3 Critical Tools for Successful Postcard Marketing

February 11, 2014

For successful postcard marketing, you need a mailing list, a special offer and a call to action. If you are looking for something quick and simple, try one of PsPrint's easy-to-personalize postcard design templates, like the one above, in our gallery. For successful postcard marketing, you need a mailing list, a special offer and a call to action. If you are looking for something quick and simple, try one of PsPrint's easy-to-personalize postcard design templates, like the one above, in our gallery.

Postcard marketing can be one of your most powerful business strategies. In order to maximize your return on investment, you must incorporate the right tools into your postcard marketing plan. The following lists three critical tools for successful postcard marketing.

1.  Mailing list

Your mailing list will play an enormous role in the success of any direct-mail postcard marketing campaign. A great mailing list is primed for success; however, a poor mailing list will do little more than bleed your investment. Developing a good mailing list isn’t terribly difficult; you can build your own list in-house by collecting customer information; or, you can rent a mailing list.

If you have your own list comprised of current and past customers, you know it’s full of people who are likely to buy from you. But what about renting a list? Isn’t that risky? Not so much, especially when you build that list strategically. A good practice is to list major known demographics about your best customers, then compare which they share. For example, if you find your five best customers all have a certain income level, are women between 35 and 40 years old, live within a certain radius, are married, have children, like to buy with credit cards, etc., then you can begin to construct a target customer base demographic.

Now, you rent a mailing list that meets that targeted demographic on all levels: Since the people you’re sending your postcards to are very similar in terms of lifestyle to your best customers, you can be sure they’re also likely buyers.

Never underestimate the power of a great mailing list. In fact, the 40/40/20 rule of direct-mail marketing states your list is responsible for a full 40 percent of your success.

2.  Compelling offer

It’s “Copywriting 101,” yet I’m amazed at how many postcards my wife and I receive that do not include a compelling offer. Your offer should be the entire premise of your postcard: the reason you’re sending it, at least from your customers’ perspectives.

What makes an offer compelling? First, it must have good value for your customers, and it must be something your customers have desire for. What that is, specifically, depends on your unique business and customer base. It might be a good discount, a buy-one-get-one-free deal, or some other incentive to buy now.

Speaking of buying now, your offer should be time-limited. Otherwise, your postcards run the risk of being relegated to the “later” pile – customers might intend to followup, but never get around to it or do so too late. Give your customers a few days or a few weeks, depending on the nature of your business, to respond to your postcards to encourage fast results.

Like your mailing list, your offer is responsible for 40 percent of your postcard campaign success. That’s why you should also recap your offer with a powerful call to action.

3.  Powerful call to action

Finally, a powerful call to action will help you earn greater response rates for your postcard marketing campaigns. A good call to action restates your offer and creates a sense of urgency to motivate immediate response.

Always make sure your call to action is clear about exactly what your customers must do next to take advantage of your special offer, whether it’s visiting your store, calling a phone number, or logging on to your website or mobile app. It’s OK to have several options, so long as you’re clear on what customers must do next.

Of course, there are other elements to a successful postcard campaign: creating desire through copy that showcases customer benefits, attention-getting postcard design, and quality of paper stock; however, the three aforementioned tools are the most critical. Get those right, and you can tweak the others to generate the greatest possible return from your next direct-mail postcard marketing campaign.

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About Brian Morris

Brian Morris serves in various capacities as a freelance writer, content developer and public relations specialist for growing small businesses. When he’s not writing, he can be found on the racquetball court - usually getting his tail kicked by guys 20 years older.

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