Believe it or not, direct mail design is much less about creativity and much more about the architecture of information. For this reason, we compare it to putting together a puzzle. Whether you design your mail piece yourself, or contract it out to a third-party designer, it is in your best interest to make sure you have all of the pieces of the puzzle before you start setting up your mailer.
When designing a mail piece, the goal is to get your information across to your prospect in a clear and convincing manner within an extremely short amount of time. In order to do this well, the mail piece needs to be planned out and well-organized to highlight the right things and pull the reader’s eye through the piece. A seasoned direct mail designer can work with you to identify the most important elements of your message and set up your mail piece to highlight those items and arrange secondary information so it can be read easily.
Failing to assemble all of the pieces of the puzzle before beginning the design can end up being detrimental to the overall flow of the piece. For instance, if your designer is given a 5-word headline to begin with, but at the last minute that headline is changed to a 10-word headline, the layout will obviously not work in the same manner. The layout will get squished, emphasis will get lost and the entire piece may lose impact. Its like completing a puzzle only to be asked to insert additional pieces. The result would be far from appealing and make little sense.
How can you avoid this problem and produce a winning direct mail piece? As the old adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and pre-planning all of the elements of your mail piece is the key.