Perfect the Postcard
By Lois Boyle
As consumers, many of us appreciate the efficiency and "quick read" that a postcard provides. As marketers, we appreciate the cost-effectiveness of a postcard, especially when it works! The postcard format, unfortunately, must work especially hard to compete with its sister formats, the more elaborate solo mailings and catalogs.
You literally have seconds to grab a recipient's attention and explain your offer—and that's no easy task with the limited space a postcard provides. So, how can you create a postcard that will stand out in the mail and motivate customers to respond? To answer this question, ask yourself the following questions:
Offer—The Most Important Component
1. Is your offer simply stated and easy to understand? Complex and multiple offers can dramatically depress response.
2. Is it clear what you're asking the reader to do? If you are selling a product, tell customers how to order it. If the postcard is a traffic generator, make sure customers understand they must redeem the offer in your store—and make sure you tell them where the store is. If the offer is a request for more information, be certain you clearly explain how to complete the next step.
3. If your postcard is designed to sell, is the product unique or a best seller, one that accurately reflects your merchandise lineup? This is particularly important when you're mailing to prospects. Always present proven winners and choose a product that best reflects future offers and/or merchandise. Otherwise, you may impede repeat purchases.
Copy That Motivates
4. Is your headline incredibly compelling? Headlines are the most important copy component and must stop readers in their tracks. Is your headline visually "loud" so it's the first thing readers see? Does the rest of your copy support the headline? Headlines are so important that they're worth testing to find the one that customers will respond to the most.