Color is powerful. Direct mail colors can direct your readers to see and feel how you want them to. The best color choices can improve call to actions (CTAs), increase return on investment, and even help your brand be more memorable.
The direct mail colors that you use in your mailers are a very important element of your campaign. The wrong selection of colors could turn an incredibly creative and appealing mailer into something that does not even get a second glance. Understanding color psychology and how to use each shade to the best advantage is critical, and that means understanding what the colors represent.
Why Do Direct Mail Colors Matter So Much?
The direct mail colors chosen are extremely important because they help determine the appeal and response rate that you get from the mailers that you send out. Certain shades have positive associations while others have connections that are more negative in the minds of consumers. If you want to attract people with the mailer, you need colors that are relevant and have positive associations.
Consider Culture When Picking Colors for Direct Mail
One big consideration in the selection of direct mail colors is the culture to which you are marketing. Many colors may have different associations for different cultures. In the west, black often symbolizes death or other negative associations. In eastern cultures, the color white is used for death instead of black, so your colors can make a big difference.
Colors Can Provide Important Cues to the Reader
One reason to spend the time needed to pick the right direct mail colors for your campaign goals and mailer is that varying shades can provide important visual clues. When these clues work with your message and goals you will usually get a better response and have a higher rate of success with the mailing materials.
Common Color Associations
There are a number of common associations with direct mail colors. When you understand these associations, it will be easier for you to design exceptional mailers that get the desired response. Some color associations that can help guide you during the design process include:
- White – This may be considered a classy or elegant color, and in many cultures white will signify innocence or purity. This shade can also be seen as cold or sterile. Many eastern cultures associate white with death.
- Black – In the western world black is usually seen as the color of death, but it is also commonly seen as sophisticated, classy, and elegant. Many see black as a power color and it can be very effective.
- Green – This is one of the commonly used direct mail colors, and it brings to mind nature, financial success, money, calm, and tranquility to many people. Green is also linked with environmental protection, conservation, and recycling.
- Red – Just like black, red is viewed as a power color. Red can symbolize passion, excitement, and other strong emotions. This color grabs the eye and is noticed right away. Red can also represent anger or danger.
- Blue – Blue is highly popular on mailers because this color usually represents calm, and it has a soothing effect on readers. Blue is also seen as business like, and is often associated with boys and males..
- Purple – This shade is usually associated with royalty or financial wealth and it can be seen as unusual and exotic. In spite of these associations, this is a color not often used on mailers because it may be seen as weak.
- Orange – Orange combines the colors red and yellow, and it can have some of the positive associations with each of these individual shades. Orange may be seen as warm, welcoming, energetic, and representing enthusiasm. All of these are attributes that can help make your mailer more appealing to readers.
- Yellow – Yellow is a color that many see as inviting, cheerful, and sunny. This shade can be hard on the eyes though, causing fatigue quickly, and at times yellow may be difficult to detect. When a yellow background is used with black text this contrast can be very visible and have a high impact.
- Brown – Brown is a color that can have a number of associations. Nature and earth are seen as brown, and it can be used to signify warmth or strength in some situations. This shade may be seen as boring or uninspired as well though so use it carefully.
- Pink – This can be a very feminine hue, one of the most commonly used direct mail colors to represent femaleness. Pink may also be seen as the color for love, romance, and softness.
Which direct mail colors do you use most often and why?