There are, in fact, a number of reasons why you can and should use postcards as an integral part of your marketing plan.
1. Postcards build awareness.
This is the most cost efficient method for building recognition for your business. Because direct mail can be focused only on people who are genuine prospects for your services and because postcards are the most economical way to use direct mail, you will get “the most bang for your buck.”
The visual impact of a full-color postcard is difficult, if not impossible, to duplicate. And it definitely cannot be replicated at anywhere near the cost of mailing a postcard. Because of this fact, multiple mailings are possible for even less advertising dollars than a single newspaper or television ad when measured against genuine prospects reached. Multiple hits to a single prospect will reap you the greatest rewards.
2. Postcards will increase customer frequency.
Postcards can be used on a regular schedule to remind customers to use your services. Repetition is the key to successful advertising. Be wary of anyone who tells you otherwise.
Consider yourself: How many times have you been moved into action based on a single ad?
Most people don’t act until they’ve been marketed to several times. You never know when people will feel they have a “need” for your services. By constantly advertising to them, you will be foremost in their minds when they do feel the need.
3. Postcards reduce costs.
Sure, salespeople will tell you that ValPak reaches more homes per advertising dollar spent. The same will be said for the newspaper, television, and even, radio. But the truth is: 98 percent of these people would never even consider becoming your customer — even if you gave it to them free!
Direct-mail, and postcards specifically, is the lowest cost medium, and is the surest, most cost effective way to reach only your most likely customers. No other means of advertising can separate your target market by age, income, and occupation, just to name a few of the ways that direct-mail can focus your advertising dollars to have the greatest impact on your bottom line. After all, that is what it’s all about.
4. Postcards can take advantage of timing.
If you have a timely offer, or news that your customers have been waiting for (“The road construction in front of our store is finally completed”), a postcard can be the fastest means of getting your message across. It can also produce the most response.
Timing is everything. Being able to time your promotions to coincide with various events and holidays is a tremendous advantage over less flexible mediums.
Mistakes to avoid
There are three mistakes that non-marketing professionals tend to make when trying to spearhead their own postcard campaign?
The first is postcards without visual appeal. “Why should I confine my message to just the back of the postcard? Why not use both sides?” you may ask.
One of the advantages of the postcard is that the visual and the message can work together, almost like a billboard. Otherwise you’re just sending an “opened-letter” through the mail. Giving your prospect an appealing visual, in conjunction with your message, makes them more receptive to the offer you’re making.
The second is postcards with too much information. If you need to tell a longer story, don’t use a postcard. They are best when you have a simple message, or a powerful offer — and that’s all.
The more you cram onto it, the harder it is to read, and the fewer people may respond. The rule of thumb is: “Keep it simple.”
Third is postcards that tease. Don’t waste time (and money) telling people to “Watch what’s coming.” By the time they get the real message, they probably won’t even care. Get to the point. Give them the information they need, right then and there, to make a decision to respond to your offer or not.