It’s safe to say that most people are not as interested in how things work as they are in the how those things improve their life.

Zero-to-60 in five seconds? Yeah! How the innards of a car engine work together? Nah, not so much.

Results are cool. Results are sexy. The rest is for the scientists, mechanics, and geeks of all varieties.

And it’s no different with direct mail marketing. (Sure…it’s an intensely interesting subject but, again, we’re mostly interested in the results it can bring)

When it comes to postcard success, results are brought about by paying attention to five points and “tuning them up” to for the optimum postcard performance:

1.) Simplify It

It’s easy to get carried away trying to jam all the information about your product or service onto you postcard. But that’s not what a postcard is for. So, keep it simple.

Use fewer and shorter words, shorter sentences, and shorter paragraphs. This applies to your headline, call to action and body copy. By keeping things short, your message can be understood quicker and with more impact. Make a game out of how few words you can use to deliver your offer.

Don’t try to tell your whole story or give all of the information. With a postcard, you’re trying to capture and increase interest, not close a sale. So give just enough information to accomplish that.

2.) Make An Offer

If you send out postcards that only have the effect of saying “Hey, look, we’re here. We’re open for business. We’re ready to serve you, etc.,” you’re wasting your money and filling up peoples’ recycle bins.

Make sure your card presents an offer. An offer is a combination of things:

  • A good deal
  • A sense of urgency
  • A call to action

An offer such as “Call now for 10% off your first order” contains a good deal (“15% off”), urgency (“now”) and a call to action (“Call”). You can increase urgency with time or quantity limits. You can increase the value of deal in more ways than we have room for in this post.

3.) Target Your List

We will assume you’ve developed a “house list”—that list of people who have already purchased from you or who have responded with interest to your earlier direct mail. Now, the trick is to figure out how to mail to more people who are just like your house list.

The way to not do it is to shotgun a lot of postcards over a geographic area without consideration to targeting.

A better way is to buy or rent a mailing list. But an even better way is to use a tool like Nielsen’s PRIZM Database,  which enables you to target people based not only demographically but according to their attitudes, buying behaviors, and other similar “psychographic” data.

4.) Remember to Follow-Up

This falls into two categories: (1) Following up with customers and (2) Following up on your results.

If you send out a postcard with an offer (and you’ve got to have an offer, remember?), follow it up with reminder that the offer is coming to a close or you’ve only got two left at that price, or make the offer even more attractive with some add-on or further discount.

And then ensure that your employees are tracking with your campaign. For instance, if you’re mailing a postcard that acts as a coupon, make sure that your employees are collecting them during the sale. Then you can see if your campaigns are paying for themselves.

5.) Make It About the Prospect, Not the Product

As we made reference to in the opening of this article, people (your customers and prospects) aren’t much interested in the superiority of your product or service. They snore when you give them specs (unless your customer is another business) and tune out when you talk about durability, warranties, materials, etc.

People don’t care about products or services; they care about how such things benefit them. Ask yourself “How does my product/service make life easier, safer, more exciting, etc. for my customers?” The answer will depend on what it is you’re selling, but once you isolate the benefit(s), emphasize it on your postcard.

You can expect your best results when your campaigns are “hitting on all five.”

One way that ProspectsPLUS! makes your life easier is by enabling you to design and print your next postcard, as well as create a targeted list and activate the mailing. Log on now to and see for yourself.

Another way we do it is…by doing it all for you, through our full-service division, Opportunity Knocks. Give them a call at 1 (866) 319-7109. They’ll listen to your marketing goals and design an effective postcard campaign for you.


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