We all receive postcards in the mail. And for good readson—they’re effective. There are a number of ways you can use direct mail as part of your overall marketing strategy to extend your reach to prospective clients. A lot of our clients make use of direct mail postcards.
This isn’t surprising since postcard mailings are generally quicker to produce and less expensive to send than some other forms of direct mail. But you want to be sure you’re using postcards for the right kind of message. And you want to ensure that they grab attention and generate response.
First, let’s look at situations in which a postcard mailing makes sense and how you can be sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. Then we’ll look at three creative ways you can use cards.
Consider Size and Copy
Just because they’re fast to create and inexpensive to send doesn’t make postcards perfect for every mailing situation. Keep in mind that what the USPS calls a “standard postcard” only includes dimensions between 3.5” x 5” and 4.25” x 6”. Flat cards larger than that but not over 6” x 11” are considered “letter mail” by the USPS. Even that doesn’t give you a lot of room for your message. Jumbo postcards (larger than 6” x 11”) offer a bit more room, but at the cost of much higher postage. That all means you’ll want to keep your copy short and to the point. It can help if you think of postcards as mailable billboards or physical Tweets. Click here for more insights into copy that’s effective for postcard mailings.
Smaller postcards can be overlooked. You’ll want to make sure they grab attention. Again, you do have the option of using larger cards (which cost a bit more to print and mail). But you still want them to catch someone’s eye and make it very clear what you’re offering. That’s where the expertise of a skilled graphic designer can really pay off.
Link Cards to Your Website
Because you’re limited in the amount of space you have, you’ll want to include a link back to a dedicated landing page on your website. That’s where you can provide additional information and explanation. It’s also a great way to capture contact information (if you have a good offer).
3 Creative Postcard Uses.
1. Event Promotion
Postcards make great announcement pieces. You can use them as a “Save the Date” reminder. As mentioned above, you’ll want to link the card to a landing page that describes the event in more detail and allows people to RSVP. Because these mailings are relatively inexpensive, you may want to send several cards leading up to your event to keep it “top of mind.”
2. Coupon Marketing
Retail stores and restaurants often have great success using postcards as coupons. You don’t need much explanation so the format lends itself to a simple bold message (“Bring this card in for a 25% discount!”). An additional advantage is that you’ve already put the coupon in your prospect’s hand. There’s nothing they need to print out. It’s ready to use.
3. Multi-step Teaser Campaign
If your company has a big announcement to make, “tease” your clients by providing them increasing amounts of information with each card. This builds anticipation and reminds them that they want to be there for the big event.
As long as you respect the limitations of a postcard mailing (and by that, we’re talking about size) and are willing to be creative with your approach, you can save money, reach prospects effectively, and drive prospects to your business. But you need to make sure you follow strict USPS regulations to get the best postal rates (TMR can help). Finally, always make sure that your message and your call to action are clear.