A Little Design Goes a Long Way

I recently received an email newsletter from a company that I was interested in following in pure text format. No photos, no signatures. no graphics, and absolutely no reason to read it.

Now, I am interested in finding out more about this company and the surely “amazing” new product or service that they were pitching me, I wouldn’t have signed up otherwise. But, with the day as busy as it is and the amount of emails that are truly important and otherwise interesting, I just couldn’t bring myself to read it.

In a world full of brilliant design and 3-second sound clips, you really can’t stand out without some design to your product, service, or marketing message. Good copy just plain isn’t enough anymore.

Think about all of the marketing messages you;ve seen today alone. First in your morning email, and then on the side ads of Facebook. Not to mention the numerous (and brilliantly designed) brand logos we keep prominantly displayed in our homes. Then the billboards, bumper stickers, and signs on your way into work. Continue email, web browsing, drive home, and on and on and on.

As you see more and more messages, you become more sophisticated at filtering through them. it’s the natural evolution and developing of our brains. It’s the same process that teaches us what to watch out for when we drive. This is great, except that everyone else filters your marketing messages through the same filter.

This means that design is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity. No one will read your email or billboard or advertisement without an appropriate level of design and catch to it. Notice the word “appropriate”. Not every marketing message needs the world’s best billboard, but it does need the right level of design, whatever that may be.

A couple of suggestions for where to put the right design:

  • Website: Your site really must be eye-catching to make people stay on the site and convert them to customers/newsletter subscribers/etc.
  • Email Newsletters: You don’t need a flashing neon light here, but a little bit goes a long way
  • Facebook: Your avatar and maybe some custom tabs make for a nice tough
  • Marketing Materials: Another must-have here. Your prospects see so many marketing messages on the average day that yours really must be highyl developed to make it through.