US Data Corporation Direct Marketing Blog

Choosing the Right Colors for Your Direct Mail Design7:00 am

By Kristen Dabrio

Choosing the Right Colors for Your Direct Mail DesignWhen marketers start to think about the overall design and layout of their direct mail campaign, they should also spend time focusing on color. Choosing the right colors for your direct mail design can make all the difference in how your recipients interact with your campaign. According to an article by Help Scout, “People make up their minds within 90 seconds of their initial interactions with either people or products. About 62-90 percent of the assessment is based on colors alone.” This means that your direct mail recipients will pay attention to colors and their marketing decisions will be affected by your color choices.

Here are a few ways colors can be used to improve your direct mail campaign:

To Bring Attention to Your Call-to-Action

In order to make your call-to-action easy to find, it’s a great idea to use bright colors in order to draw attention to it.  Action orientated colors include reds, oranges, and yellows. These colors will highlight your call-to-action and draw your recipients’ eyes to it, so there’s no way they can overlook it.  Here’s a good example:

Choosing the Right Colors for Your Direct Mail Design(1)

The offer is highlighted by the bright yellow color and recipients are immediately aware of the deal. The postcard also uses the bright pink color to let recipients know that the offer is for their jeans because the brightness draws the recipient to exactly what the offer is, and helps keep the design playful. The bright colors also fit in with a clothing brand that caters to teens. If a more muted color had been used, like brown, the copy wouldn’t have been as exciting.

To Set the Right Mood

If you’re going for something bright and attention grabbing, focus solely on exciting colors, such as reds, oranges, and yellows, as mentioned above. These are considered active colors. They attract the eye, so use them sparingly amongst sets of subdued colors if there’s something you want to stand out in your copy. Bright colors like this visually enlarge the objects and make them seem closer. Here’s an example of a direct mail piece that uses vibrant colors:

Choosing the Right Colors for Your Direct Mail Design(2)

For a more calming vibe, consider darker colors, such as dark purples, blues, browns, etc. These give a feeling of stability and quality and might be better used for more professional looking direct mail campaigns. For example, if you’re not going for a playful and fun vibe, like the ad pictured above—consider using more muted colors. First decide what you want the feel of your campaign to be and then work from there.

To Focus on the Nature of Your Products and Services

Picking the right colors for your campaign depends on what type of product you’re trying to sell, along with the nature of your company. Take the time to consider who you’re trying to sell your product to. If you’re going for a more refined/professional look consider using a more subdued color. If you’re marketing your product toward teens, consider brighter and more attention-grabbing colors.

Also, you need to consider your brand when choosing colors. What message is your company trying to get across to your recipients? Are you a fun and playful brand? Are you selling something that will help improve the quality of someone’s life? For example, if you’re promoting a serious service, like medical supplies, consider keeping the tone professional.  Here’s an example:

Choosing the Right Colors for Your Direct Mail Design(3)

As you can see, the tone is still professional, but every detail that needs immediate attention is highlighted. The direct mail piece grabs your attention, stays consistent with the overall brand image, and maintains its professionalism.

Color is extremely important when designing your direct mail campaign. What do you focus on when you receive a direct mail piece? Is design important to you? Share with us!

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