Many different factors go into creating a direct mail campaign that can capture and hold the attention of your audience. These factors include well-written copy, an attention-grabbing CTA, and a well-targeted list. However, one of the best ways to boost your direct mail campaign is your mail piece design, and one of the most important aspects of good design is use of color. This sounds simple, but color is one of the most powerful elements of design. Color attracts attention, but it triggers something even greater inside of us. When we see color, it has a huge influence over our emotions and attitudes, whether you are aware of it or not. According to research conducted by the University of Rochester, seeing color sends a message to the hypothalamus region of the brain, which then sends signals to the pituitary gland then thyroid glands, which releases hormones that cause fluctuations in mood, emotion, and behavior. It can inspire people to take actions as well.

Studies have found that different colors have different emotional effects on consumers. Some colors stimulate the brain to cause feelings such as tranquility (blue) or excitement (yellow). Many companies have figured this out, and have taken advantage of different colors by using them for branding and the color of products. Color stimulation can be used in direct mail marketing as well. By wielding the power of color in your direct mail campaigns, you are bound to see improvements in responses and ROI.

According to an article by Xerox, colored mailers and documents are up to 80% more likely to be read than black and white. A direct mail piece only has three seconds before the recipient decides if they want to keep it and save it, or toss it out. One of the easiest ways to get your direct mail piece to be read is by using colored envelopes for your piece instead of using boring, plain white ones. Using color on your envelope will surely catch the attention that it deserves. If you don’t want to use a full-colored envelope, you can use color by using an attention-grabbing, colorful logo on the envelope, or give a glimpse of what’s inside by adding a bold teaser message on the envelope. Color can also be used in the letter within the envelope. A warm, energizing color like orange can be used to bring attention to the call-to-action.. Using the right color can add a layer of persuasiveness to your offer. This enticing color technique can be used on other forms of direct mail as well, like postcards and flyers. Another way to use color in your direct mail campaign is graphics. Displaying images in color makes them more vivid and memorable than black, gray, and white. For example, full-color images in a catalog are much more eye-catching than not.

However, as effective as color is in direct mail design, you don’t want to overdo it. It’s all about moderation. We recommend a pop of color here and there, to catch someone’s attention or to bring attention to a piece of information. Too much color can be distracting. You want to leave some white space. White space is the area on a piece of creative medium, in this case, a direct mail piece, that is not occupied by text. A good designer knows that some white space is essential for focusing the reader’s attention to a certain area. When there is too little white space, the creative can be too cluttered, distracting, crammed, and can look like a hot mess. Adding too much color can be counter-productive if it ruins the aesthetic of your piece. Limit yourself to a few complementary colors and images to help them stand out in the best possible way.

Make sure to use a color that reflects your brand and your offer. Color not only helps your audience notice you, but it also helps them to comprehend your message and respond to you. When color is used appropriately, it can reinforce your offer, bump up response rates, and improve your ROI. If you want to know more about the psychology of color, visit our Pinterest profile for an assortment of infographics discussing color in direct marketing. For other direct mail marketing questions, please call US Data Corporation at (888) 578-3282.