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Marketing with postcards continues to be one of the most popular and successful ways to build your business for a lifetime of profitability. In fact, postcard marketing has even emerged as one of the single best ways to bring highly targeted buyers to your website; thus, postcard printing represents the pinnacle of mixed marketing strategies by combining the proven powers of print with the digital convenience of the web.
There’s no doubt postcard printing is a powerful strategy for business growth, but only if you do it right.
It might be tempting to dig right in to your postcard design, but first you need to plan your postcard marketing campaign for success. Determine the goals of your direct-mail campaign, identify your audience, create your offer, and decide what action your recipients should take. Here’s how to plan the perfect postcard marketing campaign.
The first step is to set goals for your postcard marketing campaign. What, exactly, do you want your postcard to achieve?
Your postcard marketing goals can be general or specific. General postcard goals might be to:
It’s best to convert generalized goals such as these into specific goals that can be measured, which will lend insight into how successful your postcard marketing campaign is. Examples of specific postcard goals include:
Once you’ve established goals for your postcard marketing campaign, you can more easily make decisions that will help you achieve those goals.
Marketers often create a “control” postcard, which is a postcard that generates a predictable, reliable and profitable response rate. In subsequent campaigns, they’ll A/B test different versions of the postcard against the control. The idea is to consistently seek ways to improve your response rate. If a new version beats the control, and does so consistently, it becomes the new control.
In addition to setting campaign goals, you should also decide when you want to send your postcards. For example, if you’re gearing up for the holiday rush, you’ll want to plan ahead so your postcards arrive right when people are ready to buy.
The next step is to identify your audience. You might send postcards to a house list comprised of existing customers; or, you might create or rent a new mailing list. You can also print EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail) postcards to send to every address in a defined geographic area.
If you’re sending postcards to a house list, all you need is your existing customer contact information. If you’re sending it to a new list to attract new customers, your list should be comprised of people who match your customers’ demographic data, including:
If you’re A/B testing different versions of your postcard, you might want to segment your list. For example, you might create two small lists to see which postcard performs best, then send that version to the larger remaining list.
By now you know what you want your postcards to achieve and who you’re going to send them to. The next step is to figure out how you’ll get those people to respond, and that means you need to create a compelling offer.
Next, determine what you can offer customers to motivate quick responses. Perhaps your solution is enough, but you can improve postcard response rates with a time-limited special offer: a discount, a freebie, or a buy-one-get-one-free deal, for example. Don’t forget: a deadline can influence quick response. Your offer needs to compelling enough to make customers want to respond right away. Think like your customers: is your offer good enough to motivate action today? Right now?
It’s a good idea to set your postcard budget during the planning phase. Some costs are static, while others depend on the number of postcards you’ll send.
Next, you can predict your return on investment. If you’re offering a 50 percent discount, for example, you need to determine how many sales you’ll need to make for your offer to be profitable.
Let’s say you sell a product that costs $100 after a $50 markup, and your postcard promotes a 20 percent off coupon. Your cost of that product is $50, so at $80 every sale is worth $30.
Now, let’s say you want to send 10,000 postcards, and it costs you around $4,000 for postcard printing and mailing.
If we assume a 2 percent response rate, which isn’t too difficult to achieve, you’ll yield 200 sales. Multiply that times the value of each sale ($30) and you’ll gross $6,000. Now, subtract your printing and mailing costs, and you’re left with a profit of $2,000. In this scenario, your postcard marketing campaign will pay off, even if you invest, say, $500 in copywriting and design.
Finally, you need to decide what customers should do when they respond to your postcards. Options include:
No matter which action you have customers take, you need to be prepared for their response. If they’re going to your website, you should have a landing page or catalog ready for them to view. If they’re visiting your brick-and-mortar store, staff need to be ready to help them cash in on your offer (you might additionally print flyers, hang tags or stickers to help them locate your offer in-store). Make sure the experience is cohesive, so you don’t lose customers who respond!
Your postcard copy, or postcard wording, must deliver a compelling message to motivate recipients to take action. Here’s how to write postcard copy that generates responses.
Your headline is the most important part of your postcard text: It must command attention, create desire, and inspire recipients to read the rest of our postcard. Some postcards even convey special offers and sum up the entire message in a single line.
You can see how each of these headlines works to generate interest in your message. The first one offers a discount on popular merchandise – and suggests a deadline. The second touches on a pain point and promises a solution. The third creates excitement and promises a benefit. The fourth asks an intriguing question and suggests the answer is in the text below. And the last makes a promise and presents a benefit.
Think about your target audience. What do they want? What do they fear? What problems do they have? What are they likely to respond to? How can you sweeten the deal to increase response? Use the answers to create your own winning postcard headline.
Your headline draws customers into the rest of your postcard copy; next, you need to list benefits to create desire or reinforce the message you present in your headline.
You can reveal your benefits as bullet points, which makes them easy to read and understand. Succinctly tell your customers how your product will solve their problems or otherwise improve their lives. Highlight your unique selling point to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Be sure to understand the difference between features and benefits. For example, let’s say an auto repair shop wants to market new tires with a postcard marketing campaign. A feature of the tires is that they grip the road better during rainy conditions. The benefit is that drivers and their families are safer.
You have your recipients’ attention, and you’ve created desire; now, you need to make your pitch. Deliver a special offer that motivates them to take immediate action. Your offer might be a discount, a freebie, a buy-one-get-one, or some other incentive to buy now.
Be sure to add a deadline to take advantage of your offer. Doing so will encourage more responses, faster, and help reduce the number of people who put your postcard aside and forget it about it later.
If your offer isn’t up to snuff, your postcard marketing campaign will yield less-than-ideal results; however, if your offer is compelling and aligns with your audience’s needs and desires, your postcards will be primed for success!
of your success is contingent onthe perceived quality of your offer
is dependent on the quality of your mailing list
is dependent on everything else
Last but not least, your postcard copy should feature a powerful and compelling call to action. Your call to action can:
There are three other considerations for your postcard copy. The first is to consider adding a guarantee. A 100 percent money-back or satisfaction guarantee can boost response rates by eliminating risk.
The second is to add a tracking mechanism, such as a coupon or coupon code. This will help you measure your response, so you can determine how successful your postcard marketing campaign is. It’s not perfect – some people will forget to use the coupon code, and others will contact you via other channels – but it can certainly help you judge whether a given postcard campaign is successful.
Finally, consider how your postcard copy will read on both the front and back of your postcard. The back of your postcard can be prime real estate, especially since mail is typically delivered address-up. Don’t miss this opportunity to draw people in to your message!
Though you’ll create your postcard design after your draft your postcard copy, your design is the first thing prospects will see and notice. For that reason, your design must stand out from the rest of the mail. A good postcard design accomplishes three things:
Here are some tips for designing a successful postcard.
If your postcard doesn’t stand out, nothing else you do will get noticed. Postcard design ideas include:
You can use design to reinforce your postcard copy and create desire for your products and services. Here’s how to do it.
Don’t be afraid to search the web for postcard marketing examples that serve as springboards for your own inspiration.
Think about the visual hierarchy of your postcard and use visual cues to guide customers through your benefits and on to your call to action. Carefully consider how eyes will naturally follow along with your use of color, typography, layout and spacing. Ideas include:
Again, checking out postcard advertising examples online can provide inspiration. One good way to determine whether you’ve crafted a good postcard design is to blur the image. Without being able to read your postcard text, can you get a general idea of what the postcard is promoting? Do your eyes naturally move toward your call to action, even if you can’t read it? If so, you’ve developed a winning postcard design!
Make your own custom postcard online with our free postcard templates and online design tool. Choose your own colors, upload your own photos and logo, and add your own text fast and easy.
When it comes to direct-mail postcard printing, large postcard sizes stand out from other mailers, so they’re practically guaranteed to be noticed. There’s nothing wrong with 4-inch by 6-inch postcard printing or 5-inch by 7-inch postcard printing, but a 6-inch by 11-inch postcard will undoubtedly earn the attention of your audience.
Your choice of postcard paper stock works with your design to set the tone of your message. Glossy postcard printing is great for exciting, cutting-edge brands, for example, while matte postcard printing is perfect for elegant brands.
You can add an ultra-glossy UV coating to protect your postcards during mailing and make them brim with brilliance. Want to project an eco-friendly image? Opt for 100 percent recycled matte paper stock.
Paper weight is important, too. In fact, studies have shown that heavier paper stocks can lend a sense of trust that influences purchasing decisions. So, it makes sense to print postcards on thick, heavy paper stocks.
For the ultimate combination of visual impact and tactile sensation, consider printing ultra postcards, which are triple-thick and feature an attention-getting band of edge color.
These postcard paper stocks are perfect for postcard marketing campaigns:
|16-point C2S gloss cover||15-point velvet with soft-touch coating||15-point velvet||14-point C2S or C1S gloss cover stock||13-point matte cover||13-point 100% recycled matte||Ultra postcard stock|
|thick, durable, with a glossy finish on both sides||a soft-touch coating gives this paper stock an air of elegance||velvet, , without the soft-touch coating, offers a semi-matte finish||thick and glossy on both sides or just one (perfect if you want customers to be able to write on the back)||matte finish makes your postcards seem sophisticated||for eco-friendly postcard printing||triple-thick with two outer layers and an interior core paper that gives your postcards a band of color around the outside|
Take advantage of several strategies to save on postcard printing. They include:
If you have questions about postcard printing, don’t hesitate to contact PsPrint’s friendly printing experts!
We’ve already covered the importance of your mailing list (40 percent of your success depends on it!), so here we’re going to cover postcard mailing options you can launch the most effective postcard marketing campaign possible.
There are two different ways to mail your postcards: to a mailing list or via Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM).
Mailing lists are best when your audience is spread out; that is to say, the people you’re sending postcards to do not live in the same neighborhood (they might not even live in the same state). Good candidates for mailing lists are businesses that want the ultimate in targeting options.
EDDM postcards are best when you’re sending postcards to every person in a neighborhood or ZIP code. EDDM postage is cheaper, but your options are limited. Good candidates for EDDM postcard printing include local businesses that want to reach everyone in town and businesses that can target by neighborhood demographics.
If you’re sending 200 or more postcards, you can qualify for a bulk rate from the U.S. Postal Service. You’ll need to purchase an Indicia to take advantage of the bulk rate, unless your postcard mailing house provides one (PsPrint’s does).
In fact, using a mailing house to send your postcards can streamline the entire process. A postcard mailing house will:
If you want an easy, streamlined postcard marketing experience, consider choosing a one-stop postcard marketing shop such as PsPrint, which can handle your postcard marketing from start to finish:
All you need to do is add or create a mailing list, choose your printing and delivery options, then send your postcards to print. You can get a free PDF proof to make sure your postcard looks amazing before you send. Postcard marketing companies such as PsPrint make it easy to quickly launch a custom postcard marketing campaign, practically hands-off.
Once your postcards have been mailed, you’ll be excited to see what kind of response you get. But your postcard marketing campaign doesn’t end there. The next step is to plan your postcard follow-up.
Marketers know that repetition sells, so it’s important to begin planning your next postcard campaign. You’ll want to send it to the same people who receive your first postcard to increase the amount of exposure you have with your target audience.
You should also consider launching cohesive campaigns that feature the same offer in other marketing channels. For example, you might schedule your postcards to be sent at the same time you deploy an email or social media marketing campaign.
Plan to send anywhere from three to seven (or more postcards), and your response rate will increase with repetition.
Remember to take advantage of your tracking mechanism to determine whether you’ve achieved your postcard campaign goals. Track response, conversions and return on investment; then, adjust future postcard campaigns accordingly. If your first postcard knocks it out of the park, make it your control; then, A/B test other variations to try to beat it with your next campaign.
Postcard marketing isn’t rocket science, but the strategic approach outlined here will vastly improve your results. The best part is you can print cheap postcards without sacrificing quality. Maximize your return on investment with discount postcard printing today!