We all know that postcard mailings have gotten a bad rap over the last few years or so.
Most peoples complaints usually consist of high cost, low return rate or direct mail just doesn’t work.
However, me being in the print and direct mail industry I see the other side as well. Business owners big and small live and thrive on the value and return of direct mail.
By just understanding the dynamics of how direct mail works, you can turn a struggling business into a thriving business within days.
So let’s stop yacking and let’s get to work.
Direct Mail Conversion
Many variables can affect your direct mail campaign, so I am going to help you save time and money by listing a few things that you should not be doing, and some tricks that will help you increase your direct mail conversions fast.
Using postcards for your direct mail can be a quick way to boost sales, and get people coming through your door if done right. Alas, it can also be a big waste of time and money if done wrong.
Printing small size postcards just to keep your mailing affordable is one of the things you should not be doing.
Marketers and salespeople will do their best to sell you on the idea that oversized postcards will grab attention and stand out from the rest of the mail in peoples mailboxes.
It may sound like a sales pitch to get you to pay more for your direct mail, and probably is. However, there are some benefits for you when using a bigger postcard.
Sure, you might be saving a little more per piece when printing on a smaller postcard, but when it comes to mailing, larger postcards can save you more money than what you would save printing standard size postcards. I will explain how this works a little later in this article.
Your oversized postcard will also help to differentiate itself from the crowd for about a 10th of a second. This 10th of a second can be a vital key to the success of your mailing campaign.
What I am not trying to say is, that the size of your mailing piece is what’s going to make the sale. The idea that your postcard will do better in converting by just being bigger than anything else in the mailbox is simply false.
What the 10th of a second is going to get you, is enough attention to notice your design. i.e., colors, font size, font style and so on.
That is it, and nothing more.
Don’t Over Design
The second tip is knowing that the design is not meant to woo your reader. I know, weird and very contradicting to what we have all heard.
We are all a little guilty of some form of ADD. Your overly designed mail piece can easily distract your reader from acting in a manner that benefits you.
Unless if your design fits into the context of your conversion. Keep it clean, simple and easy to read.
The design is simply there to help the reader read.
The creative postcard design
The overly creative postcard is a great way to attract your reader, but it seldom applies to what most businesses need.
Whitespace for your Postcard design
Many people also fall into the un-design trap, believing that empty real estate is a great place to put more content, or better, getting their dollars worth and getting as much content on the card as possible and trying to convert every reader.
In the process of trying to create a postcard for everyone, they discourage most readers from even looking at the mail piece, labeling it as spam or junk mail and tossing it aside.
The context of your mailing piece is going to matter. Just throwing some text and displaying the word sale is not going to cut it if you want to get the most out of your mailing.
No one is flocking to your door because you have a big sale or half price donuts, coffee, cotton candy and everything else in the store.
The context of your postcard needs to convey that you have the best, mouth-watering donuts they will ever taste and their morning existence depends on stopping in for their morning commute.
For the most part, it is not going to be a problem on pricing or what you are offering as an incentive. Creating a direct mail campaign to tell people that you are open is a great way to bring awareness to your community.
Obviously, your service or product will dictate what you offer as an incentive. However, if you are asking people to see you or visit your place of business, it might be a good idea to provide something in return.
A few good ideas would be;
Creating a happy hour is not just for nightclubs. Offer special pricing or added products during specific hours of the day.
Offer an added service or product for every purchase.
Free trials or visits.
Punch card reward with one free punch.
The list can go on and on. You are going to want to make sure that the incentive is related to your product or service.
The call to action!
Unless you are doing some form of brand campaign, you are going to need to make sure that you have a call to action for your postcard.
A call to action example can be letting the reader know you are offering free coffee before 9 am with a donut purchase this Monday through Friday only. Tell them to stop by at your drive up window because it is fast and convenient for their commute to work.
Make sure that your call to action is simple and has clear instructions. Leave no room for confusion or misunderstanding of what you want them to do or asking of them.
Once is not enough
An excellent way to waste your money is by mailing your postcard once. Direct mail marketing just does not work that way. Your campaign needs to be repetitive and consistent to be effective.
There are a few ways that we have seen to be the most effective strategies when it comes to direct mail.
One: 5 mailings set over the course of 5 weeks. Same color, design, and recipients all with a different message that was built on the last mailing.
Two: A year-long campaign which a postcard is mailed monthly. This worked great for a dental company client of mine. They ran the same postcard campaign and offering every month with EDDM.
Three: Quarterly mailing where a client would mail to a specific list every three months.
Apply these few simple rules to your next postcard mailing and see the boost in your conversions quick!