Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bulk Mail Design Study #2

Direct mail 

This new series of posts are intended to be a photographic study of bulk direct mail visually  analyzing principles of effective design.

From each post a "winner" will be selected, followed by a weekly, monthly and finally a yearly winner for the "best bulk mail piece of the year" award.

Today's direct mail consists of:

  • 4 envelope mailers
  • 1 full sheet postcard

Each of the four envelope mailers use printed envelopes. More expensive than a plain white envelopes, but also a lot more visually interesting. 

Piece 1 (top left): The "exciting offer" is printed on the outside of the envelope, just begging you to open up the envelope to learn more. And you'd better hurry, there is a deadline. Who wouldn't want 0% APR, right?

Piece 2 (top right): Seasonal, full color imprint is friendly and fun (thought most people aren't quite ready to be thinking of snow and winter just yet). The cursive red imprint (made to look like handwriting) is telling me about the beautiful free return address labels inside. The free giveaway approach is very common when the sender is hoping to receive a donation in return. Psychologically we are programed to be more inclined to "give something back" if we've been given something in advance. 

Piece 3 (middle left): Beautiful full color imprint. Eye-catching and appealing. A map leads you to think about traveling, and leads right into an offer for a flexible frequent flier miles program. Association is a quick and powerful way to build a connection. 

Piece 4 (bottom right): A full sheet postcard definitely catches you attention first. Because it was the largest piece in the mail it was at the bottom of the pile when removed from the mail box, which is also the reason it was sure to be looked at - because it stood out. The color is bright. The text is catchy and grabs a hold of a mental hook by using slightly modified lyrics of a popular song. (I'm sure when I am at the polls I'll almost automatically start singing that song to myself.)

Piece 5 (bottom left): Bold blue strip stands out. The larger window envelope may have been more expensive than a traditional window envelope, but it allows them to use the printing on the letter inside twice, now as the offer, and again in context when the mail piece is opened. This piece also features an invitation, and a deadline, making you feel the urgency to act quickly if you are interested in taking advantage of this special deal. You just need to open the envelope to learn more. 

And the winner is:

My choice for the winner of the day: #4 - It's hard to compete with the large size and bright color. Best of all it includes a specific call to action and a memorable tag line to boot. 

Can you incorporate these principles of design in your next bulk mail campaign?

Who would you have chosen for the daily winner?

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