Engineering a Successful Postcard Campaign

If you ever find yourself in a conversation with someone about postcard marketing, and they say something along the lines of, “you get out of a postcard campaign what you put into it,” you should nod politely, smile, and slowly back away from them. They aren’t telling you the truth. You will never get out of a marketing campaign – postcard, or otherwise – what you put into it. And what I mean by that is you will never see a 100% response rate. (We’ll talk about metrics of an ROI below.)

The right way to look at a campaign is to understand exactly what it will take to be successful in your efforts. And to many people, success might mean something entirely different than what it means to you. Whether you run a non-profit, or a business whose sole intent is to profit from goods and services sold, you must have to have income of some kind to keep the doors open. And the risk versus reward of any endeavor means you need to make more money than it costs you to fund what you’re doing.

Consider what these five things mean to you and the success of your business:

  • Understand the Value – Depending on whether your goal was more sales or generating more leads, you’ll calculate the results differently. Obviously, it’s easy to understand how much you spent against how many sales you were able to make from the targeted postcard recipients, giving you the ratio of investment-to-income.
  • Rate of Return – For whatever reason in 2021 (and I think we all have an idea what the reason was), and Forbes tell us that “42% of recipients [of direct mail pieces] read, or scan, the advertising mailers they receive.” When you put that against the measly 23% open rate for email advertising, you can see the power inherent in direct mail postcards. The rate of return impacts your budget, which impacts your potential for new sales/prospects. Narrowing your target pool (like we love to preach here) can aid you in reaching the maximum number of ‘right’ prospects, therefore increasing your potential rate of return.
  • Exploit Customer Loyalty – I say ‘Exploit’ only in terms of knowing that future sales often come from past buyers. Monthly outreach to existing clients keeps your business memorable. And offering past clients a bit of a break can lead to repeat sales – and repeat sales on a product that is similarly priced to your entire postcard campaign can blow your ROI positively out of the water.
  • Track the Impact – Technology has gifted us a bunch of ways to tell who is ‘taking the bait’ on our postcards, how they’re doing it, and to what end. Phone numbers and internet addresses can be customized such that either one can be used to quite accurately tell which version of your postcard is doing what you want it to. Add on a QR code or a landing page to your postcard or secondary marketing for even better insight into what’s powering your ROI.
  • Look Around the Corner – Once you’ve conducted the research, generated the campaign, and tallied the results, you’ll be in position to better predict future activities. You’ll know what it takes to generate outreach to your targets. You’ll know what resonated positively with your audience that improved their engagement with your business. You’ll know what language and approach to take (or avoid) to increase the rate of return for your next campaign.

For as many ways as there are for businesses to make money, amazingly there is a pretty short list of things you have to do to make sure your direct mail activities don’t end up costing you more than you’ve invested. Consider what your goal should be (e.g., 10 new sales or 50 new leads from ‘x’ number of prospects in the pool you’ve targeted). And then figure out what you’re willing to invest to reach that number of new sales or prospects.

Give Opportunity Knocks a call. We’ve got Success Coaches standing by who know you cannot boil the ocean, and they’re confident the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Let us help you create a direct mail postcard campaign that’s sure to maximize your return!