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How To Use Colour In Direct Mail Advertising: Part 2

One thing that has contributed to the continued success of direct mail relative to other marketing channels is the recipient’s expectation for entertainment, through coloured images and other graphics.

Using Colour In Direct Mail Advertising

Marketers understand that the way colour is used – alone, in graphics, or in combination with other elements – has a dramatic effect on the response rate. Some of the creative applications of colour in direct mail marketing include:

  1. Use of specialty colours + Embellishments
    With new printing technologies, marketers have the opportunity to not only just increase the number of shades that can be printed on direct mail pieces, but also make the colours more vibrant than ever.

    Savvy marketers and designers are combining elements of creative colour usage, such as metallic inks with other techniques such as foil stamping, UV coatings, and adding textures and other digital embellishments.

  2. Use of coloured images and documents
    Designers usually think of colour in the form of images, but this is not in all cases. For text-only direct mail pieces, marketers can find creative ways to use colours by:
    • Highlighting – consider highlighting important messages such as a call to action, offer, Price, or reward
    • Backgrounds – consider breaking your documents into panels – sidebars, voucher panels, or coupons – and using different tints to draw the eye
    • Tabular material – even tables can be more presentable with splashes of colour, especially when used in the header rows, or tints in the rows and columns
    • Borders – simply adding a coloured border or frame to either specific content sections such as a sidebar or box with contact information or even to an entire page can also serve to make the page more aesthetically appealing, as well as draw attention to specific content areas and messages.
    • Type – using coloured text makes it stand out and improves page aesthetics. This is best used on headlines, sub-headers, or other short bits of “spot text,” such as drop caps. However, avoid an overly colourful body.
    • Brand Colours – you can choose any colour you like for the kinds of backgrounds but using specific brand colours can serve multiple purposes. These range from enhancing the aesthetic appeal of a document, to highlighting specific content, as well as reinforcing the brand sending out the message.

Final note – Add colour to the Envelope

Adding colour to documents such as statements and other transactional materials can be highly effective, but don’t forget that you can use colour on the envelope, too. Special messages on the front or back flap can be rendered in coloured text or given a background to make certain messages standout. “Renew now!” “Special offer inside!” “Get three weeks free!”

Interested in adding direct mail marketing to your advertising mix? Please call our Toronto mailing house at 1-866-486-0423. Troi spells success, one letter at a time!

About: Seamus Barton
Seamus Barton - Author
Seamus Barton joined Troi Mailing Services in 2014 after graduating from York University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Writing. As a manager of print and direct mail solutions, he sees how words play an important role in personalizing any experience. Seamus’ passion for writing motivates him to provide frequent direct marketing content that supports each Client’s individual needs. Please chat with Seamus about commercial printing and direct mailing campaigns, or about how to marry digital and physical strategies for optimal Smartmail Marketing success.

You can connect with Seamus on LinkedIn or by calling Troi Mailing Services at 1-866-486-0423 or via email at Read his latest article featured in Direct Marketing Magazine on “Dimensional Mail: Marketing’s Buffet Lobster

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