55 Tips For Postcard Marketing Success

Brandon Cornett asked:

Direct mail postcard marketing is one of the most versatile forms of marketing available. With its versatility, postcard marketing can serve small businesses and large companies alike.

But as with any form of marketing, you only get out of it what you put into it. To help you get the most from your postcard marketing efforts, I’ve assembled 55 tips for success.

Obviously, some of these tips will not apply to your particular postcard marketing needs, but with 55 of them … there’s bound to be something in there for you!

Upfront Considerations

1. To keep yourself on track through all of the steps to follow, create an overall postcard marketing plan. After reading this article, you’ll know exactly what to put into it.

2. To save yourself time, headache and hassle, turn the logistics over to a professional postcard printer.

3. To find the company that’s best for you, create a list of postcard service providers and begin comparing them on the points that are most important to you (cost, services, easy of use, etc.).

4. Begin thinking about the various elements of postcard marketing and who will handle them (the copywriting, the design, etc.).

5. Track down some colleagues who have used postcard marketing in the past. Buy them a cup of coffee and pick their brain about lessons learned, vendor recommendations, etc.

6. Start reading up on direct mail marketing in general, and postcard marketing in particular.

7. Create a postcard marketing budget that allows for multiple mailings.

Goals and Objectives

8. Gather your marketing folks together to define your marketing goals.

9. Avoid generalizations. Be specific with your postcard marketing objective. Determine the type of response you want, as well as the volume of response.

10. Set realistic goals and objectives. Get an idea of what postcards can do for marketers, and set your goals within those parameters.

11. Set objectives that are based on some form of response (as opposed to branding, awareness, or some other immeasurable trait). Postcard marketing is a response generator, not a brand builder.

Powerful Ideas

12. Create a reason for sending postcards before you send them (a promotion, a special offer, a news flash or announcement).

13. Come up with a big idea that will get people’s attention. Avoid mediocrity at all costs.

14. Strive to be different from other postcard marketing messages you’ve seen in your industry.

15. Build value into your message and your offer…

16. Just realize that true value starts with the product or service, not the postcard.

17. Make it your goal to make people say, “Gosh, I’m glad I got this postcard.”

18. Don’t rely on yourself to come up with a big idea. Get your top “thinkers” together.

19. Seek outside input on your ideas. Run them by some of your best customers. Make sure that what you think is a “wow” isn’t really a “yawn.”

List Considerations

20. Obtain your mailing list from a reputable source.

21. Find out how often your list provider updates their data. Make sure your list is as current as possible to increase deliverability.

22. If plan to use your in-house database, check the list for accuracy, duplications, etc.

23. Divide your mailing list into segments to allow for a more targeted message (current customers vs. prospects, for example).

Your Target Audience

24. Create an audience statement that outlines the people to whom you are mailing your postcards.

25. Expand your audience list to include their wants, needs, fears and concerns – everything you can think of that pertains to your audience.

26. Write down the various ways you (or your product) can satisfy their wants and needs.

27. Keep your audience statement handy as you develop your >postcard message (next item).

Marketing Message

28. Pull out your audience statement from earlier. Craft your message in a way that bridges the gap between your audience and your objective.

29. Take your big idea from earlier (item #13) and inject it into your message.

30. Remember, the better your product (or the bigger your idea), the easier it will be to write about.

31. Create a message that solves a problem, presents a solution, and offers value.

The Postcard Headline

32. Create a direct mail headline that directly identifies your primary audience. Call them by name, if necessary.

33. Offer a strong benefit with your headline. Describe the value of the message and offer that follow the headline.

34. Write your headline clearly and honestly. Avoid the use of jokes, puns and complex language. Keep it simple so people get it right away.

35. Make your headline interesting. You can’t bore people into contacting you.

36. Whenever possible, use numbers and other eye-catching specifics. Avoid generalities.

Postcard Design

37. Hire a professional graphic designer to create your postcard design. At the very least, start with a well-designed template and then customize it. Don’t ever mail a postcard that reflects poorly on your organization.

38. Be original. Create a “purple cow,” not just another brown one.

39. Design your postcard in a way that enhances your message and makes it more readable. Don’t ever let the design obscure the message.

40. Create the kind of eye-catching postcard that bursts from the mailbox.

A Strong Offer

41. Create a strong postcard offer to motivate your readers and improve your response rates.

42. Build an offer that’s related to your product or service in some way. Avoid offers that will attract unqualified prospects and “freebie hunters.”

43. Make sure your postcard offer is relevant and valuable to the reader (your target audience).

44. Whatever you are offering, position it in a way that showcases its value.

45. Offer something different / better / more unique than what the “other guys” are offering.

46. With the offer in mind, revisit your headline to make sure it relates to the offer. Make the entire message cohesive and focused.

47. Follow your offer with a specific call-to-action (next item).

Evoking a Response

48. Tell people what to do next. Use your call-to-action to move the reader forward.

49. Make your call-to-action stand out from the copy around it.

50. Repeat your call-to-action on both sides of the postcard (using callout boxes or starbursts as needed).

51. Make it as simple as possible for people to respond. Give them more than one way to respond.

52. Restate the reason they should respond. Restate the value of your offer.

Testing and Tracking

53. Make sure you have a way to track and test your postcard response rates. You can’t improve your results until you know what they are.

54. Try to learn something from each and every postcard you mail out. Change one element at a time to measure the difference in response. This is how you create “super postcards.”

Further Education

55. Spend some time on the website below to further your postcard marketing education.

* You may republish this article online if you retain the author’s byline and the active hyperlinks below. Copyright 2007, Brandon Cornett.

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