10 Tips for Designing Great Direct Mail for Your Next Offline Marketing Campaign

Direct mail postcard needs to be creative and engaging enough to make your target audience take action. Whether visiting a website, contacting your brand, scanning a QR code or using a discount code, the marketing flyer sent through a direct mail campaign has to be convincing enough to lead your customers to complete the desired action. So, with all this at stake, getting creative with your direct mail is essential.

From choosing the right colours, logo placement, and images to including the right offer to attract your audience, brands with direct mail campaigns experience a higher return on investment and have gotten more creative than ever.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled ten tips to help plan, design and create a direct mail flyer that will help generate more conversions for your next direct mail campaign.

Planning your direct mail

Before you start creating your direct mail campaign, you’ll need to plan what you’re going to say, how you say it and clearly define what your overall KPIs and goals are for the campaign.

Marketing goals can vary depending on your company’s particular needs and objectives. Some common marketing goals include increasing sales or market share, improving brand awareness, enhancing customer satisfaction, and driving revenue growth. 

KPIs or Key performance indicators on a flyer campaign can be anything from the number of times a URL is visited to the number of scans a QR code gets. Some of the best direct campaigns are small but mighty when it comes to KPI measurements because they’ve been sent to the most relevant people and have engaging or helpful content. 

1. Understand Your Audience

Your audience is the most crucial part of any marketing campaign. Understanding who your audiences are and what they want is essential to creating an effective direct mail campaign. You may have the best deal in town, but if the direct mail lands on the doorstep of someone who doesn’t need it, it won’t work. This will further hurt marketing budgets, the time spent designing the flyer, creating content, and even distributing it. So the best place to start is to understand who you’re speaking to.

One of the best ways to understand your audience is by conducting research. This might involve surveys, focus groups, interviews, or other data collection forms. By gathering information about your audience’s demographics, interests, buying behaviours, and media preferences, you can better understand who they are as individuals and what motivates them.

Once you understand your audience, you can tailor your direct mail marketing materials and content to speak directly to them. This might mean using language and terminology that resonates with them, addressing their pain points and concerns, or offering specific solutions that meet their needs. It can also help to segment your audience into different groups so that you can create targeted messaging for each segment.
Plan who you want to reach or speak to first before you work out what you want to say

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Click to book a demo version

2. Define marketing goals and KPIs

Once you know who you’re speaking to, you’ll need to decide what a goal or conversion looks like. This is very important to measure the success of your direct mail campaigns. Are you looking for sign-ups or to drive more people to your website for a new line of products?

Make sure you plan the KPIs and use a reliable MarTech company (like us) to track every scan, sign up and conversion accurately. Using reliable technology to measure and track your campaign will help your business understand what went well, when people typically responded best and how many people completed your call to action. This also helps understand the return on investment for the next campaign you do, tracking data down to the time of day people are most likely to interact with your flyer.

This will maximize the ROI from your campaign and instantly update your direct mail design to target a broader audience.

3. Choose the right size for your direct mail campaign


The next step in designing your direct mail campaign is carefully considering the size of your flyers. When choosing a flyer size for your direct mail campaign, it is essential to consider both your marketing objectives and the needs of your target audience.

Some popular flyer sizes include A4, A6, and A5. These are best suited for general marketing and can be easily distributed via traditional mail. Other standard sizes include DL, similar to a postcard, and US Letter, which has larger dimensions than an A4 sheet but smaller than an A3 sheet.
What will the right size be? Think about how much copy you want, the number of images you’re using, the visibility of your CTA, the QR code you’re including and the overall cost of choosing a standard postcard over a three-panel fold-out mailer.

For example, if you are trying to reach people who live in densely populated urban areas, it may be more effective to use a smaller flyer size like DL or A6 to reduce printing costs and increase the number of people who will see them. On the other hand, if you are targeting customers in rural areas or small towns where postage costs are higher, then a larger flyer, like a US letter, may be more appropriate.

Choosing the right flyer size that considers dimension and bleeds marks is essential to the success of your campaign.

Designing direct mail- what does it take?


4. Make it Personal

You’ve got to make it personal and relevant to your audience too. That means including the basics like using first names and maybe even getting clever data. Personalize your mail based on the information you have that will engage your audience; 

  • Geographical location
  • Their age and gender 
  • What they typically buy; think supermarkets tailoring vouchers to shoppers
  • Other factors that will encourage them to interact

Making things as personal and relevant as possible will help your overall conversions and make customers feel special. It engages with potential customers as well as existing ones.

5. Use your brand colours and fonts

Using your brand colours and fonts might seem obvious, but many brands stray from their usual fonts in print. Don’t! Unless your primary colours are red and black, which can feel too exciting or ‘shouty’, it’s best to use your brand fonts and primary colours on the mailer.

Background colours will be challenging to read as direct mail design differs from web content. Make sure to incorporate white space as well, sometimes known as negative space, as using white space will help readers focus on the information without being distracted. Sometimes, less is more when it comes to colours, too, so let the whitespace help you and don’t feel compelled to fill it all.

6. Use Great Images


If you’re using images other than your cohesive brand image, ensure they’re the best quality possible and fit in the design elements when you’re building the draft. There will be a minimum resolution that your designer will probably mention, but it’s usually best practice to use photos of 1200 dpi or higher. You’ll also need to use original or paid images from licenced sites like Shutterstock or Getty images.

Avoid using imagery for the sake of it; remember, white space is great too! And don’t make your mailer too busy with images, as your readers will get distracted.

7. Write engaging copy 

A big part of the attention-grabbing design is engaging copy, so don’t scrimp on getting a well-written, attractive marketing message. Make sure that there are no grammatical errors. Often, less is more when it comes to words, so try to convey your message in a short, concise way. Mailers aren’t massive, and you won’t have the same capacity as an email or webpage, so keep your copy brief and relevant.

click to book a demo version
Click to book a demo version

Connect your channels online

Even though direct mail campaigns are offline marketing, you need to try and connect up your online channels too. Whether using your website address, an email or a social media handle, connecting online and offline channels creates a holistic experience and will help build more brand presence in all channels.

8. Remember to connect offline campaigns with online tracking 

Direct mail campaigns are offline— but that doesn’t mean you can’t use digital technology to track the effectiveness of your campaigns. Several methods of connecting offline campaigns with online tracking include using QR codes and coupon codes and adding a custom URL or Landing page on marketing materials such as flyers, brochures, posters, and other printed materials.

Potential customers can then scan this code to access exclusive discounts, coupons, or other incentives that are only available through the online platform. This helps to directly connect a customer to an online journey from an offline campaign

Here at Oppizi, we rely on our unique QR code technology to help track and collate data from offline campaigns and by integrating digital icons like a QR code, we’re able to accurately collect data to the same level of detail as if it was digital but from a flyer campaign too.

9. Ensure Offer & Call to Action Are Clear

Another crucial part of a well-designed direct mail campaign is choosing a solid call to action. It’s the sole reason you’re investing in this marketing channel, and your brand will want to see results. By measuring how many times people convert as a direct result of receiving your flyer via a great call to action, you’ll be able to measure success by calculating a cost per acquisition and even getting a conversion rate.

Your call to action could be using a vanity URL to sign up, a discount code at check-out, or simply scanning a QR code to start browsing. Whatever you choose for your campaign, make sure it’s clear and, notably- works!

10. Proof Your Creative and decide on a Finish

Proof, proof and proof again! The more eyes on your draft version, the better, as sometimes the most simple errors are overlooked. Involve your designer or a third party to give their honest feedback, as we can often become blinkered by our content. Run it through spellcheck, too, as you’re investing your marketing budget in this, so every penny counts.

And decide on a finish for your mailer when it’s finally printed, whether you choose a glossy finish, satin or untouched. When finishing, there’s no right or wrong, but it will enhance your direct mail campaign’s final look and feel.


Like all other marketing channels, direct mail is an investment, so make sure it pays off with a well-designed flyer. As we’ve covered, ensuring your materials are prepared before you pen to paper will ensure your budget isn’t wasted on silly mistakes. Offline Leaflet distribution continues to perform as well as digital campaigns, delivering a great CPA for many industries at half the cost of tools like Adwords. Make sure to plan what you want to say and to whom, and invest in excellent copy to help convey your message, as this will maximize the return on investment for your offline campaign.

Want to work with an experienced team to help get your leaflet campaign off the ground? Why not request a demo with our team today.

Shelly Parker

Shelly Parker