The Ultimate Guide to Postcard Marketing

The Ultimate Guide to Postcard Marketing

You may think postcard marketing is dead, however, the stats speak for themselves. Direct mail marketing is here to stay, and it's essential to boosting your business. Click here for more info!


With all the focus on digital marketing these days, it's easy to think that other types of marketing are dead. Many traditional marketing techniques still have some life left in them.

Postcard marketing is one such technique and is actually one of the best local marketing strategies there is. Look below to learn how to use marketing postcards and what they can do for your business.

Postcard Marketing Myths

First, let's dispel any rumors you may have heard that say direct mail marketing isn't worth the effort. Here are some common myths people believe about postcard marketing and the stats that prove them wrong.

Myth #1: Direct Mail Marketing is Expensive

A lot of people think that marketing postcards are too expensive. There is, after all, a lot to consider in the price of a postcard marketing campaign.

Obviously, there is a cost for mailing. But, depending on what marketing company you use, you may also be paying for printing, graphic design and writing the marketing copy. You may also have to purchase a mailing list if you don't already have one.

So what's the total? On average, marketing postcards cost 50?-$1.00 each, including postage.

Myth #2: Direct Mail Marketing is Dead

Another common myth is that direct mail marketing has become ineffective and obsolete in the age of digital marketing. It's true that with the rise in digital marketing, direct mail marketing has lost some of its effectiveness, but not all.

According to a study by the Direct Marketing Association, direct mail marketing still has a response rate of 4.4%. That's 10 to 30 times higher than the response rate of email marketing campaigns.

Companies that focus only on digital marketing are missing out. And that's another benefit for companies who do participate in direct mail marketing. That is, direct mail marketing typically has less competition than digital marketing.

Myth #3: There's No Point Printing and Mailing When You Can Email

People seem to think it doesn't matter whether an advertisement is printed or digital. Why send marketing postcards when you can advertise digitally? It would conserve paper and save on postage, right?

Believe it or not, a printed message has a significant advantage over the same message on a screen. Why do you think bookstores are still in business?

A message on a screen is just seen, but a tangible message engages senses other than sight. Because of this, a printed message is much more memorable and valuable.

How much more? 24 percent.

In a study by The Private Life of Mail, 24% of respondents said they value things they can see and touch more than things that are only seen. 57% also said they feel more valued when they receive physical mail. Tangible mail feels more personal than one more marketing email in an already cluttered inbox.

Physical mail requires you to engage. You can delete emails before even reading the title. You can select multiple emails and delete them in groups without ever seeing them.

But unlike emails, the content of a postcard is automatically "open" for recipients to see. They can't help but see your message when going through their mail.

Then, even if they trash it right away, they have to physically carry it to the trash can. By default, physical mail is engaged more than email.

Common Postcard Marketing Mistakes

As effective as postcard marketing can be when done right, it can also be very ineffective if you aren't careful. Below, we've included some common mistakes that will kill the effectiveness of your postcard marketing campaign. Read on to learn how to avoid them.

Mistake #1: Not Targetting Your Audience

The biggest direct mail marketing mistake companies make is incorrect targeting. Many companies waste money mailing to the entire local area. They get a very small return on their investment because only a small percentage of recipients are interested.

Why waste your marketing budget to send irrelevant ads to uninterested parties? If you are planning on marketing with postcards, you must have a targeted mailing list.

The best, easiest, cheapest way to do this is with an in-house mailing list. An in-house mailing list is a list of addresses you collect from your own customers for marketing purposes. If you don't already have an in-house mailing list, start one.

You probably already collect some information from your customers, like email addresses and/or phone numbers. Make sure you collect physical addresses as well.

If you have a membership program at your business, you can add physical mailing address a required step for sign-up. Or let the customers know there are exclusive offers and coupons for mailing list subscribers.

Your other option for acquiring a targetted mailing list is to purchase one. This is the less desirable option.

It requires a larger investment of both money and time. The cost can be quite expensive and it takes time to research and find the best company for your needs.

Mistake #2: Undesirable or Unfocused Content

Even if you are targeting the right audience, there's a way your postcards can still be pointless to your customers.

When your recipients collect their mail, they will quickly glance through it to see what's important and what's junk mail. If they can't figure out the point of your postcard mailer in this quick glance, it will go right into the trash. So your promotional postcard better get to the point right away.

The content of your marketing postcards should consist of only 2 things: a hook and a call-to-action.

For the hook, the front of your postcard should have a big title at the top or an intriguing image taking up all or most of the area. Either way, the point is to pique the customer's curiosity.

Make them wonder what the card is about so they'll want to read the rest. This is what gets your postcard into the "mail to go through" pile instead of the "junk mail" pile.

The other part, the call-to-action, is the point of your postcard. There should be only one call-to-action, and you should get to that point quickly. There's not much room on a postcard, so be as concise as possible to prevent overwhelming the recipient with clutter.

Your call-to-action should take up the other side of the card and pop out at the customer. That way, if they only see one side of the card, there is something to grab their interest on both sides. Coupons and location maps are good attention grabbers for the back side.

Mistake #3: Not Being Consistent

When marketing with postcards, it's necessary to keep at it. The key to success in postcard marketing is to keep sending mailers over and over again for several months.

Most of the time, you won't see much of a result after your first round of promotional postcards. It usually takes several rounds of mailers before recipients start responding.

There's also another benefit to repeated mailings. Even if your customer throws every postcard away without responding, they'll see your company name every time. Name repetition equals brand awareness, so repeated mailings are effective whether they're read or not.

Mistake #4: Forgetting To Include Vital Information

"Redeem this coupon at our store today," your postcard says. "What's the store address?" your customer asks.

Forgetting to include your address on your mailer is the most effective way to shoot your postcard marketing campaign in the foot. In addition to your address, make sure the recipient has all other information they need to heed your call-to-action.

This deadly marketing mistake is both the easiest to commit and the easiest to fix. Always have at least two people look over your marketing postcards to check for errors.

Mistake #5: Forgetting to Proofread

In the same way, it is essential that your postcard is devoid of grammatical errors. Typos make your mail look unprofessional and recipients won't take you seriously if they see them. When you check your postcards for vital information, proofread for grammatical errors as well.

Mistake #6: Sounding Like a Robot

It's easy to get so focused on business goals and calls-to-action that you forget to be personal on your postcards. When you proofread, also check the voice of your postcard to make sure it doesn't sound like it was written by an impersonal robot.

It helps to include a personal message in the postcard. You can say something like, "We miss you," or, "Here's a special offer to say thank you." Readers are more likely to respond to a kind person than a cold, emotionless corporate note.

Ready to Give Postcard Marketing a Try?

Marketing postcards are underrated and underused, even though they are still very effective. Don't be one of the many companies that overlook this strategy.

Instead, follow the tips above and tap into the highly responsive advertising audience that few marketers are reaching. Make postcard marketing part of your marketing strategy and give your marketing efforts a boost.

Learn more about our personalized marketing postcards and other printed promotional products here. Or see how we can help you strategize your marketing campaign here.

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