Business Postcard Ideas and Examples for Direct Mail Marketing
Postcards marketing has become one of the most effective mediums that enable businesses to reach out to customers and get their products or services noticed by them. In the past few years, we have observed that the digital marketing sector has become a crowded space where everyone is after the same thing – to grab the users’ attention. As a result, it has become increasingly difficult to grab the user’s attention even with a well-planned digital marketing campaign. More and more marketers are now turning back to business postcard ideas for direct mail marketing to enhance their marketing efforts.
Direct mails provide a more tangible solution that the audience is bound to notice, unlike digital communication like emails or text messages that often remains unread in the customer’s inbox. There is something about the tangible nature of direct mail that begs the user to just read it. Even among the types of direct mails, postcards hold a certain significance because they are short and often come with attractive pictures that can easily convey your marketing message. This leads to higher engagements which ultimately results in more conversions.
However, to get these desired results from postcard marketing, you need a well-thought strategy because, let’s face it, merely sending a postcard is hardly enough to push the customer to make the desired action. You need to have a comprehensive idea of what kind of postcard will work best for your unique target audience.
This article discusses the different business postcard ideas that can come in handy for businesses belonging to different verticals. Apart from taking you through some of the prominent postcard ideas that you can use, we also discuss various business postcard examples that are used today.
Business Postcard Ideas for Better Marketing
Below we discuss some of the best business postcard ideas that can help you streamline your marketing efforts using direct mail postcards. Using the following postcard marketing ideas for business, you can effectively communicate with your customers and attract them to your business.
1. Personalization Generates Better Response
The best way to run a direct mail campaign using postcards is to personalize them, and because of that, every business postcard ideas implementation needs to be backed by strong data. Underestimating the importance of personalization in modern-day direct mail marketing could be the difference between running a successful marketing campaign and a failed one. One prominent reason for personalization in postcards is that the customer fully expects it. If you don’t do it, then there is a good chance that they will just throw away your postcard without even bothering to read its content.
Furthermore, the whole point of using direct mail like postcards is to make an emotional appeal to the customers, and sounding robotic is the last thing you want. Most people find direct mail to be more personal than advertisements they come across in digital channels. With personalization, you need to ensure that you speak directly to your customers or prospective customers because this will be a decisive factor that will affect their response to the postcard. Your goal should be to create an impression that you’ve hand prepared the postcard for them even if deep down they know that it only looks like that. Some easy tips for personalizing your postcards are as follows.
2. Include Recipient Name & Other Details
Using the recipient’s first name is the most basic personalization you can carry out, and this is a must. Failing to do this could easily end up with the recipient throwing away your postcard. You can also add other details like job titles, location, and any other information that may be relevant to your offer.
3. Use PURLs
PURLs or Personalized URLs are a common but advanced personalization method you can use on postcards. The personalized URL includes the recipient’s name, and this plants the idea that the offer is specifically for them. Apart from this, it invokes curiosity in the recipient to visit the link.
Including PURLs will also convince the customer that the mail is at least not mass-produced. PURLs are great for tracking engagement, and it even allows you to understand user behavior better, and all you need is a good CRM.
4. Vertical Orientation Over Horizontal Orientation
Marketing is mostly about standing out from the rest of the crowd so that your business gets noticed, and it’s the same for direct mail. Although physical mail indeed offers a less clustered mode of communication, it does not mean that your work is done. The best postcard campaigns make use of attractive and unique design elements that make an impact on their recipients. There are numerous ways for you to achieve this, including the use of bright, bold colors, attractive images, infographics, and so on.
However, there is one quick way that you can differentiate yourself from others. All you have to do is change the orientation of your postcards from a horizontal one to a vertical one. Although this may seem like a pretty simple step, it can have surprisingly big results. The majority of postcards come with a horizontal orientation, and just by switching to a vertical or portrait orientation, you can effectively make an impression on the recipients. Couple the portrait orientation of your postcard with some suitable design elements and an attractive offer, and you have a success story in your hands.
5. Include Coupons or Discount Codes
You can significantly increase the chance of receiving a response from your postcard recipients by including a coupon or discount code in it. The beauty of using a coupon or discount coupon in your postcards is that it can be used to urge the recipient to take quick action or give them time and have them use it whenever it’s convenient for them. Why is this important? Because the longer a prospect holds onto your postcard (discount code), the greater the chance that he or she uses the coupon to make a purchase.
By not providing an expiry date for the coupon or discount code, you can allow the recipients to mull over your offer. Provided that you have accurately targeted the recipients, they will either use the coupon/discount code immediately or save it for later. The reason for saving it for later could be anything. Maybe they were just busy with something else when they received your postcard, or maybe they were just waiting for a better time to buy your product. Regardless of their reason for saving the coupon for later, you must make your mailpiece easy to store away or hold on to.
6. Make Attractive CTAs Using Contrasting Colors
CTAs or Call to Actions are a key element of a webpage, but it is equally important on your postcard mails as well. The CTAs serve as a signpost that lets the recipient know what to do next and why they should do it too. It shows or rather highlights what the recipient needs to do next, and therefore, it is essential that your CTA can easily grab user attention and what better way to do this than using contrasting colors that makes your CTAs pop out. The use of contrasting colors immediately attracts the recipient’s eyes, and hence most marketers tend to use bright colors for their call to action.
As far as postcards are concerned, the call to action is any portion of the postcard that the marketer decides is the most important in it. You can also consider using darker transparent blocks for your call to action and then use a contrasting color to highlight the brand logo or caption. Make sure that when you use bright colors, you do so in a sparing manner so that it does not look overwhelming to the recipients. You should also make sure that you only highlight the important messages on your post because highlighting every part of the message is the same as not highlighting any.
7. Add Social Proof to Your Postcard
Adding social proof is one of the most effective business postcard marketing ideas for businesses. You can try adding social proof such as customer testimonials so that your prospects know that your brand is a reliable one. After seeing that you have successfully helped your precious or existing customers with problems similar to those they are facing now can positively impact your prospects. Such aspects will also help you garner their trust. Sometimes, just convincing social proof like a testimonial is enough to push the prospect to take the desired action.
But, despite the advantages of social proof, most of the time, we still don’t see it on the postcards because they have limited space, and the priority is almost always given to highlighting their offer. Instead, the social proof is usually presented as an afterthought in direct mail campaigns. However, you may be able to find enough space on the postcards to include short quotes from the testimonials. Doing so can potentially improve the response rate for your direct mail campaign. Furthermore, if you consider the fact that the testimonials can increase your chance of conversion by 34%, it is hard not to include similar social proof in your postcards.
Although testimonials are perfect as social proof, they are not the only thing that you can use on your direct mail or postcards. Yet another prominent way to address social proof in postcards is to simply dedicate one of your multi-touch sequences specifically to social proof. This way, instead of using parts of your customer testimonials that may or may not convey the context accurately to the recipients, you can use entire sections or in this case, postcards to feature a single, longer review or testimonial. This way, your postcard can even contain multiple five-star ratings printed where each rating highlights a specific problem/issue and how your product or service was able to fix it.
8. Show Faces to Create a Better Personal Connection
One of the biggest reasons for using direct mail campaigns, including postcards for marketing, is their ability to connect with the customers and earn their trust. And the biggest challenge in direct mail campaigns, particularly the ones involving postcards, is their limited space and time. This becomes even harder if you are dealing with a cold audience. Human faces and seeing them generally have a reassuring effect on people. Therefore, featuring the smiling faces of your real customers in your postcards can make a lasting impression on your audience.
Furthermore, using real images of your customers is also a powerful statement that shows how authentic your brand is further to cement your prospect’s trust in your brand. Such images can prove crucial when the prospect is on the fence and push them to take a desirable action. Since this business postcard idea is particularly aimed at earning the trust of the prospect, this is best suited for business sectors where trust is critical for securing new business. For example, this postcard idea can be ideal for business verticals like medical services. You can include pictures of doctors or member staff as it also helps you put a face to the brand.
9. Utilize Bold Images to Grab Attention
First impressions are crucial for postcards, and you need to get it right to pique the recipient’s interest, which is best done through an image. Even though direct mail is relatively a less crowded marketing strategy, you must consider the probability that you are not the only one sending direct mail or postcards to your prospects. This means that you have to grab their attention in a matter of seconds, meaning that your postcard needs to stand out from the rest. The easiest way to grab the recipient’s attention to your postcard is to use bold images that can attract attention as well as invoke a sense of curiosity in them.
The image you use on your postcard needs to be relevant, even if it is an abstract one. Try visualizing the primary concerns of your target audience and convincingly pitch that idea. For example, if you are trying to pitch a piece of medical equipment for heart patients, you could try using a picture of someone who’s in pain. Although this may seem odd to some of you, what matters is its ability to drive results. How detailed your idea is and how well you can convey it through the image can ultimately decide the fate of your direct mail campaign using postcards. You can even go so far as to try incorporating a little humor in the postcards so that the audience finds them amusing.
10. Utilize QR Codes in Your Postcards
The ultimate goal of sending direct mail to your prospects is to boost engagement, and that is most effectively done through an online medium. Every successful modern-day direct mail campaign works across offline and online channels. Furthermore, this enhances the scope of engagement as it can mean anything from visiting your website to filling out a form or buying a product, or even scheduling a meeting. Your direct mail or postcard will always have a goal that involves your audience taking the desired action. To make your customers or prospects complete such action, you must make it as convenient as possible for them.
This is where QR codes come in handy. With a QR code, your customers or prospect no longer have to type in a lengthy URL to access your website or landing page. All they have to do is point their QR code scanner in their phone at the postcard. One must never underestimate the value of the convenience offered by QR codes because you’ll be surprised by how many people refuse to proceed to type in the URL simply because they feel lazy. This happens even if there is an attractive offer, which further underlines the need for QR codes. Therefore, it is no wonder that QR codes in marketing are among the fastest-growing business postcard ideas in the marketing world.
QR codes offer an effective way for your customers and prospective customers to easily and conveniently engage with your mailer. But apart from this, there are other advantages it offers your postcard mailpiece. One of the biggest challenges in sending postcards for marketing purposes is its limited space, and marketers often have to make compromises because of this. QR codes can be optimized to take up very little space so that you have space to highlight the other important parts of your message. Furthermore, you can use your QR code to do pretty much anything, including leading them to the app download page in the app store or leading them directly to a product page.
Top Business Postcard Example
We know that business postcards are a great way to market your product or service to potential customers. But, in order to do it right, you need to get a better understanding of how it can work for your unique business. Below we discuss some of the top business postcard examples and the things you need to consider for business postcards of different industry verticals.
Postcards For Real Estate Agencies
Real estate postcards come in different sizes and designs. You can better utilize this kind of postcard by using them for sales announcements, open houses with special significance given to the images. You can also use them for sending general messages, in which case you need not focus too much on the image part.
Postcards For Home Improvement Companies & Contractors
When creating postcards for home improvement companies or contractors, make sure that you don’t cram too many details into the limited space. You should try employing an organized layout coupled with readable font size and can also contain QR codes in them. They are ideal for promotional purposes.
Postcards For Fashion Retail Shops
Stylish designs should be a priority when creating postcards for fashion retail shops. More importantly, make sure you use them for sales announcements and offering discounts as they work best for conversions.
Postcards For Coffee Shops
Coffee shops often use postcard campaigns in their initial stages to let potential customers know that they are opening for business. This type of postcard often includes an incentive like a discount offer along with a great copy that appeals to the target audience.
Postcards For Veterinary Clinics
Veterinary clinics often use postcards as a unique means of reminding their customers/patients of their appointments. Such postcards make an emotional appeal to their recipients, and its effect can be enhanced by using a more personal touch which will ultimately help you create a loyal customer base.
Postcards For Web Design and IT Companies
Postcards are ideal for web designers and IT companies to reach out to their prospective clients because you can showcase your talent right in the image portion of the postcard. This helps you convey the value of your service effortlessly to the target audience.
Postcards For Senior Care Businesses
In the case of senior care, postcards with the right imagery and use of vibrant color can convey the message that their institution promotes an active lifestyle for their senior patients. Most families are impressed by such factors and want the best for their loved ones.
Postcards For Event Planners
Event planners can make use of postcards to invite their target audience to bridal shower events. Furthermore, they should also make it a point that their postcards align with an elegant theme corresponding to that of the event. It is best if you include some form of incentive for making a visit.
Postcards For Travel & Tourism Businesses
Travel and tourism have always worked well with postcards. When using postcards for a travel and tourism business, ensure that you use the relevant font and design elements such as vintage fonts for historical destinations. You can make use of one or more images with a strong caption for the best results.
Postcards For Floor & Roof Tiles Sellers
One of the best practices followed by floor and tile sellers when sending postcards is to include a sample guide of the products on sale. Try to include as much information as you can when you announce a sale.
Postcards For Insurance Agencies
Postcards are a great way for insurance agencies to reconnect with their former clients. In such cases, you need to ensure that your message is well-worded with a strong image that complements the content, and it would be best to include some form of incentive to the recipients.
Postcards For Plumbers & HVAC Contractors
The postcards sent by HVAC contractors and plumbers include those sent to remind their existing clients about warranty expiration for the service the customers have already availed. When doing so, you should also remind them of the work you did for them so that they can decide whether they need it again.
Postcards For Dry Cleaners
Dry cleaners can use direct mail to let their customers know about any charitable events they are participating in. This can greatly affect how your customer views your business, and people often enjoy contributing to a good cause making it ideal for positive image building for your business.
Postcards For Flower Shops
Flower shops ideally use postcards when they expand their business operations to new territories, and the announcements are best carried out through postcards. You can add attractive promotions with well-placed CTAs with minimal words and attractive and real images of your business/products.
Postcards For Delivery Services
Delivery services use direct mail or postcards to reach out to potential customers and highlight how the process at their business works and the top-quality practices they employ. Ensure that you showcase your contact number so that the recipients can reach out to you any time.
Other Business Vertical That Use Postcards For Marketing
Practically any business can make use of postcards for their marketing purposes. We have listed some of the more common business postcards in use today. Apart from the ones listed above, many other industry verticals such as landscaping businesses, church organizations, massage & spa businesses, barbershops, and even educational institutions. As long as you pitch with the relevant content, postcard marketing can work wonders for your business.
Business postcards are now more popular than ever because they provide an alternative and more effective way to reach out to the target audience. There are various business postcard ideas that you can implement to ensure the best result for your business, such as personalization, social proof, and more. We have also discussed various business postcard examples that give you a comprehensive idea of how postcards work for different industry verticals.
The implementation part of postcard marketing is relatively easy as all you need is an advanced direct mail solution like PostGrid. With a solution like PostGrid, you can easily personalize your postcards and automate the entire mailing process to save you both time and effort. When you couple advanced direct mail solutions like PostGrid with the best business postcard ideas, you are bound to get positive results for your marketing efforts.