We write a good deal about marketing online. It’s what we do. But a good online strategy should go hand-in-hand with a good offline strategy.
About 80 percent of business-to-business marketers think direct mail marketing is an effective marketing tool, according to a 2011 survey of 1,000 marketing professionals conducted by Marketing Sherpa. That’s not even factoring how effective businesses who send cards to mass customers can be. Sending postcards is an especially effective way to conduct a direct marketing campaign. Not only is it cheaper to send cards than to send conventional mail, it can also be more effective, since direct mail in envelopes often gets thrown away unopened, with the recipients never even seeing the message. Your message on a postcard, by contrast, is more likely to be seen and read. Here are five tips for making the most of this important marketing tool.
1. Make people curious
When people are sorting their mail, you’d like them to stop and take a good look at your postcard. Make your card stand out in the pile. An eye-catching and mysterious picture on the front of the card that arouses people’s curiosity can stop mail sorters in their tracks and make them eager to read the message on the back.
2. Highlight your brand
Postcard marketing is a great way to quickly increase brand awareness. A museum, for example, can successfully promote a new brand identity by sending cards to teachers and other community leaders. Think about the best ways to reinforce your brand image to the people who matter the most to your organization.
3. Steer recipients online
Combine the best of the print and online worlds by using postcard marketing to entice people to visit your Internet site. That way, a postcard can be the start of a longer conversation. The small space on cards can be a doorway into something more significant, more in-depth and longer-lasting.
4. Use QR codes wisely
The two basic ways to use a postcard to steer people online are to print links to your site on the card, and/or to include QR codes, which enable people to access your site with their smartphones. Simply printing the codes on the cards is not enough. Offer incentives, such as coupons, to encourage people to take the time to use the codes. Businesses should also make sure the site the code links to is optimized for mobile devices.
5. Keep it simple
Simplicity is best. Keep your messages short, punchy and to-the-point. Here is a trick for writing concisely: Imagine every word you put on the card will cost you $100. Keep the picture side of the postcard simple, too. Use bright colors and bold designs that will immediately capture people’s attention. Think of using the cards as a starting point that will pique the recipients’ interest, not as a way to close the sale by themselves.
It’s worth investing the time and energy to make the most of your postcard marketing campaigns. With postcard marketing being such an inexpensive and effective tool for attracting new customers, retaining existing ones, establishing your brand and announcing special events, it’s no wonder they remain such a popular form of marketing, even in the Internet age.
Has your business used postcard marketing? Share your tips in the comments.