Creating Unique Direct Mail Through Eye-Catching Shapes

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Humans are drawn to interesting shapes, eye-catching objects and things that are a little different to the norm. There are almost 15 billion items of post sent every year in the UK, so it’s important that your direct mail does enough to stand out from the rest.

One way that this can easily be achieved is by creating unique direct mail using eye-catching shapes.

Why do humans love eye-catching shapes?

There can be no denying that humans are drawn to items that look a little different to what we’re used to. If we see the same thing every day, in this case standard direct mail, we can become desensitised to it. We subconsciously pick up and sift through our direct mail focusing on what attracts and appeals to us.

Interesting lines, colours, shapes or textures, trigger an aesthetically pleasing emotional response in us. This response is universal, regardless of ethnicity, belief, religion, sex, environment or any other factor. If you create an eye-catching shape, people will notice.

While there are certain shapes that humans will respond better to, for instance curves as opposed to sharp points, stimulating any kind of activity in someone’s brain will have the effect of capturing their attention.

However, you’ll want to think carefully about the colours and shapes that you use as each of these will provoke a different reaction and emotion from people who are reading your direct mail.

Using symmetry in your direct mail

Humans find symmetry highly pleasing. It is said that humans find those with symmetrical faces the most attractive as this is meant to be the result of a stronger immune system. Regardless of the science behind this, if you use symmetrical shapes with your direct mail, it will draw a reader’s gaze.

Using colour in your direct mail

You’re probably well aware that different colours are associated with different feelings and emotions. For example:

  • Red – most often used to grab our attention, but is associated with feelings of danger or fear, but also feelings of passion
  • Blue – this is a calming colour and is associated with trustworthiness and loyalty
  • Green – a refreshing and relaxing colour that is related to nature or growth
  • Yellow – can either bring feelings of joy or convey feelings of sickness, but is an inviting colour that is associated with openness
  • Black – can either be seen as sophistication or villainy, but is also seen as a colour of power and authority

Think carefully about the colour scheme that you want to use for your direct mail campaign as this will quickly evoke a response from your reader. Also, note that clashing colours are something that will overwhelm and probably be unattractive to your reader.

It may not come as a surprise to you that blue is most often used for business due to the feelings of trust and loyalty that it provides. This isn’t the only reason we used blue at bakergoodchild, we just love the colour!


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Using eye-catching shapes for your direct mail

As with symmetry and colour, the types of shapes that you use in your direct mail will also garner varying responses from your readers. For geometric shapes, these are as follows:

  • Squares or rectangles – these shapes convey a sense of logic, order, containment or security
  • Triangles – these can draw out a few emotions or feelings, which are: energy, balance, science, religion, power, masculinity, strength and aggression
  • Circles – like triangles, these shapes also give off a range of emotions and associations. These are: wholeness, movement, protection, family, connectedness, femininity, warmth, comfort, love and sensuality

Organic shapes, however, like those that you see every day that aren’t “perfect”, give off feelings of spontaneity.

Of course, there may be all other types of interesting and unique eye-catching shapes that you create for your direct mail campaign. But as with primary colours, these shapes make up the basis of most shapes that you will create.

The shapes that you use will be a reflection of your brand, your product, and the message that you are trying to get across to those that receive your direct mail.

What kind of shapes can you include in direct mail?

Considering all of the above, we have looked at some of the eye-catching shapes that you can include in your direct mail.

Folding shapes

Use folding shapes within your direct mail. For example, one food bank charity, supplied a foldable plate in their direct mail that drew readers with the curves and images of food, and then had the charitable message supplied underneath.

Get creative with your envelopes and letters

Envelope optimisation is a huge area that can greatly increase the impact that your direct mail has. Think about changing your envelope and letter shape from the standard squares and rectangles to something more intriguing; make your reader want to open it up to see what is inside.

Why are shapes beneficial to a direct mail campaign?

Shapes are beneficial to your direct mail campaign because they offer a cost-effective, efficient and quick way to mix up your direct mail, innovate with a new idea and draw readers in.

With the science of psychology and emotion behind it too, these are two factors that are guaranteed to help you sell. It is one of the easiest and most obvious routes you can go down when looking for ways to make your direct mail deliver a bigger impact.

Looking for help with your direct mail campaign?

The above are just some of the ways that you can get innovative with your direct mail campaign, but there are dozens of other ways too. For professional and expert direct mail advice, give bakergoodchild a call today.


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