Big Profits from Small Mailers - 7 Tips for Using Postcards
There are times when it makes sense to spend a lot of money on a direct mail package: when you really need to make a giant splash; when your mailing list is small and you can afford a high cost-per-piece; when you're doing a one-shot drop and you don't have to worry about saving money for remailings.
However, there are times when going with a humble postcard makes a lot of sense.
No one knows this better than retailers. For example, if Nordstroms wants to announce a shoe sale, it doesn't send you a letter in an envelope that you have to tear open. It mails you a postcard that instantly screams "Get 15% off on all women's shoes! Sale ends March 15!"
Yes. Retailers know that postcards get read. But you don't have to be a retailer to put these easy-to-produce, low-cost mailers to work. You can use a postcard for so many different purposes, including:
* cost-effectively recontact non-responders to your previous mailings and urge them to act;
* create an inexpensive monthly marketing campaign;
* drive people to your Web site with a special offer;
* tease prospects, i.e. let them know that something valuable will be coming in the mail;
* announce a private sale;
* thank customers for their business; or
* remind customers to do something, i.e. "Get ready for summer," "Rotate your tires," etc.
Want to give postcards a try? Here are seven tips for getting big profits from these little mailers:
1. Use first class postage. You get fast delivery AND you can get your undeliverables returned. This keeps your list clean. (Be sure to imprint the words "Address Service Requested," as per U.S. Postal Service requirements, to take advantage of this service.)
2. Use a straightforward headline that contains a benefit. Make it pop. The headline is tremendously important.
3. Keep your message short. Don't try to squeeze in a ton of body copy.
4. Two colors are often sufficient. Generally speaking, if your budget is tight, there's no need to spring for four colors. I'd rather mail more frequently in black and red than less frequently with four colors.
5. Use the right kind of paper. Bright white, 80 lb. linen stock is a good place to start. No need for a gloss finish unless you're running four color.
6. Choose the right size card. You have many choices. A good basic size is 5-1/2" x 8-1/2"
7. If appropriate, run a bold little line at the top that says "Be sure to save this card!" Amazingly, some people will!
Ivan Levison is a freelance direct response copywriter who works for companies like Bank of America, Fireman's Fund, Intel, Microsoft and many others. Levison writes direct mail sales letters, e-mail letters and ads. For a free subscription to his monthly e-mail newsletter for software marketers, visit his Web site at http://www.levison.com. He can be reached at (415) 461-0672 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.