A Beginner’s Guide to Postcard Marketing
Direct mail continues to dominate the marketing world even today. With the blend of new ideas and technology, marketers are now conducting highly targeted campaigns.
Companies can combine their direct mailing and digital marketing efforts for the best results. But, they need to try out different combinations and find the ideal ones. This way, they can excel in both and drive more conversions.
Even though this combination is powerful, some companies have restricted themselves to digital marketing only. Hence, they are missing out on a lot of opportunities.
But, what makes direct mail marketing more impactful? Well, it is the fact that people are overwhelmed by digital media and are now looking for a break.
Let’s get to the details!
There are several direct mail collaterals that can get your message across to your audiences. These items bridge the gap between you and your prospects. You can convert them into customers with the right offer and CTA.
Marketing postcards perform great with their compact size and eye-catching design and people like receiving them in the mail. Postcards don’t require envelopes and hence, have high open rates.
What Is Postcard Marketing?
Postcard marketing is popular among direct mail marketers right from the beginning. It is the easiest and most cost-effective direct mailing option. There is no doubt that communicating via postcards was common in the past. People sent postcards to and fro and enjoyed the process very much. Postcards are an excellent communication medium for every occasion, whether it’s Thanksgiving or college graduation. Owing to these reasons, the introduction of postcard marketing was a no-brainer. Companies started sending postcards as marketing items to prospects and existing customers.
Postcard marketing is a type of direct mail that helps you reach out to your target audience with promotional messages and undeniable offers. All marketing postcards are either invitations, announcements, or offer coupons. While postcard marketing may seem a bit old-fashioned, several companies continue to use this tactic and capture markets.
People hold on to use direct mail pieces. Postcards with relevant offers are likely to be saved for future use. But, do postcards work for marketing? If done right, postcard marketing can increase engagement levels and sales.
You can segment your mailing lists and pull data from different digital channels. These things help in personalization, which in turn, helps to garner more attention.
Does Postcard Marketing Really Work?
Postcard marketing is one of the most beneficial and affordable marketing options for companies. If you still have doubts about postcard advertising effectiveness, it’s time to dig more into it.
Postcards Are Attractive
Postcards are eye-catching. They get much more attention than other direct mail items like envelopes.
A postcard doesn’t require an envelope. Any person can turn it around and have a look.
Since the contents are visible to the recipient as soon as he/she picks up the postcard, it makes more impact.
Postcards Have a Higher Response Rate
Postcards get a response rate of 4.25%, which is higher than the response rates of other collateral.
People like getting postcards in the mail and are tempted by the offers. A lot of them also save postcards with coupons for later use. Their small size makes it easy for recipients to stick them on the refrigerator or pin them to their boards.
Postcards Are Useful
About 50.9% of people who receive postcards find them useful.
There are only a few sentences written on a postcard. Postcards provide people with important information in the least number of words possible. So, recipients can scan through postcards quickly.
If your target audience consists of professionals and decision-makers who are always busy, a postcard marketing campaign can work wonders for you.
Postcards Create Emotional Bonds
In today’s digital world, people are bombarded with emails and display ads. There are no emotional values attached to such ads and people often get annoyed.
But, postcards add an emotional touch to your marketing messages. They also create a nostalgic effect among recipients. And, this personal touch motivates prospects to complete the call to action.
Royal Mail conducted a study in which it was revealed that 57% of postcard recipients feel more valued. Apparently, postcards make people feel special.
Postcard Marketing Fits Well With Digital Marketing
Omnichannel marketing produces 250% higher engagement rates than single-channel marketing. Also, customer retention increases by 90% with omnichannel marketing strategies.
It is better to use offline and online marketing channels together. This way, you can get the benefits of both and generate better results.
Postcard marketing works great with any online marketing channel. Print and mail postcards right after an email marketing campaign. Or, you can conduct a postcard marketing campaign along with an ongoing social media campaign.
These omnichannel marketing efforts increase brand visibility and drive conversions. Postcard marketing is cost-effective, hence you can fit it with any ongoing or future campaigns.
Postcard Marketing Ideas/ Use Cases
Apart from increasing sales, postcard marketing can be used for a lot of other things. We have mentioned some postcard marketing ideas below for your reference:
1. Re-Establish Connections With Old Customers
There are always going to be some customers that stop buying from you after a point in time. Customer churn causes companies to lose $1.6 trillion every year. So, why not do something to bring back old customers?
Send miss-you postcards to customers who haven’t bought from you in a while. Include some interesting offers for them.
Reaching out to them with a personalized message can help you win them back.
2. Cross-Sell Products and Services
Cross-selling can get you a lot of business. Also, it is easier to cross-sell to existing customers than to find new customers.
Introduce special limited-time offers on the products you want to sell. A small discount can help you increase response rates.
Postcards are excellent collateral to talk about other products and services that your company offers. You can include a QR code or pURL directing recipients to your digital catalog.
3. Introduce New Products and Packages
Companies often introduce new plans and packages that help them sell to more people. There are some discounts offered on these plans that make them interesting to the customers.
For example, ask customers to buy two products together under your dual-purchase plan to avail of a 10% discount. Postcards can promote such new plans very well.
Dental postcard marketing can be used for such plans. For example, giving a free clean-up on first visits.
You can also promote new products and services through postcards. Use headlines like “Try Our New Mini Refrigerators at a Flat 10% Off.” Including the offer in the headline can help your postcards get more attention.
Real estate marketing postcards also work in the same way. Realtors can promote their new listings using postcards. Using EDDM postcard marketing is the best way to get the word around. You can mail postcards to everyone residing in the concerned property’s neighborhood.
4. Motivate Customers to Complete Checkouts
Out of several reasons for shopping cart abandonments, one is the non-availability of discount coupons. Customers are demotivated to purchase something if there are no discounts or other offers on the product.
Some customers await offers, while others just drop the idea of buying something from you. It leads to several unconverted customers.
These unconverted customers are stuck in your sales funnel for a long time. You need to offer something to push them ahead in this funnel.
Again, postcards can do the job. Put together a list of all the customers who haven’t completed their checkouts. Then, design a well-thought postcard with an exciting offer to mail to them.
These customers already know about your brand and products. Hence, it is easier to incentivize and convert them.
Such targeted marketing campaigns with clear motives work way better than generic marketing.
5. Send Event Invitations
Trade fairs, webinars, press meets, and other such events are important to businesses. Using postcards to promote such events is an excellent idea.
You can get more people to RSVP to your trade event by sending out invitations. Print and mail postcards with the event details. Include a link where they can visit and register themselves.
Companies can also make an annual event calendar and send it to their customers. This way, they can keep them updated in advance and also get more attendees to every event.
6. Build Emotional Bonds With Holiday Greetings
Holidays are an amazing occasion for bonding with prospects and customers. You can deliver your holiday greetings to them through postcards while also talking about your brand’s products.
Also, you can introduce holiday season sales and offer some discounts. These things can help you receive more responses from recipients.
A creative holiday-themed postcard with an exciting discount offer is sure to get your audience hooked.
Another occasion for you to connect with people is their birthdays. Send birthday postcards to them and offer something special.
Not only will they remember you for this gesture, but also tell others about it. Sending holiday and birthday greetings is one of the most effective postcard marketing strategies to build personal connections.
7. Grow Your Network With Referral Programs
Referral programs work both ways. They help you grow your network, along with helping your customers refer and get discounts. Hence, they are one of the best marketing postcard examples.
Print and mail postcards with details of your referral programs to existing customers. Ask them to refer you to a friend or relative for availing of certain discounts.
Postcards are tangible items. Your recipients can pass them to other people as a referral. Use sentences like- Refer to a friend and win a 20% discount each. Tell them to use the code ‘20%RAFAEL’.
As you can see, there is a lot of scope for personalization in referral postcards. You can insert the recipient’s first name in their code, and offer a discount to both the referrer and the referee.
Tips to Follow While Conducting a Postcard Marketing Campaign
Marketing with postcards has long been an affordable way for many types of businesses to reach their customers. The mailings are irresistible and, of course, also contain the customary reminder on the print side that one of our dogs is due to have a check-up.
Conduct Recurring Campaigns
Recurring postcard campaigns help you always stay fresh in the minds of your target audience. Decide on the interval period, say 3 months, 6 months, or 1 year.
These recurring mailings remind prospects of your brand. So, the next time they want to buy something that matches your brand’s products, they are likely to contact you before your competitors.
Consistent and repetitive campaigns are much more productive than one-off campaigns. This set-it-and-forget-it approach doesn’t work for direct mail marketing.
You need to contact prospects enough times to build familiarity and credibility.
Yet, not all postcard marketing campaigns should be recurring. Postcards promoting a season sale with limited-time offers are better as a standalone campaign. Hence, depending on your message and offer, decide your campaign type carefully.
Segment Your Target Audience
The key to a successful postcard marketing campaign is the right mailing list. In fact, mailing lists contribute towards 40% of your campaign success.
Select prospects that match your customer persona. For example, if your company deals in home automation, you should target households that can afford your products. Or, if you own an eCommerce website selling kid’s clothing, you should focus on families having small children.
Laser-focused targeting enables companies to reach out to prospects that are most likely to respond to your postcards.
PostGrid’s print and mail API can help you build mailing lists based on specific demographics. Hence, you can save a lot of time and money by only focusing on a relevant audience.
Use a Trackable Call-to-Action
Some marketers often wonder about “is postcard marketing effective?” It can be if you use all the right elements of postcard marketing in the right manner. One such important element is the call to action.
A call-to-action tells people what their next step should be. It directs them towards an action that takes them ahead in the sales funnel.
- Postcards with missing CTAs are of no use. They have no clear objectives and leave the recipients confused.
- CTAs guide them on what to do next if they are interested in the offer. They are also used to track responses and engagement.
- You can add QR codes, pURLs, or dedicated phone numbers as trackable features. They can act as a CTA and help you record every response.
Find some examples below:
- Scan the QR code given below to get a 20% discount.
- Call on our toll-free number to order now.
- Click on the link below to know more about our products.
Always Follow-Up After Recipients Receive Your Mail
Your campaign does not end with the delivery of your postcards. Marketers should have a solid follow-up plan in place.
Direct mail campaigns should never be a standalone marketing strategy. Instruct your sales representatives to get in touch with recipients soon after they receive your mail.
You can also drop them an email or run a simultaneous social media campaign. These things guarantee increased brand awareness and recall.
Most people need an additional push to complete the CTA. Follow-ups work as that push and help you get more responses.
You should also follow up with your respondents to close deals. Businesses can convert a lot of cold leads into hot ones by following up with them.
Avoid Using Postcard Marketing as Sales Pitches
Using postcards for marketing is brilliant, but using them as a sales pitch is not right. Rather, see postcards as something that can strengthen your relationship with your prospects and customers.
There is very limited space on postcards. So, you can only insert your headlines, offers, and CTA. Your prospects may need more information to buy something from you.
Some marketers use pURLs and QR codes to lead recipients to landing pages. Mention more details on these pages and let them know how they can buy from you.
You can also mention your contact details on your postcards. Allow people to connect with you directly and take their purchase process further.
Spelling mistakes and typos on your sent mail items can tarnish your brand image. Thus, always proofread your postcard contents before printing them.
Not only misspellings and typos, but irrelevant offers and messages can also create a blunder.
Is your offer useful to the audience? Will they be interested in your message? The answer to such questions can help you determine whether your postcards are effective.
Have other people look at your draft, once it is designed and ready to print. It is important to take a third person’s opinion as you might not be able to see any mistakes yourself.
Perhaps, proofreading your mail items is one of the best postcard advertising tips you can get. A fresh pair of eyes may help you spot errors and fix them.
Also, these opinions help you improvise your copy and design. You should look at your postcards the way a recipient would.
Generate More Responses With Personalization
Some of the best marketing postcard examples consist of personalized and customized postcards. Personalization gives you an upper hand and helps you connect with your target audience instantly.
People tend to preserve mail items that have their names on them. Hence, personalization increases your mail’s lifespan and improves brand visibility.
- 71% of customers are frustrated by impersonal shopping experiences.
- 90% of US customers find personalization in marketing communications appealing.
- Customers are 2.1 times more likely to treat personalized messages as important.
These statistics show that personalized postcards can grab attention and improve response ratios significantly.
Marketers should make their recipients feel that these postcards are designed especially for them. When they see their name highlighted on a postcard, there are better chances that your postcard is read and remembered.
You can use several other variable tags like a person’s company name, age, likes, and preferences. These things make your mail useful to the recipients.
As discussed above, pURLs also make a good form of personalization. It adds a personal touch to your postcards and makes them special to the recipients.
Add Exciting Offers
Is postcard marketing effective? This is a common question asked by several marketers.
The answer to this question is very subjective. It can be a “no” if you use generic mailing lists and send out postcards without anything to offer. But, you can turn it into a “yes” by making the necessary changes.
Always add relevant and useful offers to all your mail items, especially postcards. A lot of people think of marketing postcards as coupons and discount cards. You should keep up to their expectations.
Offers act as an encouragement for people to respond. There are several types of offers that you can highlight, like:
- Buy 1 Get 1 Free
- Avail a 10% Discount on Your First Purchase
- Get a Flat $50 Cashback on Your Next Purchase
- Refer to a Friend and Win Credits Worth $20 Each
- Use the Coupon Code “HolidayOffer50” to get a 50% Discount
- Enter Your Details and Unlock Your Free 1-Year Subscription
These are some examples of interesting offers for your reference. You can come up with some that are relevant to your brand.
Include Your Contact Details
This is one of the most basic practices, yet some companies miss out on it. Don’t forget to include your contact details—your website link, phone number, and email address.
Apart from the CTA, these details should be printed on every postcard. If you don’t have the space, use the backside of the postcard towards the left.
Also, take care to include your company name and logo to maintain clarity and consistency.
Talk About Benefits, Not Features
Always emphasize your product or service benefits, not their features. To put it in simple words, let’s consider an example. People buy a vacuum cleaner to clean their homes, not because it is made up of plastic.
It is easier to explain your product benefits to prospects rather than talking about the features.
Perhaps, you can mention these features on your website. But, postcards have limited space. It is best to use that space wisely and focus on things that can help you sell.
Another smart strategy is to take your features and represent them as benefits. For example, “our plastic-made vacuum cleaner is easily cleanable and manageable.”
Set Clear Postcard Marketing Objectives
Define your objectives clearly. You should know what you want out of your campaign.
Some common goals are:
- Retaining existing customers
- Generating fresh leads
- Tapping into a new market segment (for selling a new product line)
- Re-engaging old customers
- Increasing sales with discounts offers and contests
Clear and well-defined goals help you decide your next steps like deciding the postcard layout and copy. Your mailing list also depends on your marketing goals.
Testimonials or other social proofs help convince the audience that you are a reliable brand. They show that people like your products or services and buy from you regularly.
Although postcards cannot accommodate a lot of testimonials, you can include one or two quotes.
You can also pick some of your old marketing postcards and use them again. Use the same artwork with some minor customizations.
Is there a market for old postcards? Old postcards are always in demand. In fact, a lot of people sell them online.
Thus, you can also use up your old postcards again. It is likely that people will like your vintage style and respond to them.
Choose your words carefully while writing a copy. Your copy should be audience-specific and useful.
Use power words like:
- How to
- Try Now
- Special Offer
These words spark interest in the minds of prospects and make them know more about you.
The other thing to keep in mind is the headline. Your postcard headline should be upfront and clear. Recipients should be able to know the purpose of your mailing at one glance. Do not leave any room for guesswork and confusion.
Headlines are a summary of your message. They motivate recipients to read your postcards further.
You can take any of these approaches to draft an eye-catching headline:
- Intrigue readers with a question
- Solve a specific problem
- Assure benefits
- Promote special offers
Some examples are:
- Join Us Now and Get a Flat 20% Off
- Donate Today and Save a Child’s Life
- Come By For Our Grand Opening and Get a Free Pizza
- Want to Hit the Gym But Have No Time? Let Us Solve That Problem For You
Every industry uses a different writing style and tone. An insurance postcard marketing copy is very different than a healthcare postcard marketing copy.
The point is to keep your copy unique and relevant to your audience. Think about the sentences and phrases that can impress your prospects and use those.
Writing your copy in-house is cost-effective and time-saving. If you outsource the work, it can cost you between $100 to $2,000.
20% of your campaign success depends on your design. Creating an eye-catching and appealing design is one of the most effective postcard marketing strategies.
Maintain the visual balance of your postcards in the following ways:
- Choose the right colors. Most companies only use the colors present in their logo to build brand recognition. But, make sure that all the colors match your messaging.
- Select the right layout. Leave enough white space to avoid clutter.
- Add relevant images. Proper imagery helps you grab your audience’s attention and communicate your message effectively.
- Follow all the USPS design guidelines. They help you keep your costs under control.
- Insert your CTA and offers at visible spots. These aspects must be highlighted well.
The size makes a huge difference in your postcard marketing campaign success. A small-sized postcard can be misplaced easily. It is also not able to garner a lot of attention.
A large postcard runs the risk of being thrown away as it is difficult to handle. Hence, marketers should consider these things while selecting an ideal postcard size.
Another reason why size matters a lot is your budget. The bigger the postcard, the higher the costs. Also, you need to follow the USPS size and weight guidelines. As per the USPS, all your postcards should be rectangular. They should be at least 3.5” x 5” x 0.007”. Furthermore, they should not exceed 4.25” x 6” x 0.016”.
Your mailing costs can increase if you cross these dimensions. Hence, most marketers restrict themselves to smaller sizes.
But, it is advisable to select a postcard size that suits your message and offer. There are several sizes available, and they are:
- 4” x 6”
- 5” x 7”
- 5” x 8.5”
- 6” x 9”
- 6” x 11”
- 9” x 12”
If your message needs you to put a lot of images and words, select a larger size. If not, a small-sized postcard should be perfect.
Make sure to not make your postcard too messy and leave enough white space.
Also, select a finishing that makes your postcards look appealing. Usually, B2B marketing postcards have a matte finishing, whereas B2C postcards have a glossy one.
PostGrid also allows you to use customized envelopes to make a greater impact.
You have four broad options when it comes to mailing lists. Your choice depends on your budget, company type, and campaign objectives.
Your target audience may or may not live in the same locality. Usually, prospects are spread out throughout the state or country.
For example, small restaurants, boutiques, and retail stores may focus on a local audience. But, eCommerce shops, educational institutions, and others may have a widespread audience.
Thus, determine your company type and what you want to achieve with your postcard marketing campaign.
In-House Mailing Lists
In-house mailing lists are those lists that your company prepares. It is likely that you are already in touch with these prospects and want to strengthen your relationship with them.
These mailing lists are accurate and useful. Furthermore, you don’t have to spend anything on them.
Rented or Purchased Mailing Lists
If you don’t have any lists of your own, you can rent or purchase them from a third party. There are several agents or list brokers who can help you in the process.
If you are renting a mailing list, you can only use it a few times. Be clear on the terms and conditions with your agent.
Such lists are not cent percent accurate. They may contain misspellings, invalid addresses, and irrelevant information.
Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM)
If you want to target specific neighborhoods, EDDM is the best option. It is a USPS service wherein you can mail to every household in certain ZIP codes or localities.
For example, you own a pizza takeout and want to promote your menu in your locality. EDDM enables you to conduct direct mail campaigns without having a mailing list.
Build Mailing Lists With PostGrid
PostGrid’s print and mail API allows you to build targeted mailing lists based on demographics like age, gender, and income level. All these lists have verified and validated addresses.
This option is the most cost-effective, reliable, and effective one for your company.
Postcard mailing costs are quite low as compared to mailing costs of letters and other items. Pre-sorting, adding Intelligent Mail Barcodes, and ZIP+4 codes are other ways to cut down mailing costs.
There are three mailing options to mail postcards, and they are:
You can avail of low postage rates by mailing at least 500 postcards in one go. But, you should also take care that your postcards fit with the USPS first-class mail size and weight dimensions.
The postage to mail postcards through this option starts at $0.34 per piece.
A company mailing at least 200 postcards altogether can avail of this option. The postage starts at $0.47 per piece.
You need to obtain a USPS permit to send bulk mail. Also, you are required to presort all postcards and drop them at the central mailing facility.
The costs are determined by your mailing quantity. The more postcards you send, the lower are your costs.
How Can PostGrid Assist You in Conducting Postcard Marketing Campaigns?
PostGrid can help you right from the starting of your postcard print and mail activities.
- Use our professional pre-built templates to design your postcards.
- Build fresh mailing lists and target your relevant audience.
- Get your postcards printed and mailed altogether.
- PostGrid allows you to avail of huge postal discounts by presorting your mail and adding IMBs.
- Keep your data secure and confidential as PostGrid is HIPAA, PIPEDA, and SOC-2 compliant.
- Standardize and validate addresses before mailing. Hence, you can save a lot of time, effort, and money on reshipping.
- Track all your sent postcards in real-time.
- Access your campaign reports and insights to improvise your future campaigns.
- Manage all the activities from your dashboard. You can change user and privacy settings at any time.
Postcard marketing campaigns are affordable and highly productive. All small, medium, and large-sized businesses can drive conversions through postcards.
PostGrid’s automated direct mail API can help you conduct postcard marketing campaigns with complete ease and efficiency.