Top 10 Postcard Marketing Tricks

Today, I’d like to share some of my favorite postcard marketing tricks. Postcard marketing is one of my favorite lead generation strategies because it works. Even better, it’s fairly easy to do and priced competitively with other marketing strategies.

Over the past ten plus years I have mailed more than 100,000 postcards to promote different business ventures. By mailing that many postcards I learned what works well for me and I also learned what doesn’t work.

What I want to do in the paragraphs below is share ten of my best postcard marketing tricks. Some of these tips are common sense and other things you may not have heard of before. I encourage you to evaluate your own postcard marketing campaign in each one these different areas to identify ways you can improve your next mailing.

Top 10 Postcard Marketing Tricks

Top 10 Postcard Marketing Tricks

Trick # 1: Use Quality Card Stock

It’s vital that you use quality card stock when you are mailing postcards. No, the postcard itself doesn’t have to be pretty with a bunch of fancy graphics, but it shouldn’t feel flimsy. The card itself should be thick enough that it presents itself as a quality postcard, not something you did on your home computer.

Depending on your use for postcards, there can be many different variations  on the best paper for postcards. The important part about choosing paper for postcards is to know exactly the specifications you want on your postcards before choosing a paper type.

Source: printivity insights

Trick # 2: Your Headline is Everything

When mailing postcards, you only have a short moment to capture your prospect’s attention. That’s why your headline is so important. You want a headline that captures the person’s attention and entices them to read the rest of your postcard.

Here are a few example headlines:

  1. Your Dream Business is Here!
  2. Opportunity Awaits You!
  3. Have You See This?
  4. This Ugly Postcard Makes Me $$$$
  5. Mail Box Money Has Arrived!
  6. If You Can Mail Postcards, You Can Make Money!
  7. Your Ship Has Finally Arrived!

Your headline is one of the most important elements on your direct mail piece.  It should entice your prospects to flip the card over and read more and not toss it away.  Brian Clark  states in a recent article on Copyblogger, “On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest.” In other words a bad headline can deter people from reading the rest of your copy.

Source: directmailimpressions

Trick # 3: Have a Strong Call to Action!

Make sure you tell your reader EXACTLY what you want them to do next. If you don’t tell them what to do, they won’t do anything. Here are a few example call to action statements:

  1. Visit my website to learn more
  2. Call our 24/7 voice message to get the details
  3. Return this postcard with $1 in a SASE

Good marketing creates desire, and the easiest way to create desire is to show customers you have what they want – and what they want is a benefit. Headlines that showcase benefits are more likely to be noticed and draw customers in to the rest of your postcard, including your offer and call to action. Think about the greatest benefit your product or service offers.

Source: PsPrint

76% of Americans have been influenced to make a purchase after receiving a direct mailer

Trick # 4: Have Several Ways to Get in Touch with You

Ideally, you want to include several ways for your prospect to get in touch with you. You should include your phone number, website, email and mailing address, at a minimum.

Your physical address, telephone number, website, or email address should serve as the call to action of your postcard. If people like what they see on your postcards, there’s a great chance that they’ll visit your store, shoot you an e-mail, or give you a call. Be aware that you don’t have to be too forward in presenting your contact information on your postcard – as long as they can be used within your postcard design, it should be enough to encourage your readers to follow through with your call to action.

Source: PrintRunner

Trick # 5: Track Each Mailing

Use a tracking code for each mailing that you do. Track everything you do so you can determine your Return on Investment.

All your postcards should have a tracking mechanism of some sort: a coupon code, a custom URL, QR code, or some other way you can easily measure response. It’s important you track your response rate and your ROI so you can identify what postcard marketing strategies work with your audience. Be sure you not only track response, but also conversions (or ROI). One postcard might yield outstanding response rates, for example, but few buyers; while another might yield lower response rates but more buyers, which would vastly increase your return on investment.

Source: PsPrint

Trick # 6: Use a First Class Stamp

Whenever possible, use a postcard stamp. A real stamp. That’s much better than metered postage. A First Class Stamp really stands out.

A first-class stamp costs a little more per card but looks friendlier and produces more replies. In addition, you get all the benefits of first-class mail including a “return to sender” if the address is no longer valid. This is a great way to maintain and update mailing lists.

Source: businessknow-how

Sells direct mail where most of our $50 million in revenue comes from re-orders

Trick # 7: Outsource the Work

Don’t be the one who puts labels and stamps on the postcards yourself. It’s too time consuming and is not the best use of your time. Hire a company to do it, or even better, a teenager in your neighborhood (or your own kids).

When you outsource, your company gets access to the quality of service it needs, but pays for that service only when it’s used. Your marketing budget is too important to risk on less than a stellar outcome. Taking every possible step to ensure the greatest return on investment starts by taking advantage of professional postcard services.

Source: business2community

Trick # 8: The Two-Step Selling Process

You shouldn’t try to sell something directly from your postcard. There’s not enough space on a postcard to do that properly. Instead, you want to send your prospect to a lead capture page first, so you can capture their name and email. After they type in that information they can be redirected to your sales page. This is known as a two-step selling process.

Postcard mailing is a two-step process. They are intended to inform readers where to receive additional information. Marketers should not expect to sell products directly from postcards, as they contain too little information.  The key for marketers is ensuring that postcards are used to generate leads rather than sales.

Source: Chron

Trick # 9: Match Your Offer to Your List

When you go fishing and you are trying to catch fish, you use worms, not candy. In other words, you match your bait with what you are trying to catch. When it comes to postcard marketing it’s important that you match your offer with the right mailing list. Otherwise you are wasting your time and money.

Portland marketer Wilson Zehr observes, “The world’s best offer will produce zero results when directed to the wrong recipient,”. Create an accurately detailed profile of your likeliest prospects, and then apply it to your list. Ruthlessly purge the names of individuals who do not match your template.

Source: The Castle Press

Neuroscience studies show that physical media such as print and DIRECT MAIL leaves a deeper footprint

Trick # 10: Leverage Multiple Mailings

Most people will need multiple exposures before they make a purchase. Just mailing a postcard one time makes very little sense. You would be much better off mailing 1,000 prospects three separate times than mailing 3,000 prospects one time.

Repetition sells. A good strategy is to plan a series of follow-up postcards and mail them to the same list (less those who have already responded). In this manner you can keep reinforcing the benefits of buying from you as well as promote your brand name, making it more likely prospects will respond to subsequent mailings.

Source: PsPrint

Final Thoughts

There you have it folks. These are my top 10 postcard marketing tricks. Once again, I am a huge fan of postcard marketing. I’ve been mailing postcards for many years and I will continue to do so in the months and years to come. Why? Because postcard marketing works!

What are some of your best postcard marketing tricks? Which one of the tips listed above is your favorite? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.

 

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22 thoughts on “Top 10 Postcard Marketing Tricks”

  1. These postcard tips are great, Chuck. I really like the idea of simply focusing on your message, and not the graphics. You can have all types of great images, but without a good message, your postcard won’t convert well.

    1. Yes, the headline, message, and call to action are the most important things. Too many people focus on how beautiful their postcard looks, rather than focusing on does the message work. That’s why so many people fail with postcard marketing.

  2. Hey Chuck. Thanks for creating this detailed list of postcard marketing tricks. I’ve been thinking about getting into direct mail. I’m still learning the ropes and doing my homework. I appreciate your help.

    1. Hi Hannah,

      I would tell you to jump in as soon as possible. Start small, make some mistakes, and learn. You’ll learn more by doing that for a few months than you will studying the ins and outs of postcard marketing for several years. Just my two cents.

      Chuck

  3. I really like the idea of sending postcards to former and current customers. It’s a good way to follow up and stay in touch with your prospects.

    1. It sure is. I was taught by a mentor of mine to send a piece of mail to every current and former customer at least once a month, every month, until they die or tell you not to. I do my best to follow that advice day in and day out.

  4. My favorite trick that you listed is to outsource the work. I can’t imagine sitting at my kitchen table putting stamps on 5,000 or 10,000 postcards. That would take forever. It makes more sense to let a printing company handle it. Time is money.

    1. I feel you. I put stamps on a couple thousand postcards one weekend. I will never do that again. I’d rather hire a company or local teenager to help me do that. Time is money!

  5. If you’re going to do postcards, or any marketing strategy, you definitely want to track what you do. That way you can figure out what is working well and stop doing the things that aren’t working well. How would you do tracking with a postcard, Chuck?

    1. I like to use a simple code on each postcard I mail out. Or I create a URL just for that postcard. Or, I have a different call in number for each postcard, or access code. It’s quite simple to do.

  6. Wow…these postcard marketing tricks are amazing. I know postcard marketing works but figuring out a way to make it effective in order to achieve great result has always been my problem. The tricks highlighted in this article are simple enough and should be easy to follow. Thanks for sharing

    1. The key is to get started, track what you do, learn from each mistake, and keep mailing. Do that for a year and you will know more about postcard marketing than 99% of the marketers in the world.

      Once you figure out what works for you, you can then scale what you do on a massive scale. But start small, and be smart with your money.

  7. This is the very first time I have heard about postcard marketing. Considering we are in the internet era, this strategy sounds outdated. That being said being, an old school marketing strategy isn’t always a bad idea. It could still work. If it worked in the past it may work again. The goal never changes, just the way of doing things. Marketing is marketing regardless of the medium.

    1. It might be “outdated” but it still works well. And that’s what matters most. If you don’t have postcard marketing as PART of your overall marketing plan, you are definitely leaving money on the table. In many cases, direct mail is the best way to get in touch with your target market.

  8. My favorite tip is tip # 2 where you talked about the headline. You definitely need something that stands out and gets the reader’s attention. If they don’t like your headline they probably won’t read the rest of your postcard. They’ll just throw it out and move on to the next piece of mail.

    1. Yes, the headline is vital. It can be bold, controversial, funny, engaging or downright crazy. Whatever you do, it must stand out and get their attention, or you’ve lost them.

      If you have 1 hour to design a postcard, spend at least 30 minutes of that on the headline. You might even want to test two or three different headlines from time to time.

      Sometimes a small change, even changing 1-2 words in your headline, can make a huge difference in your response.

  9. I think it’s important to make a great first impression. Wouldn’t it be hard to do that with an ugly postcard, Chuck?

    I think a beautiful postcard would easily outperform an ugly postcard.

    1. I think an ugly postcard can make a great first impression IF the marketing message is right, the offer is right, and your audience is right. They’re so ugly people HAVE to look at them.

      Beautiful postcards might be eye appealing, but people are used to getting them. Not many people receive ugly postcards, so it’s a quick way to stand out in the marketplace. Just my two cents.

  10. What is your opinion on size of the postcard? And, color printing on a white cardstock, or black printing on a colored cardstock? Plus any additional comments or suggestions relating to these questions. Thank you!

    1. Hi Randy,

      You can go on websites like Vistaprint or staples to create your postcards just to get you started. They also have options where you can have someone design it for you. I believe the recommended thickness is 16 to 18 points and either a 4×6 or 5×7 size card. You can choose to be very creative or not, however remember that many postcards may end up in the trash. My goal would to have the card be eye catching so the person would want to stop and read it. I hope this helps!

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