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Direct-mail postcard campaigns are one of the most economical ways to drive response and earn an above-average return on investment. Plus, they actually work, evident by the fact that even the largest companies that have budget constraints continue to rely on postcard marketing to attract new customers and bring long-time customers back through the door.
Here are a few direct-mail postcard printing trends today that work.
Niche marketing is more important that ever as customers are ever-more diversified. Postcard mailers today focus on a very specific product or service and are sent to customers who meet well-defined demographics and are likely to buy. Rare is the case when a blanketed direct-mail marketing campaign has yielded more profit than a smaller, highly-targeted niche campaign. You can use tools such as PsPrint's custom list configurator to help you define your targeted consumer and business mailing lists.
One exciting trend — at least for designers — is to print large postcards. Even though printing a 6-inch by 11-inch postcard is admittedly more expensive than printing a 4-inch by 6-inch postcard, modern online printing technology has reduced printing costs so that even the largest postcards are affordable. Plus, the postage paid will be nearly the same for large and small postcards that meet USPS guidelines. It's also been shown that larger postcards get more orders — presumably because they're more intriguing and get viewed more often.
Back in the middle ages of mail-order postcards, you'd get some ugly card stock splattered with gobs of blue, red or black ink. This was a decidedly unattractive — yet economical — way to peddle one's wares nationwide. Today's customers expect to see color, and they'll be more inclined to take you up on your offer if your postcards have exciting designs possible only through full-color printing.
Quality paper goes hand-in-hand with full-color printing. Go with a bold 16-point gloss stock or for a more refined look, try 13-point matte.
Like all promotional pieces, effective direct-mail postcards include a great offer and a call to action to motivate customers to take the next step in the purchasing process. This could be as simple as a free download in exchange for an e-mail address, a buy-one-get-one-free offer or something else entirely. Let's say a new fitness club is opening in town. The club might want to send postcards with a coupon redeemable for a free one-week membership — all the customer has to do is fill out their contact information and return the coupon and they're in. This has three benefits: 1) They get to try out the great club and might be persuaded to join; 2) since they're interested, you have a targeted lead for your next campaign if they do not join this time; and 3) you can measure your response rate by the returned coupons. Other types of businesses such as restaurants and golf courses could benefit from the same type of campaign. Who wouldn't want a free meal or round of golf?
Follow these tips and be creative with your design and copy. Get to know your customers well so you can identify with their needs, concerns and desires; and you'll be on the right track the next time you launch a direct-mail postcard campaign. Don't forget to record the results!