Five Biggest Marketing Design Mistakes

The job of marketers is to get the company sales message to the right people and to make it as easy as possible for those people to read, understand and act on the message.

The language used in the marketing communication is very important. It should focus on the benefits a product or service brings to the user and those benefits should be clearly presented in headlines and subheads, then supported by compelling bullets and body copy. Finally, there should be a strong call to action that clearly tells the prospective customer why they should respond now and how to respond — visit a location, call, fax, download educational content or any other option.

How that copy is presented visually, however, also has impact on whether or not it is read.

To eliminate as many barriers as possible to getting your message read and acted upon, follow these five TESTED design rules:

Never reverse body copy (online or off) out of a dark background. It reduces readability by over 30%. Web pages, ads, fliers or mailers with all-black backgrounds and light copy are the worst. Reversed headlines are OK, but not body copy. Dark type against a light or white background is the most readable.
Never treat copy as purely a design element. Words laid out in a cute shape or design manner are unreadable. Yes, you want your design to reflect your business brand and style, but the purpose of marketing design is to make the message as inviting and readable as possible.
Use pictures whenever possible. Pictures of people are the best. Using people on your online or offline marketing materials makes your business look human and add a level of comfort to those thinking about responding to your offer. A visual that directly supports what you are saying makes your message stronger.
Keep lines of text short from left to right. The eye moving across a computer screen or printed page from left to right can easily lose its place. The harder you make people work to read your message, the faster those people will stop reading and move on. In fact, in email, experts say the rule is to put no more than 70 characters, including spaces, on a single line.
Don’t hide your call to action. Presenting links online is pretty easy. But if you want a response to your printed material – letters, fliers, sales sheets, and brochures – make your call to action prominent and clear. Prospects need to see the 800 numbers, URLs and/or email address or street address quickly and clearly so that they know instantly what you want them to do.