EDIT Your Way to Success!

Giants in their industries, like Nina Garcia, the Editor-in-Chief of the fashion magazine, Elle, and Oscar-winning film editor, Richard Chew (Star Wars: A New Hope, and Risky Business, to name but two), firmly understand that the key to their success is taking an abundance of material and whittling down to just what is required; the perfect amount of content they need to blow their audiences’ socks off.

That is the same approach you should have when putting together any kind of direct mail postcard campaign. And I get it – starting from scratch can be daunting. How do you even begin? What do you want to tell your target? What are you promoting, and why, and how, and for how long? There are tons of questions to be answered. But you can’t do it all at once. The key to a great postcard is editing. Use these Four Editing Best Practices are key:

  • Brevity is King – You’re not writing a novel. Period. Get in, show the target what you’ve got (or what you want them to see), give them the exit ramp to your product or service, and get out. This isn’t the time or place to make the target work. Simple actions, simple words, simple directions. Never make the target do the math. Make them want to get in touch with you for next steps. Short and sweet. Expand once they get to your landing page or get you on the phone or walk inside your store.
  • Content Ratio – This is important, and one of the trickier parts of postcard direct mail campaigns. You want to make sure you’re giving the target the right balance of information-to-CTA. [And, sorry, but that’s not always a 50/50 proposition.] Your postcard could have a bunch of images tiled one on top of the other to advertise something fun like mini golf or the zoo or anything where a visceral, emotion-filled experience awaits. Or you could have a single picture and the best, most appropriate bullet points to get the word out about your HVAC business, or to emphasize the benefits you’ll get from subscribing to a health-related newsletter or blog. Whatever you’re promoting, give the target what you want them to know, and ensure they’ve got a way to take action to buy zoo tickets or sign up for the blog. Just make sure what you’re putting in front of them is to the point and strong!
  • Message Intent – What’s the point? Are you simply notifying your target of a grand opening? Easy messaging doesn’t require a bunch of words. “GRAND OPENING” in a huge font, coupled with some great pictures of donuts or car repair or flooring or whatever you’re pushing. This goes back to Content Ratio, right? The format speaks as much to message intent as the words. If your product or service is more technical than an image can convey, be mindful of that.
  • Message Absorption – The major accomplishment with any advertising is that the target gets it, that they comprehend what you want them to comprehend. That’s why it’s always best to use as simple an approach as you can. If they must work too hard just to get the point of the postcard, it’ll be in the trash faster than they can say, “I don’t get it. And I no longer care.”

Not overrunning your audience with word salad is often more powerful than the words you choose to use in your mailing. Less is More, right? Many times, editing your message is the key to delivering a powerful and lasting impact. And that’s what you’re after – you want your audience to remember who you are, what you’ve said, and what you can do for them.

Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book.” Clever. Nietzsche had a pretty good point. Both Nina and Richard have built their brands by focusing on brevity to keep them at the tops of their games. Editing is always the name of the game.

If you’ve got a lot to say, but don’t know what to cut and what to keep, give Opportunity Knocks a call. We’ve got Success Coaches standing by to help you separate the wheat from the chaff, and make sure you’re working to create a powerful, straight-forward postcard campaign.