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A No Nonsense Guide to Pulling Off a Postcard Marketing Campaign

Written By: Leslie Taylor | Article Date: May 25, 2023

Postcards are an easy and thoughtful way to touch base with customers and encourage engagement with your brand. So, we’re here to get you started on your postcard design and strategy along with a nifty guide you can use to create a well-rounded marketing campaign.

Why You Should Use Postcards for Marketing

They are tangible and personal.
Postcards help preserve the joy of getting mail. A fun fact: 75% of millennials said they feel special when they receive personal mail, while 88% of them look through their pile to ensure they don’t throw out anything useful. It may be a lot easier to send an email newsletter with one click but it doesn’t have the same tangible experience that a physical postcard gives. A well-designed postcard printed on supple cardstock tells your customers that you value your relationship with them.

They aid targeted customer engagement.
If you’re looking to reach multiple customer groups, personalized postcards are your ally. You can create segment-specific designs and send different offers to attract customers from different categories, say new ones who have yet to buy from your store, lapsers who you haven’t seen in a year, or people who you want to make a repeat purchase of a specific item they have checked out before.

They help increase local visibility.
Apart from helping you reach your target market, postcards allow you to become more visible in your community. As you promote your business through postcards, you can highlight local landmarks or events that are unique to your neighborhood. Doing so establishes your brand’s presence and it helps potential customers find you easily. If you’re holding a sale event or a product launch, you can mail postcards to invite your patrons and encourage them to bring a friend.

They are cost-effective.
Since postcards are much lighter than other printed marketing materials, sending them via direct mail costs much less. Their limited size also encourages brevity and precision when it comes to copy and design which saves you and your creative team time to create the design, which consequently cuts back on production time as well.

They can be integrated with digital campaigns.
Just because postcards look great on paper doesn’t mean they won’t go well with digital campaigns. Adding postcards to a multichannel campaign means more exposure for your brand and a better shot at reaching a wider audience. It wouldn’t hurt if you design your postcard with digital also in mind. Add your website’s URL or your social media handles to your postcard; better yet, compile your most important links and generate a QR code your customers can scan to find out more about you.

How to Create an Effective Postcard

Identify your target audience.
Demographics make for a good start, after all it’s important to know you’re targeting, say, the right age group with any marketing plan. But it’s also helpful to be aware of their lifestyle, interests, values, and pain points — all these details will help you decide if your headline works or if your promo is irresistible enough for your postcards to keep your customers interested. Don’t forget to look into your competitors when you do your market research. Any gaps they are unable to address are an opportunity for you to serve.

Choose a postcard size.
Everybody loves the classic 4” x 6” postcard size and for many a good reason too — their shipping costs are affordable, they fit nicely into a mailbox, and they can double as collectible art. Ultimately, the size of your postcard should depend on your message. For instance, if you’re announcing a special event, the smaller sizes should work but if you’re printing, say, an update list of services or a new menu, you can go for a postcard as big as US letter size or 8.5” x 11”.

Craft a concise and clear message.
Identifying your audience is half the battle — now it’s time to talk to them so set clear goals for your main message. Do you want them to shop, sign up for membership, book a reservation, or bring a friend on their next visit? Just like with any form of ad, you need to make the best of a few moments to catch your audience’s attention. Use simple language and avoid jargon to connect with them at once. And don’t be afraid to inject fun into your message.

Put colors and images to play.
We always read about aligning your postcard design with your overall brand look whether it’s the colors, fonts, and imagery. While we agree with this tried and tested advice, we are also fans of trying new things, especially if you’re promoting something exclusive. If you want to take a break from the usual red and white color scheme for sale, experiment with fun colors like neon or pastel versions. Try creating a balance between using your brand elements while giving your design a little extra, something that will excite your postcard recipients.

Add a straightforward call to action (CTA).
Guide your customers to the next step after they read your postcard. Write a precise CTA — make them visit your website, follow you on social media, sign up for a newsletter, or RSVP to your event. Remember to add multiple contact details (email, phone, store addresses, etc.) to make it more convenient for customers to reach out in case they have inquiries.

Plan Around Your Postcard Campaign

What you do before you start your campaign and after you distribute your postcards is equally important as what goes into the postcards themselves. Add these things to your checklist to maximize your postcard marketing initiative:

Figure out your budget.
Don’t worry about starting small especially if this is your first time using postcards to advertise. When you decide on your target audience, choose which one to prioritize and create a budget for one campaign. Identify the quantity, printing costs, and postage fees so you can come up with a realistic ballpark figure so that you won’t overspend.

Choose the right mailing list and distribution method.
If you have an existing sizable customer database, make sure that you segment your mailing lists such that the right postcard is sent to their corresponding group of customers. You may choose to mail your postcards yourself or ask your printer if they can take care of the postage via direct mail or EDDM®.

Choose a trusted printer.
Go for a reliable printing partner that will cater to your needs regardless of the size of your order. As you draw options, consider a printer’s experience and reputation in terms of quality prints and turnaround speed. It also helps if they offer multiple postcard sizes, cardstock or paper stock, mailing services, and design consultation.

Track your postcards’ performance.
You’d be doing your future self a favor if you integrate your printed postcards with a digital campaign because this is where tracking comes in. It’s easier to measure your postcard’s success when you can trace where your website traffic is coming from — is it from the postcard where you advertised your sale, or is it from the postcard that gives a discount to anyone who subscribes to your newsletter? You get the picture. By incorporating digital assets to your postcard, you can analyze the latter’s performance and tweak your strategy based on the results.

Postcards may be small but when done right, they can leave a lasting impact on your customers that can bring big benefits such as brand engagement and conversions. At NextDayFlyers, we can print your postcards as soon as possible and ship them at once so you can distribute them according to your timeline.