Does Postcard Marketing Work? Latest Data Speak. [New Data]


Postcards aren’t just for mailing. This strategy may be old school but data on direct mail and neuroscience research reinforce why postcard marketing works and still has a place in your overall marketing approach. Here are several reasons.


woman opening direct mail postcard - does postcard marketing work


3 Reasons Why Direct Mail Postcard Marketing is Still Effective


1. Higher Chance of Getting Your Message Read


USPS data shows that 53 percent of households read their advertising mail, while an additional 21 percent scan their mail.


Would people actually read the message in direct mail postcards or would they rather read an advertising email in their mobile phone? Numbers don’t lie.

getting mail and postcard from red mail box

According to Campaign Monitor’s email marketing benchmark, the average open rate in 2018 for all industries is 17.92 percent. On the other hand, USPS data shows that 53 percent of households read their advertising mail, while an additional 21 percent scan their mail.


When you do direct mail postcard advertising, you have a 1 out of 2 chance of getting your message read plus the fact that, with a postcard, there’s no envelope to open and recipients will see the message right away.


2. Higher Response Rate


The 2017 USPS Household Diary Study shows response rates are 12 percent for first-class advertising mail and 11 percent for marketing mail.


Response rate is the number of people who respond to your direct-mail campaign divided by the number of postcards you send out.

direct mail marketing - arrows hitting target

Believe it or not, compared to email, paid search, online display and social media, direct mail has a higher response rate. The 2017 USPS Household Diary Study shows that household members read and respond to direct mail. The intended response rates are 12 percent for first-class advertising mail and 11 percent for marketing mail.


These may be higher than the actual response rates but assume that the actual is half of the intended. That would be 6%. It’s still much higher than that of other digital direct marketing medium. Of course you’ll need to figure in postcard printing and mailing cost and the value of a sale when measuring how effective your postcard marketing campaign is. While these other factors need to be considered, having higher response rate will definitely help in your advertising.


3. Higher Chance of Being Remembered


Neuroscience research says physical advertising materials leave a deeper footprint in the brain.


Neuroscience research has much to say about how the brain processes physical marketing materials versus digital media.

EEG reading and brain image on screen for neuroscience research

The three key findings from the study about physical advertising materials are:

  1. They leave a deeper footprint in the brain.
  2. They produce more brain responses connected with internal feelings which suggests greater internalization of ads.
  3. They involve more emotional processing which is important for memory and brand associations.

These findings imply that because of the “real” experience that physical media gives, it means it helps develop more positive brand association and aids motivation.


Varieties of Postcards for Business Marketing

colorful postcards and other print marketing materials

Visual variations


Spot UV Postcards

This type of postcard printing is a vibrant, high-gloss liquid coating applied to a printed postcard surface, usually on sturdy cardstock. It is cured on a printing press or a special machine using ultraviolet light.


Raised Spot UV Postcards

This printing type has a velvety soft touch lamination finish and accentuates details, adding texture to the postcard. Compared to the spot UV postcard, this printing applies several layers of spot UV that raises the ink by 0.5 millimeters.


Metallic Postcards

For this printing option, gold, silver or bronze ink is applied to the cardstock. The second coating is a CMYK ink which results in a shiny, metallic finish of the design in any color. The spot UV option can be added to a metallic postcard.


Tactile variations


Silk Postcards

Sometimes called luxe postcard, this printing option gives off an elegant, stunningly smooth feel. Silk lamination, or a thin layer of plastic coating that feels like silk, is applied to the postcard.


Velvet Postcards

The velvet type of printing creates a rose petal feel on the postcard’s surface. The soft, velvet lamination is applied to the postcard making it thick and scrape-resistant.


Die Cut Postcards

A variation from the standard postcard which has a rectangular shape, die-cut postcards come in any shape. Some shapes that die-cut postcards come in are in form of a bottle, snowman, heart, flower, turkey or a margarita glass.


With many design and printing options available, marketers like you can take advantage of how the brain responds to physical, tangible marketing materials and use it to craft your own simple postcard marketing campaign.