Effective Colours for Direct Mail

When you next look at a direct mail piece, why not stop for a second to look at the colour? Most of us are so immune to colour on a surface level that we don’t even realise how it affects our mood or behaviour. Therefore, knowledge of the correlations between colour and human behaviour are an incredibly useful way of engaging people with marketing without appearing invasive. Inventive use of colour can help brand identity, memory assistance and involvement with advertisements and marketing materials.
Take a look at our handy guide to see what each colour means.

  • White is the colour of purity and cleanliness. Also, given its absence of colour, it is ideal as negative space in design – a very now colour, and most likely the reason that we see it in art and design direct mail.
  • Grey is usually associated with conservatism, tradition and seriousness. Can act as a good base for bolder colours like red and orange. We’ve seen many banking and insurance mail pieces that have made good use of grey and silver.
  • Black is a power colour. It can signify authority, sophistication and intelligence – for this reason it’s commonly used by prestige car manufacturers. Of course, it can also be used to represent death and evil should you so wish.
  • Red is perhaps the most emotionally powerful colour, and one that the eye really notices. Typically denoting love and life (being the colour of blood), it can also offer a warning. Perhaps most often used in a call-to-action or logo.
  • Blue is associated with tranquillity, trust and productivity – little wonder that it’s a commonly used colour in business (just look at our logo!).
  • Green is the colour of nature, and is regularly used in association with the environment and recycling. Also often associated with safety, growth and wealth. As such, there’s a growing trend of using green in catalogue mailings to show environmental concern.
  • Yellow is the most attention-grabbing colour of all, associated with liveliness and warmth. It can be difficult for the eye to take in, so it’s used best in short doses. Our work with security and safety products has seen us work with many yellow mailings.
  • Orange is the combination of red and yellow, so it’s energetic, warm, and enthusiastic. Often used to denote new beginnings. Quite a few performing arts venues use the colour for their mail pieces.
  • Purple is symbolic of wealth and royalty, as well as spirituality and the exotic. As it’s a rare colour in nature, it may be viewed as artificial, which could explain why we don’t get to see it as much. 

There’s no right and wrong when it comes to using colours, but using this knowledge of their meanings – and keeping it in mind of your target markets – can only help to give you the best results for your direct mail.

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