Postcard marketing is a highly effective yet affordable way to reach out to your prospects and customers. Done correctly, a small investment in direct mail postcards can yield big returns. Printed postcards aren't only easy on the budget, they're also more eye-catching and more likely to catch a glance then other types of mail pieces. Here are some tips to make them work for your business.
Define your postcard marketing goal
What do you want to gain from your postcard marketing campaign? Common objectives are to generate new leads, increase returning customer sales, generate website traffic, attract attendees to an upcoming event or keep your contacts up to date on a new location, product or service. Stay focused on the purpose of your postcard printing to ensure they pack the right punch.
Identify your audience
As with all marketing efforts, zoom in on who you are targeting to get the best return on your postcard campaign. If your goal is landing new customers, can you describe your perfect prospect? Is the new service you're announcing relevant to your entire customer base or just a portion, such as residential versus commercial? Once you've identified who to go after, then you're ready to plan your postcard design and copy.
Massage your message
Unlike those travel postcards you pen to friends back home, the idea here isn't to cram every spare inch of space with information. Two key tenets of copywriting are critical for capturing your readers' attention.
• Keep it short and simple. Fewer words create higher impact. Imagine each extra word will cost you 100 wasted postcards tossed in the recycle bin! Clear, concise and catchy headlines on the front like "Summer Gear is Here!" or "2-for-1 Special Savings" get attention, as do short, provocative questions. Combine a crisp headline with something visually appealing to catch the eye. Use the back of the postcard for the important details, offers or a personal message.
• Focus on your customers' needs. Look at your message from their perspective and apply the "ME" test - what's in it for me? Many businesses make the mistake of touting their horn or announcing news without explaining the benefits they offer customers. So, you now have the newest, most high-tech carpet cleaning equipment out there. Do I care? Only if it means you can get my carpet cleaner, have it dry faster, keep my family healthier, protect against stains better, etc.
Time it right
In postcard marketing, timeliness is the ticket to success. We inherently expect business postcards to provide a short term snapshot - what's new and enticing now, or what's coming up soon. These aren't pieces to put in a "someday-maybe- when I get around to it" file. Give your recipients a compelling reason to take action NOW, such as a discount or reward for responding by a deadline. Make the postcard do double duty as a coupon, event ticket or gift card that comes back to help you measure its effectiveness.
Choose a Postcard format - Response vs. Cost
The most profitable direct mail campaigns achieve the highest possible response at the lowest cost. While smaller sized postcards are cheaper to print and mail, a larger postcard may actually be more cost effective if it gets you a higher response. Large postcards can be distinctive and also give you more "real estate" for additional content. The best way to know is to test what works best for your message and your audience.
Use a clean, targeted mailing list
If you're targeting your current customer list, you'll want to keep your mailing addresses up to date or take extra steps to ensure your postcards get delivered. Mailing services such as NCOA (National change of address) may cost a few pennies more, but pay off by getting more pieces into the hands of your valuable contacts. You can also rent mailing lists to reach your target demographics. Because these list databases are updated frequently for most current address information, they're usually very reliable. We offer a guarantee of 90% deliverability on lists rented through us, for example.