The postcard is a pillar of direct mail marketing in today’s world. Everybody sends them! But, not everybody sends them effectively. In fact, you could argue that most postcards mailed out are widely ineffective. So what are the keys to a productive, sales-driving postcard?
Here are six points your postcard needs to cross off, to maximize its potential.
The Ultimate Checklist For Mailing An Effective Postcard
1. Is Your Postcard The Right Size?
Postcards are mailed in all shapes and sizes. They can be anywhere from 4” x 6” to 6” x 11” and even up to 8.5”x 14.” So how do you know you’ve chosen the right size? Think about the objective of the card and what your budget allows. Although a 4”x6” card is budget friendly, is it going to attract enough attention? Is the amount you’re saving worth losing some potential customers? If you mail a jumbo 8.5” x 14” card, will the increased results offset the higher printing costs?
The size of your card will determine which postage class you send it in. By keeping it under 4.25” x 6,” you can still mail it as a “First Class Postcard.” Anything from that size up to 6” x 11” will reside in the “Letter” qualification. This will give you the advantage of mailing it Presort Standard “letter” with a larger size. Lastly, anything larger than that, and up to 12” x 15” is a "Flat." By knowing these standards, you can choose the correct mailing class and cost.
2. Does It Have Attractive Design?
As soon as your recipient grabs the card out of their mail box, design will determine if they want to read more. Poor design immediately blares the alarm of “junk mail.” And your postcard will find its permanent home in the trash. Quality design draws the reader in to examine the message you’re sending. Include some visually striking images, graphics, and colors. If your card’s appearance is too dull, no one is going to read it. So make sure it's easy to read. Keep the fonts simple and appropriate. Your card isn’t going to be reader-friendly if you’ve used a dozen fonts on one side. And if your reader can’t read it easily, they’re not going to stick around for the good stuff.
3. Is There An Attention Grabbing Headline?
If your design is the bait, your headline is the hook to reel them in. It’s critical to have a headline that grabs their attention. This headline conveys to the reader that your piece is worth reading. It needs to stand out from the rest of the copy. You can determine this by doing the “eye test.” Show someone your postcard for five seconds and ask if they know what it’s about. If they don’t know, then you need to make it more obvious.
Make your headline attention grabbing by addressing your customer’s problems. Then you can provide the solution with the rest of your company. Or include your greatest benefit in the headline to show the value you can provide them. Another idea is to include your offer directly in the headline as well. To generate the right one for your card, brainstorm at least 10 options and then narrow it down.
4. Did You Include A Strong Offer?
What’s the whole point of sending a postcard? It’s to get a response. You might be selling your products or services. Or spurring someone to take action. Or introducing yourself as a solution to your customer’s problem. In a perfect world, your customer would see your card, head right into your store or onto your website, then buy your product or service at full price. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.
Your recipient needs an incentive to buy your product or test out your service. Give them a free trial or a limited time demo. Include a coupon for $10 off or 20% off. Without a strong offer, they aren’t going to be as motivated or receptive to taking the plunge with you. Allow them to make a decision with as little risk as possible. Offer a satisfaction guarantee or money back plan. Use your postcard to offer them something actually valuable.
5. Is Your Call To Action Clear?
You’ve given your customer a killer offer, but do they know how to respond? Make sure it’s crystal clear to the recipient of how you want them to respond. Should they go to your website? Should they bring the card in? Are they supposed to call a number? There shouldn’t be any hint of doubt for your customer to take action. Spell out how they should respond with a three step action plan. Any friction they experience in the action phase will decrease the chances of them following through with your offer.
On the other side of things, make sure you’re ready for them to respond. If you want them to visit a landing page on your website, is that page completely ready-to-go? If you want them to call, do you have people ready to field those calls? The last thing you want is them to take action and you aren’t prepared to handle the response.
6. Is Your Postcard Going To The Right People?
You can follow all of these guidelines and your card could still flop... if it’s not going to the right people. Have you clearly defined who your target recipient is? Will they be interested in what you have to say? If so, how are you going to acquire the mailing list? Are you mailing to your customer base or “house list?” Or, are you going to buy a target consumer list. Before doing anything, you need to have a sharp understanding of who your target recipient is. Because if you don’t, they aren’t going to be interested. Plain and simple. By doing a little research or brainstorming for 15 minutes, you can strategically narrow down who your ideal buyer persona is. Then, you tailor the rest of your postcard to fit their interests and needs.
Now it’s time to put the rubber to the road and get it done!