What is Good Design?

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What is good design, exactly, when it comes to direct mail marketing?

The short answer is:  the design that achieves the results you need.

And with that you’ll note good design is above all, results-oriented.  The entire reason for good design is, not to make the world a prettier place, but to maximize the impact of the message.

Good postcard design

The longer answer is more helpful perhaps, although no more precise:  good design is using visual elements of form — space, lines, shapes, color and textures, along with function — a compelling message — that achieves an action or some goal for the marketer.   Often, it’s about finding an appealing balance between form and function — that is, a pleasing presentation;  but this is not always the case.

There’s no single design that is the perfect design.   Further, a design that works for one type of message may not work for another.

And a design for one audience may not work for another.

When it comes to postcard magnet mailers (what we do at magnetbyMail) we’ve seen all types of designs for all types of messages and audiences.

The designs that work best seem to be the ones that:

  1. get your attention, either through imagery, a few words, or both;
  2. draw you in to explore and learn more details;
  3. change your emotional state — make you angry, curious, intrigued, excited, etc.;
  4. and lead you to a next step — to a website, a phone #, a donation, etc.

Personally, I like simple layouts.  Grab the attention, give a message that’s succinct, and ask for action.

The design philosophy for this is “less is more.”   The principle is that unessential elements are distractions. So if an element isn’t necessary to your core message, consider doing without it.

Where do you find good ideas for good design?  I suggest starting on the Web.

For postcard designs, check out BestPostcardDesign .

On a future post, I’ll provide a list of my favorite websites that are helpful for design inspiration.

Until then, I suggest:  less is best.

 

Another little marketing nugget from magnetbyMail, your source for postcard magnet mailers and other nifty marketing aids.

April 23, 2012 · Posted in Design, Marketing  
    

Ok, maybe you don’t run a pizza shop. You still could benefit from a marketing idea that helps deliver pizza sales from coast to coast.

Pizza Takeout Menu Postcard MagnetIt’s our Stuckup Mailer. We can print a takeout menu on one side of the postcard. On the other side we attach a magnet and inkjet a mailing address you supply.

We prepare all the Stuckup mailers for bulk mail, so you get a sizable postage discount, and drop them in the mail for you.

If you need a low cost way to reach an entire neighborhood, we can provide a saturation mailing list, and you could reach your entire community for pennies.

With an enticing offer or artwork, the card makes a quick trip from your recipients’ mailboxes to their refrigerator doors.

At 3-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ and UV coated on front, it’s just right for a small takeout menu (which is why pizza restaurants love it).

But it’s also a great size for advertisers and organizations who need to distribute lists of phone numbers, key contacts or web addresses. Or useful procedures, recipes, emergency preparedness checklists, key tips, calendars, schedules or campaign bios. Or maps, inspiring quotes, artwork or colorful travel vistas.

With a good Stuckup Mailer, you’ll discover that the refrigerator door is the most valuable spot in the whole house.   And you’ll be making the most of this space.

Best of all, your promotional message could be there for months or more.

Makes you want to order take out, doesn’t it?

 

Another marketing tip from magnetbyMail.com, your source for magnet mailers and other innovative marketing ideas.

February 3, 2012 · Posted in Marketing  
    

Running for Office

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[ ...Without Going Broke ]

vote by liberaltees

Poster at Zazzle

Every two years, political campaigns spring to life throughout the US.  Incumbants work to keep their seats against an onslaught of indignant wannabes.

If you’re running for office, you’re focused on the issues that are important to your voters.

But what are campaign managers focused on?  The same thing, right?

Not really.

Campaign managers are focused on issues like:  fund raising, scheduling, disclosure filing, and building name recognition.

If you can picture the circus entertainer who keeps a dozen plates spinning atop a dozen poles, that’s basically what a campaign manager looks like.

The biggest challenge for a campaign manager?  Making sure the candidate’s message is reaching voters.

Even if a campaign has lots of money to spend, which it probably doesn’t, getting out the message is not that easy.  In a matter of months, voters are bombarded with thousands of messages from candidates, local and national.

For example, in just one of the days leading up to the Iowa Caucuses in February 2008,  there were nine hours of TV commercials to promote the various Presidential hopefuls.

How does a campaign get its message out through all that?  What can campaign managers use to sleep at night?

Political postcard magnet mailers.

political campaign postcard designs“Oh, sure,” I hear you saying in disbelief.  How can something so small and simple do so much?

A postcard magnet mailer is an oversized laminated postcard with a magnet attached. And because its small and simple,  it’s become a useful tactical device for political campaigns…

  • each one is sent by US mail so it bypasses spam filters, and TV clickers
  • with the right design, it contains a useful and informative magnet, which can be kept in voters’ sight — on the fridge
  • the recipient is usually appreciative, which is good for the candidate
  • a magnet mailer costs under a dollar, and in many cases under 60 cents, including postage

So while opponents spend big bucks for a 30 second TV spot, a candidate can spend less than a dollar to receive coverage all day and all night.

That’s another tip from magnetbyMail.com — making campaigning affordable for all.  Check out our political postcard magnets online.

July 4, 2011 · Posted in Design, Marketing, Profitability