How to 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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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