21 Reasons to Send Your Customers Postcards
Postcards are a simple way to communicate with customers on an ongoing basis, but they're not an automatic replacement for solo mailings. Following are 21 occasions and reasons when postcards might work for your message.
1. Cost: Postcards are less expensive to produce than other direct mail formats.
2. First-Class Delivery: Sending a postcard first-class costs just 20 cents.
3. Fast Read: Postcards take seconds to read, increasing the chance they will get read.
4. Referrals: Use a double postcard to generate customer referrals.
5. Reminders: Use a postcard to remind customers "there's still time" to shop your sale, order from your latest catalog, R.S.V.P.—you name it!
6. Thank You: Send a postcard to thank a customer for stopping by, placing an order, waiting for a back order or allowing you to help with his or her holiday gift-giving needs.
7. Sale Preview: Mail postcards to your best customers to give them the first crack at sale prices and other exclusive offerings.
8. Private Sale: Notify your best customers of a private sale.
9. Deadline Extension: Use a postcard to extend a deadline for ordering, registering or taking advantage of a limited time special offer.
10. Invitation: Use a postcard for a high-impact, easy-to-read invitation that's also easy to retain and refer to.
11. Pre-Show Mailing: Send postcards to customers inviting them to visit your booth at an upcoming trade show.
12. Post-Show Mailing: Send postcards to customers after a show to thank them for stopping by your booth.
13. Web Site Address: Launching a Web site? Send the address to customers on peel-off stickers affixed to postcards.
14.Change in Plans: Mail postcards to let customers know of a change of address, date change, name change, phone and/or fax number change.
15. Oops!: Mistakes happen. Simple and fast to produce, postcards are perfect for saying, "We goofed!" and providing correct information.
16. Happy Birthday: Send a postcard in honor of your customer's birthday.
17. Happy Anniversary: Acknowledge a customer's loyalty with a postcard on the anniversary of his first purchase.
18. Upgrade & Cross-Sell: Send a postcard to your customer who just made a purchase to make a special upgrade or cross-sell offer.
19. Your Opinions Matter: Send a double-postcard survey.
20. Slow Sales: Sales unexpectedly slow? Send a special offer postcard inviting customers to (1) find your catalog, place an order now and save; (2) stop by your retail store within the next two weeks and save; (3) e-mail, call or fax an order by a specific deadline and save.
21. Personal Appeal: Send hand-signed "picture postcards" for high impact and personal appeal. Link the picture and message. For example, send a cable car postcard as an invitation to a trade show in San Francisco or use a picture postcard from Switzerland to introduce a new product made in Geneva. (For added impact, you can even pay to have the postcard mailed from overseas.)
More tips: All postcards do not have to look the same. Oversized postcards may cost more to produce and mail, but they also stand out in the mail. Splurge on paper; postcards are visual and tactile. Stamps look more personal and interesting than a printed indicia or metered postage. Create a series of postcards and print them all at once to save money. Get readers involved with peel-off stickers, tipped-on magnets, scratch-and-sniff, etc. And check your mail and talk to your printers for additional postcard ideas that don't cost a fortune.