Direct mail works! In fact, more than 170 billion pieces were delivered in the United States in 2017, and response rates continue to be excellent. If you’d like to take advantage of this fact and create your own campaign, the question becomes: “What can you do to help maximize what you’re putting into your customer’s mailbox?”
One great way to do that is use postcards. In recent years, they’ve boasted average response rates as high as 5.7 percent—compared to emails at 0.6 percent—which can make them very profitable when used the right way. But it takes careful planning to make the most of this format, so here are 10 tips to keep in mind when you create your next campaign.
Tip #1: Segment the Market to Maximize Results
To get the best results, segment your list and customize your message for each segment you create. This will help you speak to each recipient’s needs more closely and see a great response rate.
You can divide your house list by geographic (location), demographic (age, gender, education, etc.), firmographic (industry, revenue), psychographic (lifestyle, opinions), and behavioral indicators. You can also complete a Recency, Frequency, Monetary Analysis, which helps you segment customers based on previous actions they’ve taken with your company. To reach customers you’ve never spoken to before, purchase or rent a list of prospects who would most likely be interested in your product from a broker.
Tip #2: Test Your Lists
Before mailing all of your postcards, it’s important to test a small batch to find what works. To do this, run a series of A/B tests on a small segment of your list to figure out which headlines, subheads, copy, messages, sizes or images will warrant the greatest response. Then, send the messaging that brought in the most leads to the rest of the list. Note that this analysis works for companies with more than 1,000 contacts, as those with shorter client lists will not have a large enough sample size to obtain significant results.
Tip #3: Follow USPS Regulations to Get Into Homes Faster & at a Lower Cost
Ensure all postcards in the campaign follow U.S. Postal Service (USPS) rules. Postcards must adhere to size, address specifications, and stock minimums. Companies must calculate the appropriate postage cost. If your postcards lack the correct address or fail the aspect ratio (length divided by height) of less than 1.3 or more than 2.5, it will be considered nonmachinable and subject to surcharges.
However, you don’t have to worry about remembering all the rules. Your Design Distributors representative has the expertise to help. Contact us today.
Tip #4: Choose the Proper Size for Your Message
Choosing the correct size for your postcard campaign is crucial, so pick a dimension that fits your messaging and budget. According to USPS regulations, small 4.25” x 6” postcards qualify for First-Class Mail prices, while other sizes, such as standard (6” x 9”) and jumbo (6” x 11”) will mail at letter rates, while extra large (9” x 12”) are charged as flats. The two latter sizes are best to mail at Marketing Mail rates.
Tip #5: Ensure Contact Information is Visible
There are many ways to get in contact with someone, so make sure you include the way you want customers to contact you in your messaging. For example, you may want them to speak with a representative or take action to an offer. Choose these according to the way you want customers to follow through upon receipt of your mailpiece.
Contact information could include:
- Location Address
- Email Address
- Phone Number(s)
- Fax Number
- Social Media Handles (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn)
When including a URL, double-check the link to ensure it sends the customer to an offer or product page, not just the homepage. You may want to utilize a QR code to allow recipients to utilize their mobile device to quickly get to your landing page.
Tip #6: Streamline Your Message
A postcard should present one concise and clear message, calling a customer to take one specific action, such as promoting a deal, supplying a coupon, and announcing new products or grand openings.
Provide a headline, brief copy explaining the offer in further detail, and contact information on the card. Wording should grab the customer’s attention, create a sense of urgency, and showcase the company’s quality. Use words such as “Free,” “New,” and “Save” to catch the recipients’ eyes, “Today Only,” “Order Now,” “Limited Time,” and “Special Offer” so they fear missing out, and “Quality,” “Superior,” and “Expert” to show your company is the best. Ensure your postcard goes through multiple rounds of proofreading to avoid errors.
Choose a message that fits on the postcard. If you think you need more space to convey your product or service offer or just want to go more in-depth, you might want to try a folded self-mailer, which provides all the benefits of a postcard, with a bit more room for text.
Tip #7: Add Personalization to Increase Impact
A NAPCO Research study found personalization can increase sales by 10 percent, and companies are using more than merely customized greetings. Headlines, images, and text can also be personalized. For example, when sending out postcard oil change reminders, the image of the car can be changed to match the type the client owns.
Variable data printing, which enables marketers to create custom messages at scale, can tailor each postcard to the individual receiving it. Utilize three or more personalization points, such as name, gender, and address.
Tip #8: Create a Design to ‘Wow’ Client
To capture your customer’s attention, you’ll want to pick colors that pop, durable paper, and varying font types and sizes throughout to draw the receiver’s eye to varying areas. When designing a postcard campaign, think about:
Always include your brand’s colors or choose bold shades to catch eyes. Choose one color to carry through the design or two contrast colors, such as orange and blue or black and yellow.
Paper & Print Quality
If you’re developing more than 50 postcards, use a professional printing service to achieve incredible image quality on various stocks with different types of coating.
Using your own imagery and photography will make your postcard stand out. Put thought into the strategy and coordinate the design with the offer—a beautiful visual must support the message. Ensure images, logos, and other visual elements are balanced with white space and text. Don’t forget to use both sides of the postcard.
Tip #9: Use a Multi-Channel Approach to Get the Most out of Your Efforts
It can take up to seven interactions with an offer before a customer takes action, so utilizing a multi-channel approach helps guarantee it is seen by as many people, as much as possible. A postcard campaign can be combined with social media and email marketing, as well as radio, television, and online ads. The branding, messaging, imagery, and colors should be consistent across all channels to ensure the client can identify you. For example, an image used on an Instagram ad can be repurposed for the postcard to keep branding consistent for easy recognition.
Tip #10: Track Your Results to Improve the Next Campaign
Develop a method to keep track of the channels your customers use to respond to your offer, the number of clients who visited but didn’t take action, and how many responded to understand how well your campaign did and what you can improve. Adjust the text and visuals of the next campaign accordingly. Always review your tests to find out which segments and variables performed best.
Get your postcard campaign started by reaching out to us today. Design Distributors knows all the tips to ensure it’s a success.