When you are creating an email for your marketing campaign, or designing a new flyer for your next direct marketing campaign, what are the most important aspects to ensure that you have got right?
Forget, for a moment, all your ‘artistic visions’. Stop dithering over whether to use the spring or autumn colour palette, or which font looks best for the headline. Take a step back. Look at what you’re working on and ask yourself: Is it doing the job I intended it to? Will it sell the product?
A good design and a winning colour combination can make a huge difference to the sales of your product, but only if the right message is being communicated in the first place.
If there’s time, it is a good idea to put the document away for a few days and to resist the urge to look at it. After a week, take it back out and see what you think. A break from something will always help you to see it clearer. Is it as good as you remembered? Does anything need changing? Alter it accordingly.
Stop trying to convince yourself, and everybody around you, that it is great. Instead, prove it! It is irrelevant how edgy, powerful or witty you think it is – what do your target market think? More importantly, do they think it communicates the message that you intended it to?
Don’t rely on your own opinion. The most effective way of finding out if something works, is to test it. Show the finished piece to somebody not involved with it – ideally, someone who is part of your core market. After five seconds, ask them what they think. If they haven’t understood it fully in that time, accept that you need to have a serious re-think. The design might be great, but if it isn’t doing its job, it is useless.
Don’t be persuaded to drop essential copy just to fit in with a design. Remember, everyone is biased to some degree, and most designers will be more interested in creating an exciting new design, than a simpler one which accommodates all your text. In some cases this might be the right choice, but be careful. It will be you and your company that suffers if it fails.