Making Your Direct Mail POP

Published On: March 30, 2017

In a day and age where the average adult receives 41 pounds of “junk mail” each year and throws 44% of it away unopened, direct mailers must stand out from the crowd to have a chance at reaching their target audience. The immediate first impression your mailer makes plays a huge role in whether it is opened, and these four elements can help to make that first impression the strongest.

1. Contrasting Colors

Direct Mail Colors

As simple as it may sound, the right combination of contrasting colors can draw the eye in and make the difference between a mailer that gets overlooked and one that is opened by the recipient. Bold combinations including black, white, and/or bright colors make an immediate statement and are naturally pleasing to the eye. It should be noted that a color combination that works well in one context may not translate well to a direct mailer.

Precision in color production is crucial, as even a slight variation can cause a color combination to no longer “work.” Innovating custom colors and ensuring color consistency across multiple substrates is a skill only experienced print masters can deliver.

2. Textures that Encourage Engagement


Beyond simple color selection, on-press coatings can be used to add texture that both increases visual appeal and encourages tactile engagement with the piece. Subtle textures such as pearlescent coatings or soft touch coatings add a gentle, appealing effect frequently used in cosmetics, while raised gloss UV coatings can create a bolder effect. From iridescent to grit/sand, iriodin, and interference coatings, the right finishing effect can give your mailer the extra impact it needs. Our cutting-edge EmoteCoat (Blue envelope shown above)technology imitates the animation and movement of a lenticular, for a fraction of the cost, and is achieved with a single-pass on-press technique.

3. On-Press Embossing

Direct mailers are typically ordered in high volume, necessitating both cost-efficiency and timeliness. While mailers using only on-press finishes can typically be completed with relative ease, the addition of an embossed element can throw off the entire timeline. Embossing is generally done on a separate machine specifically for that purpose that runs at a much slower pace than the press, slowing down the project as a whole.

As an alternative, certain presses are capable of incorporating an on-press embossing or debossing feature, using an engraved plate in the press itself to streamline the process. However, this technique is much more difficult that traditional, slower embossing, and is not even possible on many presses. Only a highly skilled, innovative team with cutting edge equipment can proficiently perform on-press embossing with the needed speed and quality results.

4. The Perfect Combination of Techniques


More often than not, a truly innovative direct mailer will combine two or more of these techniques to achieve the high-impact result needed. Press384 is capable of delivering truly impressive results by combining multiple elements on-press, often even in just a single pass.

Don’t limit yourself; contact our team at JohnsByrne to learn more about your options for creating a direct mail piece that really “pops!”

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