11 Shades of Direct Mail Color Strategy

The use of color in direct mail is very important. The right colors can increase your response rates. Why is direct mail color so important? It is a powerful communication tool, because color evokes feeling within us and ignites emotion.

In direct mail, we want to use the right set of colors to drive response. It does not matter if you are sending a letter in an envelope, a postcard or a self-mailer, all direct mail pieces are affected by color choices. Color is what people notice first without even realizing it. So how can you use colors to increase your direct mail response rates?

Direct Mail Color and Feelings

  1. Red: When you choose to use this color, you are conveying messages that are exciting, passionate, dangerous, energetic, or action-oriented.
  2. Blue: This color invokes feelings of harmony, peace, stability, calm, and trust.
  3. Green: This is the nature color, so it gives off feelings such as growth, generosity, fertility, and health.
  4. Yellow: The sunshine color is happiness, positivity, optimism, and fun.
  5. Pink: This color gives feelings of femininity, playfulness, immaturity, and unconditional love.
  6. Orange: This interesting color gives people the feelings of creativity, adventure, success, balance, and enthusiasm.
  7. White: You may think of white as a non-color, but it invokes emotions such as innocence, goodness, humility, and cleanliness.
  8. Purple: This royal color makes us feel power, nobility, luxury, spirituality, and wisdom.
  9. Black: This color gives the feelings of mystery, power, sophistication, and elegance.
  10. Brown: This color feels like comfort, security, and being down-to-earth.
  11. Grey: This less commonly used color represents neutrality and balance.

There are a few things to note in selecting colors for direct mail campaigns. First, colors can be perceived differently, and some people are color blind. Second, the meanings listed above may vary from person-to-person, based on their own experiences. However, the vast majority of people see the meanings listed above when they look at the colors. Also, keep in mind that these meanings are based on studies in the United States. If you send mail to other countries, you should check to see what the colors mean to them.

Do your current mail pieces convey the feelings you intended? Brighter colors are more energetic and can invoke a quicker response. Make sure you are incorporating white space in your design to give the reader a less-crowded look and a less-anxious feel. When contrasting colors, make sure they complement each other.

As with any direct mail design changes, test your colors. Split your list in half and send half of your list one prominent color, while sending the other half another color. See which one gets a better response. Did you know that 93% of buyers focus on the visual appearance of your direct mail pieces and they base a big chunk of their decisions on it? So choosing the right color and the right offer will really drive response. Are you ready to get started?

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