When we think about color in print marketing and direct mail, we think about stunning images and eye-catching graphics. But what about color in the messaging itself? What role should that play? Here are some important but often overlooked ways that color can increase the effectiveness of your print marketing efforts.
Increased Recall and Response
Study after study shows that, when messages and images are in color, it increases recall dramatically. Color increases recall in the 80% range, and people are about 40% more likely to select or read materials when they are in color.
Here are some more benefits of color:
- Helps readers find information more easily (great for insurance policies, contracts, and other lengthy documents)
- Reduces errors (highlighting instructions or account information helps people get it right the first time)
- Slashes payment time (try highlighting the amount owed and the due date with color and watch your invoices get paid faster!)
- Increases the ability of readers to understand and retain information (great for sales presentations)
When you want to draw your readers’ attention to something, consider printing it in color. Make phone numbers or payment information stand out in a letter. Highlight discounts in a brightly colored starburst. Use arrows or colored bullets to focus attention on key points in a brochure.
Success Translates into Dollars
One success story comes from the State of California Franchise Tax Board (FTB), which produces more than 14 million personal income tax returns each year. The FTB used to send out tax notices, but many taxpayers didn’t know what they needed to do, how much to pay, or where to send the payment. The result was slow payments and expensive volumes of calls to call centers.
The FTB decided to do something different. It added highlight color and personalized messaging to explain exactly what each taxpayer needed to do. Key information was displayed in blue, guiding taxpayers through the document and giving them specific instructions.
The result? Faster payments and fewer mistakes. This translated into millions in additional interest income and, at an average cost of $15 per call to the call center, significant savings from reduced call center contacts.
The takeaway? Color matters—not just in your graphics, but in your messaging, too. It is central to your brand identity and marketing psychology. Let us help you use color to make you money and save you money, too!