Jeffrey Dobkin, a marketing expert renowned for his easygoing writing style and straightforward advice, has written a wonderfully comprehensive article on marketing with postcards.
Dobkin outlines some of the benefits of using postcards, lays out a few “do’s and don’ts”, and offers suggestions for creating effective postcard designs. We pulled out a few nuggets of wisdom from his article, but we definitely recommend reading the full post.
“Postcards have high readership. Almost everyone reads postcards. By the time they grab the postcard to toss out, they’ve already read your headline. Hope it was a great one!”
Studies show that 80% of direct mail gets read or scanned. The best way to make sure the reader gets your whole message? Use bold headings and bullet points to make your text easy to scan.
“Print ‘Save this card!’ somewhere near the top, and people will.”
We’ve talked before about how important it is to include a clear CTA (call to action) on your postcards. Usually we recommend emphasizing a CTA that prompts the recipient to call or visit your website, but what if they’re not quite ready for that? Dobkin’s suggestion specifically addresses prospects who might need your services in the future and encourages them to hold onto your postcard. While we wouldn’t use this on every mailing, it’s a great idea to try it on a few of your postcard campaigns.
“Generate referrals: Just include a line on the bottom of all postcards saying, ‘Thanks so much for all the referrals — I appreciate them. Thank you!’ This stimulates referrals and lets recipients know they should send more of them.”
This is another great reminder that the best way to inspire action is by simply asking or, in this case, thanking your recipient in advance. You might be thinking, “Of course I want referrals, the people I’m mailing to must know that!” However, it probably won’t occur to them to refer you to their friends unless you mention it. So ask!
“It’s OK to send a card more than once…You get sick of looking at your postcards long before your customers get tired of receiving them.”
It’s always a good idea to update your postcard designs so that they’re relevant to the season, market, or neighborhood. However, most people need to see a message more than once to remember it. So if you’re pressed for time it’s better to send the same design twice than not mail at all.