7 Tips for Money-Making Postcards

by Ivan Levison

Retailers know that postcards get read. But you don't have to be a retailer to put these easy-to-produce, low cost self-mailers to work. Here are seven tips you can use to create a money making postcard.

There are times when it makes sense to spend a lot of money on a direct mail package. For example, when you really need to make a giant splash, when your mailing list is small and you can afford a high cost-per-piece or when you're doing a one-shot drop and you don't have to worry about saving money for remailings.

However, there are times when going with a humble postcard makes a lot of sense. No one knows this better than retailers. If Nordstrom's, for example, wants to announce a shoe sale, they don't send you a letter in an envelope that you have to tear open. They'll mail you a postcard that instantly screams "Get 15% off on all women's shoes! Sale ends March 15!"

Yes, retailers know that postcards get read. But you don't have to be a retailer to put these easy-to-produce, low cost self-mailers to work. You can use a postcard accomplish the following goals:

  • Cost-effectively re-contact non-responders to your previous mailings and urge them to act
  • Create an inexpensive monthly marketing campaign
  • Drive people to your Web site with a special offer
  • Tease prospects -- let them know that they should be on the lookout for something valuable coming in the mail
  • Announce a private sale for recipients of the postcard only
  • Thank customers for their business
  • Remind customers to do something: "Get ready for summer," "Rotate your tires," you name it.


Want to give postcards a try? Here are seven tips to remember:

1. Use first class postage.
You get fast delivery and you can get your undeliverables returned. This keeps your list clean. (Be sure to imprint the words "Address Service Requested," as per United States Postal Service requirements, to take advantage of this service.)

2. Use a straightforward headline.
Make it pop and make sure it includes a benefit. The headline is tremendously important.

3. Keep your message short.
Don't try to squeeze in a ton of body copy onto the postcard.

4. Two colors are often sufficient.
Generally speaking, if your budget is tight, there's no need to spring for four colors. I'd rather mail more frequently in black and red than less frequently with four colors.

5. Use the right kind of paper.
Bright white, 80 lb. linen stock is a good place to start. No need for a gloss finish unless you're running four color.

6. Choose the right size card.
You have many choices. A good basic size is 5-1/2"x 8-1/2", but you can go bigger or smaller.

7. Encourage recipients to hang on to your card.
If appropriate, run a bold little line at the top that says "Be sure to save this card!" Amazingly, some people will!

Ivan Levison is an award-winning, direct response freelance copywriter. Download a free copy of his new report, "101 Ways To Double Your Response Rates!" at http://www.levison.com/subscribe. Contact Ivan any time at ivan@levison.com.

 
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