We’re all familiar with the infamous excuse, “It must have gotten lost in the mail.”
Yes, items do get lost in the mail—but certainly not at the rate we hear that excuse. It’s more likely the lost mail was either thrown out as junk mail, trashed because it wasn’t recognized, or simply ignored because it didn’t look important. When you are snowed under with incoming communications, they all begin to look alike. And that goes for email, too.
Your benefits communications are important but unfortunately, they’re competing for attention with the rest of day’s numerous communications. This is why branding is such an essential part to your benefits communications. If you have not come up with a way for them to stand out, you run a big and unnecessary risk of a message not making it to an employees’ attention. This is a basic engagement problem, and one that can be solved by adopting a few simple techniques from the world of direct mail.
While nobody likes direct mail advertising, you cannot deny that you have not at least seen it. In a sea of white A-10 envelopes, direct mail ads manage to stand out and grab your attention. And with your benefits communications, that’s really all you need. Your employees know the message is important—your goal here, is to be seen.
So, base your branding decisions on these key factors:
Separate yourself with a distinctive look.
In print, you are competing with other paper. The least expensive route to go is, plain white paper. You can separate benefits paperwork by simply adding color in an eye-catching way. Color and design elements can make your previously plain print materials notable.
Separate yourself by touch.
One way direct mailers have their mail get noticed is by choosing to apply different weights or textures to the paper. Any print piece that is a little heavier or lighter gets noticed from the rest of the mail pile.
Separate yourself by size.
If an item is oversized or cut in different dimensions, it will stand out. Most print marketers will tell you that an interesting size or shape to a print document creates awareness and connotes importance.
Separate yourself with a first impression.
When chosen well, the first words people read can form an instant connection. This is why headlines sell newspapers and why click bait works on social media. Carefully choosing and designing the placement of the first words for your communications, can create the engagement you seek for your benefits materials.
You can apply these branding principles to anything in print, online, or in emails. These basic ideas work in any medium and will have your piece stand out from the avalanche of other similar media.