The art of creating a successful direct mail pack. Part 1: The foundation
Part 1: the foundation
Over the years, we’ve done quite a few direct mail packs, form planning and concepts to design and words.
And because we’re all about sharing, we have written this post (two posts, actually!) just for you – to uncover exactly what it takes to create something meaningful that empowers donors to take action.
Read on, friends.
Back to basics: the beloved brief
You can’t expect the remarkable from a boring, lightweight, generic brief.
You. Just. Can’t.
A thorough brief is SO important, followed by a face-to-face chinwag between agency and client. How else are you supposed to transfer the emotion and passion about your cause?
A brief that is thoughtful and detailed means there is no room for confusion or misunderstandings. It will clearly define the pack’s objective so we can refer to it at every stage, from concept development to final edits.
Some things to think about:
- What’s your main goal? A pack designed as an income-earner is different to one for raising awareness and gaining new donors, or reactivating lapsed supporters. Be specific with your objectives.
- Who is the audience for this pack? What do you know about their age, gender, interests and level of support?
- How are you going to measure results, and what can you compare them to?
Roger that, loud and clear
Following the brief, open and transparent communication is an absolute must. You need to feel comfortable with the agency you’re working with, and likewise we need to enjoy you, too!
More than that, being able to chat freely means any issues that crop up can be resolved early. Questions can be asked. Expectations can be met. And everyone will be much happier along the way.
Don’t stifle the creativity
The brief fuels our ideas. It’s what we refer to time and again as we sit with coffee in hand, tugging at concepts, unraveling them, teasing them out, and delivering something that creatively meets your objectives.
But we can’t do this if we don’t have reasonable creative licence. Trust your agency, trust their experience, and trust the open communication that will keep you informed every step of the way.
Know your budget
It’s not a word most people like. Budget. But it’s crucial to know from the get-go so we can create within it. As an agency, we would never offer you solutions that lie well outside what you can afford. And we would always advocate for practicality over creative design.
Okay, so what about the nitty gritty?
We’re glad you asked. If you’re after specifics on how to create an effective DM piece, be sure to read our next post The art of creating a successful direct mail pack; Part 2: the creation. Enjoy, and happy creating!