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Mail Design Part 5: Your (Picture) Letter

Mar 04, 2011

Mail Design Part 5: Designing Your (Picture) Letter

A well-designed letter with a persuasive message can move people to action. Adding a picture can command even more attention. In the cyber age, more than ever, sending mail means something: e-mail may be easy, but there is no substitute for getting a letter in the mailbox - and that will keep you at the forefront of your prospects' minds.

Whether your message is soft ("Thank you for scheduling an appointment...") or hard ("Buy Now!"), a compelling letter forms a connection, provides a means for actionable follow-up, and prompts people to act. Indeed, letters are one of the most personal, affordable, and flexible of marketing tools. And, because fewer businesses are mailing letters these days, yours is more likely to be noticed and read (and acted on).

As you sit down to think about creating your letter, your first step should be to brainstorm your message. There are a number of messages that a picture letter is uniquely equipped to convey; some of the most common we see are thanking your clients for their patronage or advertising the sale of a new product. Letters can also be used to raise funds, survey client opinions or announce new improvements to your company.

Truly, the uses for a letter are only limited by your imagination. Click2Mail's picture letter gives you plenty of room to express your message plus an eye-catching 3"x 3" image that shows through the full-window envelope. (And the Easy Letter Sender system makes mailing your personalized, attention-grabbing picture letter a breeze.)

For some innovative, winning ideas on picture letter design, we turned to master designer Chuck Green at Ideabook.com. Chuck offers some great ideas for making the most of your letter, whatever you're using it for.

Use photographs to tell your story. Choose wisely. The 3"x 3" image will be the single most dominant element in your letter. It will become your visual identity. You can scan your own photo, use stock photos or clip art, use one of our images, or place your logo in this space.

Demonstrate the benefit of your services visually and grab the reader's attention immediately. (Using a photo of a cake, for example, in the context of a flyer for a bakery grand opening visually communicates the topic and invites the reader into the text.)

Add a tagline. Build off your image. Explain who you are and what you do. "Your publication will undoubtedly be passed on to the colleagues of readers who don't know you - a valuable source of new prospects," says Chuck.

Do not over design. Keep your letter's layout simple. Minimize visual confusion. Allow your photo to build your message and then express yourself clearly and concisely.

Stick with your message. It is easy to get bored with your marketing message and your image - hey, you've internalized them. But to a new prospect, your message is as fresh as the day you created it. To repeat customers, your message is familiar and comforting.

Include meaningful, pertinent information. If you are a real estate agent looking for new clients, a letter about elevated sodium levels and heart disease does not communicate your message effectively. A letter about the importance of home staging and appropriate pricing strategies, on the other hand, demonstrates your knowledge of real estate (your prospects want the expert, after all).

So you've got the picture letter design ideas, now it's time to put them to work. Get started today with Click2Mail's Easy Letter Sender, upload your mailing list, and click to mail!