Why do customers like postcards so much?

•It’s easy to see at a glance what it is about.

•It isn’t perceived as ‘wasteful’ like a lengthy or elaborate direct mail piece.

•It doesn’t take up too much time for customers to read it.

•It’s easy to keep handy if a customer wants to respond.

Business owners love postcard marketing for similar reasons. Postcards are an effective marketing investment, and one of the lowest-cost methods of direct marketing available to a small business owner.

Key Take-Aways

•Use postcard marketing to promote sales, store events or special occasions at your small business. Keep the message short and sweet, and use eye-catching images that you take yourself or have legal permission to use to make the card attractive.

• If you’re all thumbs when it comes to design, hire a professional, or use an internet-based printing company that offers free templates you can customize. You only have a few seconds to make a great first impression with your postcard.

•Don’t forget to include obvious information on your card such as the street address, a telephone number and a website address. Make sure that any sales information on the card matches what you have on your website. Have someone else double check the key information for typos; you’d be surprised at how easy it is to mix up digits in a phone number, for instance.

•Build your own mailing list (house file) of names and addresses. Keep a notebook next to the cash register or on the reception desk and invite customers to sign up for your mailing list. A house file almost always performs better than rented or prospecting mailing lists.

•Track response rates to your postcard mailings by offering a special that is only available to customers who bring in the card or provide a special code only printed on the postcard. Keep track of the responses and divide the number of responses by the total number of cards mailed. This figure is the response rate to your mailing. Use it as a benchmark for future mailings and test different designs or offers to see which ones generate the best response.

•Talk to your local post office business office or visit the post office website to read the guidelines for post card mailings. Depending on how you group your mail, you may be able to obtain better discounts on postage.

•Need to rent a mailing list? Mailing lists aren’t sold – they are rented or leased for one or multiple mailings. If you want to reach customers just in your local town, a list company can generate mailing lists based on zip codes. There are also more sophisticated methods of generating lists by customer likes and dislikes, shopping behavior and more. Talk to your list broker (company or individual who rents mailing lists) for assistance.

•You can print your postcards on your office printer, but you’ll quickly run out of ink. Instead, visit your local printer and compare prices for local printers versus the many internet-based printers. Internet printing companies print and ship postcards after you upload the design to their website, and some even provide templates that you fill in with your company information and message. Several also mail the cards for you for an extra fee if you provide the mailing list.