Marketing Starting a new business

5 Tips for Postcard Marketing

Postcards catch people's attention in a way other marketing materials do not. Maybe it's simply because they're a different size than most mailings. It could also be because people associate postcards with vacations and getting letters from friends and family. Whatever the reason, postcard campaigns can work incredibly well. Here are five tips for your next marketing effort:

1. Think 'Campaign'
One of the greatest things about postcards is they're significantly less expensive than other forms of marketing. Although you can definitely think of postcards as being a budget-friendly marketing move, it's important to remember that postcards don't work well as a one-off ad. As Creative Blend Design points out, you need to send multiple post cards over a period of time for the effort to be effective. It's best if each round of postcards is slightly different. For example, if you're opening a new location, the first postcard you send out could announce your new store. Your second mailing could include a coupon, and the third could announce some new product you now carry. The details of the campaign will be down to your business, but it's vital that you view each postcard as one piece of a larger puzzle.

2. Know Your Audience
Randomly mailing out postcards isn't going to be as effective as sending the ads to targeted individuals. In a perfect world, your company would have an in-house mailing list you could use for this exact purpose. If your business is just starting off, however, the odds are good you haven't collected those contacts just yet. In that case, you can reach out to a list broker. These companies will sell or rent you a mailing list based on your best possible audience.

3. Consider the Text
The way you design the text on your postcard can have a huge impact on how well the information is received. For the optimal effect, you need a strong headline and a simple message. You have limited space to begin with, and you shouldn't even use all of it – a text-heavy postcard is bound to be thrown in the trash without a second look. Make your headline bold and to the point so that it catches people's attention and encourages them to read on.

As far as the copy of the postcard is concerned, you're not looking to build a flat-out sales pitch. Instead, the message on the card should be warm and friendly. Think of the postcard as a letter when you're writing, and you're more likely to hit the mark, tone-wise. Avoid anything that sounds detached, and don't be afraid to use more personal language. There's an intimacy to postcards that will work to your advantage, provided you keep it in mind.

4. Use Quality Visuals
If you're using images on your postcard, make sure the pictures are of an appropriate quality. There's nothing more visually unappealing than a printed ad with a photo that's been poorly cropped or resized. This holds true for photos and illustrations – if you're having something made by an in-house or outsourced graphics department, make sure that it's sized with a postcard in mind.

5. Spark Action
Your postcard needs a strong call to action to be successful. This isn't necessarily text-based, although it can be – a phrase like, "Come in and meet us!" will certainly encourage your audience. There are other ways to get people interested in your business, however. One of the simplest methods is to include a special offer or coupon on the postcard. This actually has a dual purpose – not only does it get people to reach out to you, but it also gives you a clear way to gauge how well your campaign is working.

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