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5 Ways to Use Images to Improve Your Response Rate

October 3, 2014

Direct Mail Images

There’s more to a persuasive postcard than just engaging copy. From smiling people to photos of your product, the right images can have a huge influence on your direct mail campaign’s response rate and profitability.

In this blog post, we’ll share five ways you can use images to increase your response rate, drive more leads and sales, and better connect with your audience in your next direct mail campaign.

Use a shocking image to grab your audience’s attention

Are you marketing a pest control service? Use a shocking image of termites eating away at a home in your marketing postcard. Are you marketing a local auto repair service? Use an image of a car that’s broken down on the side of the freeway.

Using shocking imagery that shows what could happen to a prospect’s property or lifestyle if they don’t use your product or service attracts attention. It also demonstrates the value by showing what could happen without it.

Even when you’re using shocking imagery, it’s important to have a strategy. Choose shocking images that are related to your product and aren’t just gimmicks – readers are unlikely respond to an image that relies on shock value alone.

Use an image of a happy customer interacting with your product

Images of happy customers have been used in direct marketing for decades, and for good reason: they work. When prospects see an image of a happy person using your product, they associate your product with happiness.

From vacuum cleaners to kitchen equipment, a smiling person holding your product is a great image to have on your direct mail pieces. For best results, choose a model that matches the demographic you’re trying to reach with your campaign.

Match your imagery to your campaign’s target audience

Here’s an interesting psychological fact of marketing: people are more likely to have a positive response to advertisements when they include pictures of people who are similar to them.

This applies not just to looks, but to age, income and hobbies. When you include an image of someone (or several people, in the case of families) that’s similar to your target demographic, that target demographic is more likely to respond.

Think carefully about who your campaign is targeting and use your ideal customer profile as a source of inspiration for your campaign’s images. You could even ask an existing customer if they’d like to be used as a model for your marketing campaign.

Show the benefits of your product or service in your image

From a stunningly clean car to a stress-free life, showing the benefits of your offer in your imagery is a great way to demonstrate its value. Instead of showing prospects how not having your offer affects them, you show them how having it helps them.

This type of imagery is most suited to products and services that improve a part of the prospect’s life, rather than those that prevent a problem from occurring in the first place. Does your offer have an obvious benefit that can be shown visually?

From health supplements to vacuum cleaners, products that offer an obvious visual improvement in one aspect of another of a prospect’s life are perfectly suited to this strategy.

Use imagery that includes a visual metaphor related to your offer

Sometimes the best imagery isn’t direct, but subtle. Visual metaphors have been an important part of print and digital advertising for decades, and they remain just as effective today as they always have been.

Visual metaphors can make your advertising seem clever, thought provoking and fun. They can give it a sense of intelligence that other campaigns often miss, giving you an advantage when it comes to grabbing your audience’s attention.

Often, visual metaphors are most effective when combined with a headline that’s a play on words. If your audience is highly intelligent and impressed by humor, using a visual metaphor could be a great way to enhance your campaign.

Is your direct mail campaign’s imagery as good as it could be?

Many marketers ignore the images they use in their campaigns in favor of headlines that command attention or persuasive copy. While these elements are undoubtedly important, putting them ahead of imagery can be a serious mistake.

All elements of your direct mail piece play a role in persuading your target audience to take action, and a poorly selected image could let down even the best headline or copy. Is your direct mail campaign’s imagery really as effective as it could be?