches the attention and captures the interest of potential customers.

Step 1

Create or purchase a mailing list. Collect customers' names and addresses through forms, a guest book, prize sign-ups, a buyer's club or surveys to create a mailing list. Buy a mailing list from a list broker, a community newspaper or a local chamber of commerce.

Step 2

Choose the right format for the direct mail message. A postcard style is great for announcements, reminders or invitations. A letter style can convey information in a professional way. A brochure gives the space to showcase products and services.

Step 3

Keep the design simple. Use white space to catch people's attention. Try a bulleted list to get the message across and make the copy short and direct. Use a font that is visually appealing and easy to read.

Step 4

Catch the reader's attention with the use of a visual element such as a photo or graphic. Only one visual element should dominate the page, otherwise the design will look cluttered.

Step 5

Use the company's logo to build customer recognition. Choosing a consistent design style is called branding. This also helps the customer recognize and feel familiar with the company's style.

Step 6

Show the customers the benefits of the product or service. The direct mailer should explain how these benefits can help the customer.

Step 7

Include a treat for customers, like a free sample, coupons or information on special offers and sales events. These tactics can attract new customers and keep established customers coming back for more.

Step 8

Test out the mailer on a friend or co-worker to check for errors in spelling and punctuation. Also check to see if the message you want is getting across.

Step 9

Be sure to tell people how they can act on the offer by either including the company's address, phone number or website on the direct mailer.


  • If you have trouble designing the right direct mailer, turn to the postcard, letter and pamphlet templates in your word processing program or to a professional design agency to create a polished direct mailer.

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