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  • AMi Direct

AMiable Solution #420: Renovating Your Direct Mail for Appeal

Looking to improve the real estate of your direct mail pieces? Consider its “curb appeal” in six key areas.

If you’ve ever sold your house, then you may have been advised to increase your home’s “curb appeal,” the first impressions that your front yard, driveway, and exterior make. Buying a house? You’ve no doubt made judgments on homes before you even stepped in the front door.

Why? First impressions matter. How much? According to Lisa Johnson Mandell in her 2016 article, What is Curb Appeal? How to Supercharge the First Impression Buyers Have of Your Home, renovation expert Bob Villa estimates that the first impression a home makes on a potential buyer “could add 20% to your home’s value (a figure that rivals, or sometimes surpasses, the return on a new kitchen or bath).”

That’s true for real estate, but it’s also true in marketing. If your outer envelope or the front cover of your mail piece doesn’t look good, your potential buyer may never cross that first threshold and check out what’s inside.

To make a powerful first impression and get recipients to “take a look around,” check your envelopes and outer panels for these six marketing real estate “must haves:”

· A promising future. And by that, we mean a promised benefit. Use headlines or teaser text to invite buyers in. This strategy is particularly effective on envelopes, where you don’t have as much space to play with. Entice readers with a “guaranteed” solution or reward for opening your material.

· An engrossing visual landscape. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to use half a dozen photos. Maybe you just need one strong, emotion-evoking photo. Maybe you don’t need a photo at all but a simple design or one incredible image. Maybe it’s the absence of images that draws the reader in. Whatever your approach, consider it carefully.

· Space. Size usually does matter, and the bigger the house—or the direct mail piece—the more the appeal. Who can resist a 9 x 12 envelope or an oversized postcard? Bigger also means more expensive, however, so if budget is an issue, save big formats for big projects and focus instead on big ideas.

· Stability. Shocking readers with outrageous or humorous images and headlines might turn heads, but if the vibe of your mail piece doesn’t align with your company’s image or values, you might get your readers “in the door,” but they won’t stay very long. Design a mail piece that commands attention but also stays true to your brand and communicates trust, dependability, and reliability.

· Appropriate color. Colors have the ability to create an emotional response—compassion, anger, energy, hope, fear, peace, etc. Picking the right colors for your message means knowing your audience. A purple house might not be for everyone, but a good realtor knows who to show it to.

· Quality materials. Even from a distance, home buyers can tell the difference between a home made with quality materials and one pieced together on a shoestring budget. Use quality paper and printing services for your marketing pieces to gain trust, ensure longevity, and establish credibility.

Want more tips for improving your direct mail pieces? Check out last week’s blog post for tips on improving the flow of your mail piece, and then be sure to come back next week for strategies for giving your pieces focus.

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