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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 54 tips for success.
Obviously, some of these tips will not apply to your
particular postcard marketing needs, but with 54 of them ... there's bound to be
something in there for you!
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
Goals and Objectives
8. Gather your marketing folks together to define your
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.
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."
20. Obtain your mailing list from a reputable source. See
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 you 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).
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
36. Whenever possible, use numbers and other eye-catching
specifics. Avoid generalities.
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
38. Be original. Create a purple cow, not just another brown
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
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
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
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
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.
Copyright 2007 by Brandon Cornett.
Brandon Cornett is the publisher of PostcardSmart.com, one of the
Internet's largest libraries of postcard marketing advice. For more tips on
direct mail marketing with postcards, visit