In planning your ad campaign for your business, you have probably wondered what kinds of offline advertisements are most effective.

What is your best choice in an accountable and measurable transaction that is data rich and can provide your business with the best return on investment (ROI) for your advertising dollar?

You’ll need a method that appeals to your potential customers and results in a list of solid leads and/or action on your best offers. For these purposes, direct mail marketing with postcards is still one of the best tactics.

The Numbers behind Postcard Marketing

In 2012, the Direct Marketing Association released the results of a limited survey they had performed. In this study, postcards were mailed to people listed in a current customer file.

This list consisted of customers who had opted into the company’s mailing list and of customers with whom the company had done business. The response rate on this mailing was 2.47%. This is eight times the industry average!  A similar mailing was done targeting prospective customers. These were customers whose names had been acquired through a lead supplier. Response rate from this list was 1.12%.

Let’s try comparing these results with data gathered by the United States Postal Service (USPS).

In their 2012 Household Study report, the USPS surveyed a broad public audience regarding response rates for various types of mailings. They found that the greatest percentage of people (23.4%) across the board indicated that they would respond to a postcard advertisement or request for donation.

That’s almost a quarter of US households!

The only other type of mailing to come anywhere close to this high percentage response rate was over-sized envelopes. Even so, only 16.6% of those surveyed said that they would respond to advertisements or requests for donations that they had received in larger than letter-size envelopes. This survey was conducted across all demographics in the US.

What Is So Appealing About Postcards?

Customers like the fact that it is easy to see what the message is about. Additionally, they appreciate the thriftiness of the format. It is not wasteful of resources, and it does not waste their time. Messages are usually concise, brief and easy to understand. Those surveyed also said they like the fact that it was easy to keep the postcard as a reminder of the offer in case they wanted to think about it and respond later.

Business owners’ reasons for preferring postcard marketing are similar to those of postcard recipients. Postcards are low-cost and provide an impressive return on investment when compared to all other means of offline direct marketing.