By Pello Walker

Direct Mail isn’t that much different from a face-to-face sales pitch. For both it’s all about grabbing prospects’ attention first and only then selling them on your product or service. Without their interest piqued, it’s like talking to your teenager. In reality, Direct Mail isn’t that much different than selling your teenage son or daughter on cleaning their rooms.

First you have to dominate their visual arena. You step in front of the TV, right? For those of you who don’t have teenagers, that arouses both their visual and emotional senses. Then you must overwhelm their auditory receptors. What do you do? Make them remove their ear buds.

Do it quick though. Otherwise, they’ll scatter. Their mobile telephones ring. Dinner is called. The wind blows. If you haven’t grabbed their attention long enough for your key message – a few seconds tops – then the opportunity vanishes and recovering it is resource intensive.

The good news is that you may have one to two seconds longer with a prospect than a teenager, unless you sell skateboards or worn-out blue jeans.  If you do, pay really close attention. It’s the same with Direct Mail pieces, their design first grabs readers’ attention. Once you have it, you can then promote your brand, introduce a new collection, offer a seasonal special or whatever your objective.

The goal is to stand out, visually and conceptually, always keeping your goal in mind. A Direct Mail piece may be impactful, and have all the latest design and production tricks, and if the concept isn’t relevant or interesting to the recipient, it won’t yield results.

Coming up with the right Direct Mail design begins with format and then rolls into the message. With Direct Mail, our overall priority is to get the recipient to stop and see the post card, guidebook or fund raising package. Visualize it as a shop window, you want your targets to be compelled enough by what they see to step inside. Then you can make your pitch and call them into action.

Most people don’t think about all they have to work with. You don’t have sound, of course, and a Direct Mail piece itself can’t move in front of the TV. However, they do have weight and texture to impart importance. Color can flash like a spotlight or coax the reader into a relaxed attentive state. Photography makes it real. It’s the window showcasing your new offering. You can add action and bring your prospects further down the sales funnel with QR codes that drive them to a landing page.

With so much to work with, a well designed Direct Mail piece could even get teenagers’ attention. What are your tricks for grabbing prospects attention? Let me know.


Contact me. I am eager to hear what has worked for you and what has not worked for you.


Péllo Walker                                      

Daily Digital Imaging