Direct Mail Strategy: A Plethora of Postcards
It’s no wonder we’re being bombarded with a plethora of postcards. However, as a direct mail creative strategist and copywriter, I have reservations.
Any time a mail recipient receives more than one piece of mail in the same format, the individual pieces have to work extra-hard to stand out. This means that before you get involved in copy and creative, you need to make strategic decisions about how to maximize the effectiveness of this format. It was clear the stack of postcards I received was the result of minimal strategic thinking. Some tip-offs:
1. All of the postcards used four-coloring printing; in most cases, it was not necessary. If color was used to capture my attention, it failed because all of them were four-color.
When was the last time you did a formal or informal review of the mail your targeted audiences receive? Never assume that your mailing, no matter what the format, is the only one of its kind in the mail or inbox. If you don’t need four-color printing to grab attention or promote your offer, why use it?
2. All of the postcards were 6˝ x 9˝. This may be a cost-efficient size for printers, but the message on it may or may not have required the space. Again, the cards all looked the same when stacked together. A 6˝ x 9˝ postcard is too large to mail at First-Class postcard rates. These mailed as flats. To qualify for U.S. Postal Service postcard rates and First-Class delivery, a postcard must be: 3˝ x 5˝ to 4-1⁄4˝ x 6˝ and have a thickness of .007˝ to .016˝.
3. All of the postcards I received were printed on white card stock. Instead of using four-color printing, consider printing in black but investing in colored and/or textured paper for a visual and tactile edge in the mailbox.