Ideas to help your direct mail stand out

Credit: Pixabay by jplenio

In part 1 of this series, we discussed how to use emotion in direct mail to drive results. In part 2 we discussed using loss aversion to drive sales. In part 3 we discussed how to use scarcity and reciprocity to increase your direct mail sales. As well as exclusivity. In part 4 we discussed social proof and storytelling behaviors to driver higher direct mail results. In part 5 we discussed how autonomy bias and the consistency principle can be used in direct mail to increase results.

In part 6 we looked at how information gap theory and authority principle could be used to increase direct mail response. In part 7 we talked about status quo bias and framing to get people to take the action you want them to. In part 8 we discussed automatic compliance triggers. In part 9, we discussed maximizing your direct mail copy. In part 10 we discussed increasing desirability of your product or service with direct mail. Finally, we will discuss creating stand out direct mail marketing. By using these human behaviors, you can gain a competitive advantage and increase sales.

The Von Restorff effect is the human tendency to notice and recall things that stand out. Good direct mail campaigns break through the clutter. You can strategically use this to drive better direct mail results. Let’s look at how you can best utilize this method.

The context that your message appears in and what is surrounding it, influences how noticeable and memorable it is. People go through their mail on autopilot, so your use of size, shape, color and images will impact how different or distinct your piece is.

For some products and services it is a good idea to create curiosity by providing no hint of what is inside the envelope. For others this may be a bad idea. Consider all your options before making that decision. You can stand out in many different ways. Standing out just to get noticed though is not enough. You need to strategically get your product or service noticed.

Do not make your direct mail attention getting in a way that people remember it, but do not know what you are selling and ultimately do not buy it. Basically you want to get noticed, be relevant and make your point to get them to buy.

Direct mail ideas that standout and tie in with a message:

  • Bandage – Does your product or service solve a big problem? If so add a bandage to the outside of your mail piece to let people know they can stop using the bandage and start really fixing the problem.
  • Brown bag – Does your product or service save time? If so, put it in a brown paper bag to show them that they are doomed to eat lunch at their desk until they switch to your product or service and have time to go out.
  • Bow – Does your product or service finish something? If so, put a ribbon with a bow on your invitation for them to join the finished club.

You can also make your message stand out by using surprise. People are hardwired to predict what will happen next. When you change what they expected you surprise them. This will focus their attention and intensify their emotions. This will make them remember your message.

How to Create Stand Out Direct Mail:

  • Look for ways to break out of the normal direct mail approach.
  • Consider a black and white design if it plays well with your messaging.
  • Make the option you want them to choose a bigger font, bolder or a different color.
  • Make sure you call to action has a lot of white space around it so that it is easy to read and well as stand out.
  • Consider adding a sticky note to your mail piece that highlights what you want them to do.
  • Consider using a box, tube, bag, oversized, or textured piece.
  • Consider using striking images and unique models.
  • Consider using games such as scratch offs where they can have a chance to win something.
  • Write a contrary headline.

Direct mail marketing that is designed to strategically stand out will outperform other pieces in awareness, recall, and sales! The tactics mentioned above are a great way to drive the direct mail response you want. Keep in mind that you can always combine behavioral science tactics to increase the effectiveness of them. Get creative and have some fun with your direct mail. In our final article, we will discuss direct mail timing.

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