Direct Mail Postcard Fundamentals

Every day I go to the mailbox at home or at the office, I am excited to see what gems I’ll uncover by way of direct mail postcards. It’s my business. But it’s also how I keep in touch with the trends (both good and bad) of my profession. Seeing what people are creating helps me to better guide my clients, and ensure they not only see what a great postcard looks like, but they ultimately benefit from great design and application of concept.

Let’s explore those 6 Fundamentals Critical to Direct Mail:

  1. Test, Test, Test – You’re 100% correct that I’ve listed this first. Before any other fundamental, you need to understand the nature and compliment of testing your campaigns. You will not have just one. Understand what kind of approach, design, copy, and more are the most impactful for your target audience. Practice makes perfect, and it is paramount before you even start working on a campaign that you have this committed to memory. You’ll ask questions like Which version read the easiest? Which offer resulted in the most sales? What approach won more leads? Once you understand what works (the ‘control’), you’ll continue to run campaigns to test specific attributes of your message. If it beats the control, it will replace the control. Wash, rinse, repeat.
  2. Pinch Pennies – The first bullet is important, but you can only do so much with what you have. If you’re starting a campaign to build sales/profit, bear that in mind as you begin the outreach. A campaign doesn’t have to be blistering from the outset. Building the target list, the approach, and increasing the attractiveness and effectiveness of your campaign can come in batches. Do what you can afford AND grow your business.
  3. Write in a Direct Mail style – If you’re not consulting your slush file of direct mail postcards you receive in the mail and keeping for your own research, you’re doing yourself a disservice. They are a great place to personally gauge the verbiage you don’t care for, picturing the way you’d say it better. Be upfront and succinct, but genuine and approachable. Sell me using the postcard, lead me in the right direction, point out needs I didn’t know I had. Convince me to take the next step. (see #5)
  4. Don’t let Branding Goals Compromise Performance – You need a logo. And you need the target to make the connection. But it cannot overshadow what you can do for the target. Use it as a watermark image in the background, or display it in a way that doesn’t remove precious space from your ability to sell the target on what you can do. Branding is great, but new clients and more sales are better!
  5. Emphasize Getting a Response – We know a Direct Mail campaign works based on the response we receive from it. Whether you’re looking for sales or leads, make sure to actively ask for responses from your audience so you’ll know what’s working – and what isn’t.
  6. CTA Early and Often – It is only somewhat ironic that this is the last point I want to make. Call-to-Action gets your prospect moving. Ask them early to make a decision (e.g., clicking a link to download a white paper, or committing to the one-time payment of $29.95). Put it out there that you’re counting on them. ‘Let me help you’…but you’ve got to do this one thing for me first. Genius.

Even if you aren’t necessarily excited about the contents of your mailbox, you want to do everything in your power to ensure whoever receives a postcard from you is excited. Before you can count on that new sale or garner that new lead, you want to be certain your message is crisp, its delivery is pointed and effective, and that you know how to make adjustments once the campaign has begun. You can’t know every target’s approach to your postcard, that’s true. But the basics exist to make sure you don’t necessarily have to.

Give Opportunity Knocks a call. Our Success Coaches are ready to help you take stock of your objectives and goals, understand your target audience, and ensure that we help you create the most exciting, engaging and productive postcard campaign we can!