Direct Mail Tips: How (not) to Pack a Postcard


Direct-mail-tips-how-not-to-pack-a-postcard.jpgThe number of companies using postcard mailings as a part of their overall marketing strategies is constantly increasing. It’s easy to understand the appeal. Card mailings can be quick to produce and they are considerably less expensive than more involved direct mail packages.

Some businesses, however, can’t resist the temptation to pack way too much into the small space a card mailing allows. That can cause a couple of issues.

Postal Regulations

One major problem is running afoul of USPS regulations. Sometimes, in an effort to include as much information as possible, companies even end up placing copy or images in such a way that their mailings are rejected by the post office. The USPS has strict regulations about areas that need to remain clear, as copy and images can interfere with its automated scanning equipment.

When that happens, you’ll have to redo the mailing, and any savings that might have been realized by opting for a smaller format are lost. (By the way, we offer direct mail services that can ensure that this doesn’t happen to your mailing. Let us look at your card before you print it to make sure it meets USPS regulations.)

Information Overload

Another form of trouble occurs when the recipient actually receives the card. When businesses try to cram too much information into a small space, the tendency is to reduce the font size to accommodate more detail. Copy that’s too small and overly dense (with no white space) is hard to read. A lot of recipients simply won’t bother. On top of that, people are (understandably) distrustful of “the fine print.” There is an assumption that if a company puts something in small print, it’s because they don’t want people to read it.

So what is the right approach to take with card mailings? Keep in mind: your card mailing is more of a reminder or a call to action. If the product or service you’re selling requires a lot of explanation, you’re not going to be able to accomplish an effective call to action with a card. Instead, raise a question or concern with the card and then direct readers to your website for more details.

Cards can be good for a “save-the-date” kind of announcement, but keep it simple. Remind readers of the event and get them to mark their calendars, but don’t explain all the details. Send them to your website for more information. If you’re offering a coupon for your restaurant, keep it simple. Feature the coupon prominently, but don’t go into a detailed explanation of your menu or your corporate philosophy.

Card mailings can be a great component of an integrated marketing strategy. Just make sure you’re not asking your postcard mailing to do something it’s not designed to do. Simplicity is key. Keep your message and call to action clear, and use your card to direct prospects to other marketing tools that are better suited to convey more detailed information.

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