When you’re trying to reach a broad audience, direct mail marketing is still one of the most effective methods available. Even if you don’t have a brick and mortar location, sending mailers to your audience can capture their attention better than an email or digital ad.

That being said, direct mailers are only as good as their design, which is why you need to understand how to create a compelling ad. Today we’re going to discuss the finer points of designing a direct mail piece so that you can get the best ROI possible.

Breaking it Down: the Anatomy of Direct Mailers

Before we get into specific tips and tricks on how to make your content pop, let’s look at the various components that should be included within your ad.


Direct mail pieces can come in a few different varieties. Each option has its benefits and downsides, so let’s look at them in more detail.

  • Brochure – for when you want to provide additional information and visuals to your audience
  • Pamphlet/Catalog – for when the copy is more important than imagery (i.e., you have a lot of information to present to your audience)
  • Postcard – when you want your ad to be punchy and noticeable

The right format can depend on a few different factors, including the type of business you operate, as well as your target demographic. For example, if you want customers to order products online, a catalog can be an excellent choice. If you run a restaurant and want users to see your menu, a brochure or postcard is a better option.

Overall, postcards and one-sheets keep it simple, while pamphlets and catalogs allow you to provide as much context as necessary.

Business Information

Realistically, you should already know the basics that should be included with your mailer. If nothing else, you need to have:

  • Business Name
  • Website
  • Email Address
  • Phone Number
  • Physical Address (if Applicable)

That being said, there are a few considerations to make when including these details. First, make sure that phone numbers can be tracked easily. If you send out the same number to different locations, it’s harder to know which area generates the most business.

Second, you want to highlight the most valuable contact info based on your marketing goals. For example, if you want users to order online, present your website or landing page more prominently. If you want them to call in a delivery order, make sure that the phone number is easy to spot.

Call to Action

Finally, you need to have a compelling CTA on your mailer. Otherwise, what’s the point of sending it out in the first place? While brand awareness can be a powerful marketing message, it’s far less effective when you don’t inspire users to contact your business.

Here are some considerations to make when creating your call to action.

  • What Need are You Fulfilling for Your Customers? – your audience will be much more inclined to respond to a direct mailer when you address a specific pain point.
  • What Objective are You Trying to Achieve for Your Business? – do you want to increase walk-in traffic to your store? Do you want more people to visit your website? Are you promoting a new feature (i.e., food delivery)? Make sure that your CTA reflects this goal.

Designing Your Mailer

Once you understand the anatomy of your direct mail content, it’s so much easier to create a compelling design. Here are the top tips we’ve come up with to help ensure that you get the most traction from your campaign.

  • Keep it Simple – don’t clutter the surface with too much text or imagery.
  • Keep it Consistent – stick to one or two fonts, and make sure that any photos are related to the content.
  • Use Negative Space – too much content on the page can be off-putting. Let the negative space allow your customers to retain the information easier.
  • Bundle Similar Items Together – for example, keep all of your contact details in a single section, rather than spreading it throughout the mailer.
  • Use HD Images – if your pictures are fuzzy or pixelated, it will make your content seem less official. Also, try to avoid obvious stock photos as well.
  • Keep Text and Images Separate – if you try to put words on top of a picture, it will be harder to read.
  • Understand the Flow – typically, people will read your content from the top left to the bottom right. Use that to your advantage.
  • Add Flourishes – one of the benefits of direct mail is that it’s both physical and tactile. Lean into that by offering flourishes like embossed lettering or textured paper.

Contact Always Direct Marketing Today

Don’t worry if you’re not a professional graphic designer – we’re here to help. At Always Direct Marketing, we understand how to create captivating mailers that will boost your business and increase traffic. Contact us to find out more and see how we can build a direct mail marketing campaign that works.

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