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10 Tips for Effective Postcard Campaigns

Written By: Leslie Taylor | Article Date: May 22, 2023

Postcards do more than just say, “Wish you were here!” They are one of the most effective marketing tools because of their versatility — you can reach customers directly, offer redeemable discounts, use them as magazine flyer inserts, and more. On the other hand, a poorly executed postcard campaign can result in wasted time, money, and effort. You have to ensure that your postcard campaign is well-crafted for it to create a large impact.

Thinking of using postcards for your business? We’ve compiled some tips for you to consider so that your postcard campaign will be a successful and effective one:

10 Tips for Effective Postcard Campaigns

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1. Define your Audience.

Before you even start designing anything remotely related to postcards, it’s important to take a moment and think about the exact audience you’re trying to reach. Who are your customers? What are their habits? What are their interests and how do they spend? Understanding your audience will help you tailor your messaging, branding, and overall design to resonate with them.

2. Set your Goals.

What do you want to achieve with your postcard campaign? Do you want to drive sales, generate leads, or increase brand awareness? Setting clear, concrete goals will keep you laser-focused on what’s important and help ensure the success of your campaign.

3. Choose your Design and Format.

The design and format of your postcard can make a big difference in its effectiveness. Are you satisfied with a standard 4” x 6” postcard or do you need the extra space that a 6” x 11” offers? Are you happy with a simple back-to-back design or do you need the extra narrative from a folded postcard? Consider the size, shape, and color of your postcard, as well as the placement of your messaging, images, and overall design.

4. Craft your Message.

An effective message is clear, concise, and compelling. Use messaging that resonates with your audience and highlights the benefits of your product or service. Avoid using too much jargon or superfluous language and focus on the key selling points of your product.

5. Images are your Friend.

Postcards are image-driven. It’s the best way to capture attention as opposed to big blocks of text. Use high-quality images that evoke the emotion you want to elicit from your audience. Don’t settle for low-quality photos since they will end up blurred or pixelized when printed. Use high-resolution images or stock photos that look sharp and crisp. A good rule of thumb is to set images to have at least 300 dpi.

6. Personalize and Customize.

Personalization can help make your postcard campaign feel more relevant and engaging. Consider including personalized messages or offers based on the recipient’s past purchases or interests. The best option is to leave a handwritten note but if it’s not possible, make sure your messaging is honest and heartfelt, not a robotic cookie-cutter one liner.

7. Arrange for Distribution.

How you distribute your postcards can impact their effectiveness. Consider handing them out at events or in-store, inserting them in packages, boxes, or magazines, or using EDDM® and direct mail services. Having a clear plan for distribution contributes greatly to a successful postcard campaign.

8. Track your Progress.

Don't just send out your postcards and call it a day. Tracking your postcard campaign can help you measure its effectiveness and make improvements over time. Incorporate ways to track data such as QR codes to quantify response rates and conversions so you can analyze the data as the campaign goes along.

9. Follow up with your Audience.

Customer engagement is a marathon, not a sprint. Follow up with your audience after you launch your postcard campaign. This helps add a personal touch, build relationships, and drive additional sales. Consider sending a follow-up email or postcard to check back with them. If the budget doesn’t permit, make sure to add a call-to-action with your initial campaign so that they are encouraged to make a move.

10. Test even more.

Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment. Try out different designs and other postcard types to see what works best for your business. Change up your artwork, messaging, or special offers to identify what resonates the most with your audience. Use the data you’ve gathered before to increase your chances of success.

The Building Blocks of a Better Postcard Campaign

By keeping these ten tips in mind, you can create a postcard campaign that resonates with your target audience, helps you achieve your objectives, effectively communicates your message, drives results for your business, and builds brand awareness.