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Panel response cards, or RSVP cards, are the perfect inserts for sales letters, invitations and greeting cards. Panel response cards give your customers a quick and convenient way to RSVP for your special event or sign up for a specific service, meeting, conference, demonstration or sales call. The following panel response card design essentials will help you format a winning panel response card for your next direct-mail campaign:
Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind when designing a panel response card is to keep it simple. The goal of all panel response cards is just that - to elicit a response. It is best to keep information to a bare minimum. You don't want to risk confusing your customers, so use plenty of white space and use fonts that are easy to read. This doesn't mean you can't add a bit of pizzazz - perhaps a reinforcing starburst ("Don't Miss This Opportunity!") or a large headline is just the thing you need to dress up your panel response card design.
Understand your audience and the event they're being asked to attend to develop your theme. A wedding RSVP card might be elegant, while a corporate success seminar might be bold and powerful. Use imagery and graphic elements such as lines and bullets to separate information, or try a translucent background.
Panel response cards can include an offer and call to action. If your response card does feature these details, then they should be graphically highlighted. Other important information should likewise stand out: event name, location, date, time, etc. Make sure you leave a blank space for your customers to check a box and/or enter their personal details for reservation, and make sure your design doesn't obscure whatever they write. In most cases, a white or softly colored background is the best choice for your panel response card designs.
Shapes can add character to an otherwise-bland panel response card. Try highlighting your important information inside a circle or box. Another option that commands attention is to have your panel response cards die cut, especially if your die-cut shape matches your theme.
Even the best designers use pre-formatted templates, and for good reason: Templates clearly mark safe areas, cutlines and bleed lines so you know how to best position your panel response card layout. In addition, these templates are already set up in the correct color mode (CMYK) and resolution (at least 300 dpi), so you can simply open them in your favorite graphic design program and get to work. Never underestimate the importance of superb panel response card design. In many cases, filling out the panel response card is the last step your customers take when agreeing to take you up on your offer, so it's important that your message is reinforced through design to motivate your audience to follow through. The preceding panel response card design tips will help you do just that.