a href=http://www.small-business-marketing-tips.com/direct-mail-designDirect mail design/a is actually as important as the text in your direct mailing piece if not in fact more crucial. The argument is simple: you cannot make money from your ads or other marketing pieces unless somebody replies to them. And a direct response advert or any other marketing piece can not be responded to until the people in your target market actually read it.

Yet if you have unsatisfactory copy and, even worse, crappy design, your adverts simply will not be read.

OK, theres a high probability if youre reading this youve been researching direct response marketing and so youve undoubtedly realised the content of your adverts has to be written a specific way.

To put it otherwise, you should stick to formulae such as the AIDA formula and have a headline, persuasive body copy and a plain and unambiguous call to action.

But what you might not know yet is lousy design can zap your advertisement even before anyone even starts reading it and stop them dead in their tracks even if they do.

So, now Im going to share with you ten easya href=http://www.small-business-marketing-tips.com/direct-mail-advertising direct mail advertising/a ideas which, if you really put them to work for you, will make an enormous difference in your results.

Big Fat Caution: your creative design people will hate me for this and will try to pay no attention to anything I say. No problem, since I have the evidence while they just have their opinions.

Its all drawn from meaningful university-quality research provided in full in Type Layout: Are You Communicating or Just Making Pretty Shapes, by Colin Wheildon..

What Ive done here is succinctly summarized his conclusions for you.

Layout Rules

1. Your headline goes at the very top of the page, on the left, taking up maybe two-thirds of the page-width. In the right hand corner, you can have an image. A human face is about as good as you can get, and it must always have a caption. For many applications your own face with the caption being your guarantee or big promise is excellent.

2. If you consider you must put a large picture over the entire width of the page, then have it directly at the top above the headline. The explanation is reading gravity. Eyes get attracted to the image first and then normally drop below it. If your headline is above the image, chances are it wont even be seen.

3. In the bottom left corner, called a fallow corner you can place a second picture. Text here is frequently overlooked, so an image is going to lure the eye. And remember the caption!

4. Your call to action or the please turn to the following page tag wants to go in the lower right-hand corner.

5. Stay clear of fancy backgrounds. Use simple, light-coloured backgrounds. White is fine, ivory or light gray perhaps even better. Keep away from light text on dark backgrounds, especially for large blocks of copy.

Ideas for Typography

1. You can use a slightly contrasting color for the headline, say dark red or navy, but steer clear of anything too bright. It might draw the eye to the advert … although it may also distract the eye from reading it. As for the the font, either a serif font like Times, or a sans-serif font like Arial is OK.

Keep away from all caps everywhere. THEY ARE TOUGH TO READ!

3. Body copy ought to be in a serif font for print (e.g. Times, Caslon, Corona) and a sans-serif font for on-screen reading (e.g. Arial, Helvetica)

4. Indent the 1st line of every paragraph and have your margins fully justified.

5. Optimal font size is 11pt with a 13pt leading. Keep line-lengths to anywhere between 20 and 60 characters. This might possibly mean you have to use two or three columns. This is not a problem.

So there we have it: ten very easy direct mail design ideas you can copy immediately and start seeing greatly improved results right away.

And dont make the error of imagining they apply exclusively to printed direct mail letters. They are applicable every bit as much to web-pages, leaflets, catalogues, PDF reports and postcards!

Undoubtedly you need to test, test and then test again but it is smart to begin from a place where research informs us youre much more likely to get results.