What has a better chance of getting read, letters or postcards? If you chose postcards, you’re right. According to the United States Postal Service®, studies show that while on average only 14% of letters get read, postcards have a 94% success rate. With Avery® Postcards, you’re on your way to creating effective direct mail that gets noticed.
It’s not just their readability that makes Avery Postcards a valuable marketing tool. Postcards are also inexpensive to produce and mail, too. Once you’ve decided to use postcards to market your business, how can you make sure you use them effectively? Jerry Heisler, a recognized direct mail expert and president of the Heisler Group shares his insights on how you can use postcards for success.
Select the Right Postcard Format
The first step is to select a mailing format, Heisler suggests. Will a simple standard postcard serve your purpose, or should you use an oversized card, a self-mailer, or some other format? To decide, you need to ask yourself what you want to accomplish with the mailing. If you’re looking to generate traffic to your business, a single postcard with a call to action might easily fill the bill. Tell recipients to bring in the card when they visit, and they will receive something special for doing so. If you’re looking for sales leads, you’ll need a way for customers to respond. In that case, a double postcard with a business reply feature might be the appropriate format.
Design for Effectiveness
Now you’re ready to add content and design to your postcard. To create an effective message, Heisler provides these recommendations. Use a bold headline to entice recipients to read more. Keep your postcard clean, uncluttered, and easy to read. Focus on benefits. Give your potential customers a way to respond. And never, ever bury your contact information.
Compile a Mailing List
“Of course, the perfect format and the most beautiful design won’t do you any good unless you send your mailing to an appropriate audience,” says Heisler. Will you send your postcards to your existing customer base or do you want to reach out to new potential customers by renting a mailing list? There are many types of lists available: resident lists, lifestyle lists, new homeowner lists, etc. Do your research and reach out to available resources to help you compile your own mailing list.
Track Your Results
Heisler’s final advice is to always track your results. “Tracking responses is vital to your success with direct mail,” he says. And measuring results doesn’t have to be a complicated procedure. It can be as simple as keeping a record in a notebook or, for the business that does a lot of direct mail, tracking it on your computer. Let’s say you sent out a postcard asking people to request a copy of your catalog. Here’s some information you might consider recording and tracking:
- How many postcards did you mail?
- How many people responded to your mailing?
- What is the response as a percentage of the total postcards mailed out?
- Of those who responded, how many ultimately bought something?
- What are the names and addresses of those who responded?
- What was the value of their order?
- Did they pay their bill?
- Did they order again?
You’ll want to keep this information with an actual sample of what you mailed, the quantity mailed, date mailed, and mailing list used. “Good records are the key to your success with direct mail,” advises Heisler. Start out with the right tools in place and you will be able to measure the effectiveness of your own postcards.