Postcard Best Practices #1 – Headline


Your headline is the first thing your customer will read; get it wrong and it’ll be the only thing they read.

Direct mail postcards live and die on their headlines. You need to make your direct mail headline compelling and attention-grabbing, as well as set the theme for the entire mail. With that one phrase, you must let the reader know what he or she could possibly gain from reading any further.

A postcard with a short, smart and direct headline has been shown to get about 20 times the response compared to postcard than when the headline is weak or non-existent. Let’s take a look at some of the potential ways to begin building that all-important headline.

Get Direct

Sometimes the most direct message possible is also the best one. With direct mail marketing, it’s often best not to overthink it, and to just get your message across in as succinct a headline as possible. e.g.:

  • 35% Off Ugg Ski Boots!
  • 1/2 Price on your Next Carwash!
  • Free Window Installation Quote

With these direct messages, there’s no doubt about what your direct mail is all about.

Your Unique Selling Proposition

Your product should have at least one thing which makes it stand out from all the competition; the most compelling benefit of purchasing your product. Whether it’s bigger, stronger, faster, smaller or cheaper, if you’re selling in a saturated market, put that difference front and center – in your headline.

  • Presenting The Lightest Laptop in the World
  • Brazil’s Smoothest Coffee, Now Delivered Direct to Your Kitchen
  • Start your own Mexican Restaurant Franchise – it’s Easy!

These headlines work best when your prospects are likely receiving direct mails for similar products – in this case you really need to show how you’re different right away.

Just Do It!

Telling your reader to do something in the headline is an effective way to grab their attention and motivate them. Command headlines are direct and take a positive and assertive tone. With the right headline, you can also

  • Decorate your Home with Luscious Italian Fabrics
  • Get that Promotion with Your Perfect Tone and Diction
  • Halve your Home’s Energy Consumption with Efficient Solar Panels

With the right command headline, you can also show the key benefits of your product at the same time.

Those Big Benefits

If your product doesn’t have that one selling point, think of the three main benefits your customer will get if they buy your product. Can you mention these benefits in a concise, enticing headline?

  • Imagine a Light Golf Caddy that’s Durable and Fashionable…
  • Are you ready for Fast, Secure, Affordable Web Hosting?
  • Zero Carbon Footprint. Zero BPA. Zero Guilt.

These headlines work best when your product is versatile and offers multiple benefits to customers.

That’s News?

People are naturally curious to learn the latest news developments, and adding an element of novelty to your headline by using words that suggest something new and exciting is happening is a way to take advantage of this. Note: Your product or service doesn’t even need to be new to use this tip, it just needs to sound that something new is afoot. E.g.

  • Introducing the…
  • Announcing the…
  • At last, …
  • Now, …
  • NEW! …
  • The all-new…

The Question Headline

Questions stick out in copy, and a question headline begs the customer to answer the question in their head. The best question headlines therefore tend to expect a yes from the customer or point to the main benefit of your product as the answer.

  • Are You Struggling to Pay your Bills?
  • Do You Want your Pets to Stay Healthy?
  • Do You Feel Undervalued at Work?

These questions can lead into details explaining how your product or service can solve the reader’s issue or enhance their life for the better.


Actually, these tips are just the beginning; there are so many ways you can make your headlines sell your product for you in direct mail. Feel free to give our Opportunity Knocks expert direct mailing team a call, and we’ll work with you to create the ultimate direct response postcard. Call 866-319-7109 today!