Postcard Marketing: The Low Cost, High Impact, Small Business Marketing Weapon

by David Frey

The humble postcard can be one of your most powerful yet inexpensive marketing weapons. Here are 4 reasons why they work so well, and 4 tips to make your postcard campaign a success.

A couple of months ago the season for political campaigns were in full swing. The television and radio airwaves were full of political ads. I picked up the paper and there were even more ads. And it seemed that every billboard on the road was being rented by a political candidate.

One day I went to pick up my mail and got a huge postcard. It was from one of the local candidates. It almost read like a special report it was so large. Needless to say, it got my attention and I ended up voting for the gal. But it was amazing that big media like television, radio, newspapers, and billboards couldn’t sell me on a candidate.

But a humble (albeit oversized) postcard did the job. It was the postcard that had the ability to deliver the candidate’s marketing message in a way that convinced me to vote for her. That’s the power of postcards.

Let me tell you why I like postcards so much.

1. Postcards are a low cost way to get your message out. In fact, standard sized postcards are 38% cheaper than using regular sized letters.

2. They keep your mailing list clean. One of the benefits of using first class postage for a regular size postcard is that it will be mailed back to the sender if it has a bad address, which helps you update your list.

3. Postcards can have a high impact. Because letters are enclosed in an envelope the consumer gets a chance to decide whether to open the envelope or just throw it away. Many people will just throw the letter away without opening it. However, with postcards, there’s no envelope to hide the message. It’s almost impossible to throw the postcard away without looking at its message.

4. Postcards are simple to create and send. With postcards there are no assembling, collating, stuffing, licking envelopes etc. The hardest part of sending a postcard is putting on the stamp. And there are services that will even do that for you. But if you decide you want it done for you go to AmazingMail.com and they’ll do it all for you. Even the postal service will do it for you. Go to USPS.com.



Here are four tips to make your postcard marketing campaign successful.

1. Keep Your Message Very Brief
Only use your postcard for lead generation. Don’t try to explain all the details just give some teaser information to get your reader to take the next step, which might be going to your website or calling your office or a toll free recorded message.

2. Design Your Postcard in an editorial format.
I’m not a big fan of four color postcards. I’d rather use all the space I can on the postcard to give the reader an irresistible urge to take the next step. The best way to do this is to make the postcard look like it came from a personal friend. But make sure you use a compelling headline. That will be the most important part of your entire postcard. When I want to send them to a website I show a picture of my website and if I want to send them to a phone number I make the phone number as big as I can.

3. Don’t spend a lot of money on printing.
For almost all my postcards I use an 8 ½ by 11’, 110lb fluorescent yellow cardstock and I simply print four postcards to a sheet by cutting the cardstock into quarters. I use my own little laser printer. Its that simple.

4. Make Sure You Send Your Postcard to a Good List of Qualified Prospects
Remember, no matter what type of mailing you’re doing, it’s usually the list that will determine its success. Any in house list will outperform a rented list and if you’re wanting to use a rented list make sure you use a list broker to help you.

Postcards make sense for most any small business and using these postcard marketing tips you won’t go wrong.

© Copyright 2003 David Frey

Related Articles:

7 Tips for Successful Postcard Marketing

Top 10 Reasons to Use Postcards

Mailing Ideas For Business Mailers

Using Direct Mail to Sell - Why Repetition is Important

10 Common Postcard Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
About the Author:
David Frey is President of Marketing Best Practices Inc., a small business marketing consulting firm and the editor of the Marketing Best Practices Newsletter. 

 
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