4 Great Ways to Use a Postcard in Direct Mail (Besides Mailing One)
When I travel, I usually send a postcard or two to friends and family, reminding them of where I am. I often opt for the cheesier ones. You know the ones I’m talking about.
Maybe they have a badly outdated picture, or a city’s name emblazoned across the front.
And sometimes, I’ll scrawl a cliched: “Having a wonderful time … Wish you were here” on the back.
Anyway, while buying some new ones the other day, I thought about other ways postcards can be an effective element in many direct mail efforts. Here are a few.
1. Go Somewhere New
This postcard was the perfed front panel of a self-mailer that American Express mailed last year. It uses a tropical scene to draw in a prospect for the company’s Gold Delta Airlines SkyMiles credit card. One of the inside panels lists the many travel benefits of getting and using the card. For example, new members can earn miles bases on their purchases. And their first checked bag is free when traveling on the airline
2. Talk With Your Network
Call it a friends and family discount, or member-get-a-member. Asking your customers to reach out to people they know to help sell your product or service can be a powerful tool.
Overseas Adventure Travel, a tour operator often reaches out to its past customers for referrals for its many trips. A recent envelope mailing included a sheet of 5 perfed jumbo postcards, each showcasing one of its destinations. The reverse side offers “3 Reasons to Travel” to that location, like Peru. For letting their loved ones know in a colorful way where they’ve been, the traveler earns rewards, plus savings for their friend.
This postcard features an iconic photograph of President Kennedy that originally ran in the New York Times back in 1961. It was mailed in a subscription package for the newspaper a few years ago. According to that effort’s letter, it was intended “to provide a vivid snapshot of what you will find in the Times.”
Paul Bobnak is the director of Who's Mailing What!, the most complete, searchable and fully online library of direct mail and email in the world. He has read and analyzed thousands of direct mail packages and email in more than 200 industry categories, including retail, nonprofits, insurance, telecom, automotive, financial services, travel, and publishing. He writes for the e-newsletters Today @ Target Marketing and Total Retail Report.He has been a judge in NonProfit PRO's Gold Awards for Fundraising Excellence since 2006.