Marketing With Postcards


What’s the first thing you do when you get a postcard in the mail? If you’re like most people you’ll turn it over. Regardless of what’s on the first side we see, we always look at the other side. That’s instant involvement!

Compare this to the fate that befalls a letter that’s been identified as advertising material. Studies show that most people don’t open every piece of mail they get. They’re selective about what they even bother to open, let alone actually read.

Think of the waste involved in printing and sending something that goes straight into the wastebasket without being opened or, even if opened, is then disposed of without being read.

Postcards are often overlooked when it comes to considering promotional tactics but in fact they have lots of advantages over other forms of mailout:

      -  They’re inexpensive to produce; you can even make your own postcards 
      -  They’re inexpensive to distribute 
      -  There’s no work folding and inserting them into envelopes 
      -  Well designed postcards have a lot of visual impact 
      -  Nothing hides the message on a postcard

There are two ways of describing the ideal postcard. The first is that it would look good on a refrigerator door. The second is that it would make a good billboard.

This translates as a clear, uncluttered piece of communication without too many words and with attractive graphic elements that enable the message to be conveyed quickly. If you can come up with a postcard that possesses these attributes, you’ve got the right idea.

As long as you have a good quality printer you can even make your own postcards. This can add ‘homemade appeal’ to your message. Just be sure you comply with any applicable postal regulations.

Your business name and logo should stand out on a postcard. It’s a good way to introduce yourself to someone who’s never previously heard of your business.

Many businesses send out different mailing pieces to the same list each year but always use the same style envelope. What happens every time the person sees that envelope? They know what’s in it and unless they have actually been thinking that they need something from this company, then into the wastebasket it goes.

With postcards, you’re able to send out something different every time. Even if you send a card to your mailing list every month you can make it a different card so that you pique the recipient’s curiosity twelve times a year.

Think of how versatile a postcard can be. This is just a partial list of the many uses for this promotions tool:

      -  Say ‘thank you’ - for an order, for an inquiry, for anything you appreciate

      -  An after sale follow-up - thank customers for their purchase and remind them of your guarantee or service

      -  A gift certificate as a means of introducing yourself to prospects or rewarding current customers – ‘Bring
         this card in and save $5 off your next purchase’. Postcards are very easy to redeem in this way but you
         could equally ask them to quote a code number on the postcard if ordering by mail or over your website.
         And redeemed postcards allow you to easily establish the success of your campaign. Postcards used as
         offers are a good incentive for people to do business with you.

      -  An announcement of something new – your new website, an award you have won, a new product or an
         upcoming sale

      -  A reminder - ‘It’s been twelve months since your last visit’ or, ‘Your car is now due for service’

      -  To test an offer – send out just a small initial mailing and if the response is worthwhile go for a larger run

Postcards can be a simple prompt for customers to get in touch with you. They can direct people to your website to find out more about something that they’re interested in.

Here are some straightforward cheap and quick techniques for making postcards work for you.

      -  Be single-minded. Don’t try to communicate a lot of details; a postcard should carry only one key thought
         or message.

      -  Be brief. Use as few words as possible, and if a picture will substitute for a lot of words, use the picture.

      -  Be brief. Use as few words as possible, and if a picture will substitute for a lot of words, use the picture.

      -  Use a postage stamp. It makes it look less ‘businesslike’.

      -  Don’t expect a postcard to close the sale. The primary purpose is to gain attention and interest the
         prospect in learning more.

      -  Make it look like a message from a friend or some other kind of personal correspondence.

      -  Go for a slightly bigger size than standard. This will make your postcard stand out from any others in the
         mailbox and won’t cost much extra to print.

Do postcards replace other materials like letters, brochures or catalogues? No, but they can help you make sure these other items aren’t just sent out to be thrown into the nearest waste receptacle.

Until next week,
Mike Reddy