Postcards

7 Powerful Postcard Ideas to Start Your First Direct Mail Campaign

October 31, 2017
Author
Abram Isola

You’re a digital-first business. Almost all your customers come in through your website. And yet, there comes a point in your digital marketing channels program when you start to wonder…

What if digital isn’t enough this time?

What if the ideal target audience for your ads is using ad-blockers?

What if your prospects are tuning out your emails?

What if your existing customers opted out of all but the essential communications long ago?

It’s enough to get you thinking beyond the screen. And when you do, you might have an idea:

What if reigniting your audience’s interest were as simple as sending them a postcard?

Direct mail understandably seems a bit old-school. But it’s hardly old hat. In fact, most recent edition of the Data & Marketing Association’s annual Response Rate Report found that direct mail response rates surpassed response rates for other channels.

If you have mailing addresses for your customers or prospects, direct mail is worth trying at least once—especially now that digital tools like Inkit make a direct mail marketing campaign so easy to set up. Decide on a message and a target audience, upload or design an eye-catching postcard, and you’re ready to go.

And as for that message? You’ve got lots of options. We prepared some direct mail postcard ideas and tips for your postcard marketing campaigns. Here are some of our favorite direct mail postcard marketing ideas to try.

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7 Postcard Marketing Ideas to Delight Customers and Prospects

Postcard Idea #1: The “Hey, We’re Here!” Postcard

A new location, a new service area, even a whole new business—any of these developments is an opportunity to introduce yourself to new potential customers who might otherwise never know you exist. And sending postcards is a lot easier and more reliable than sending someone out with a box of door hangers.

Inkit’s postcard builder enables you to create your self-designed postcards. You can include different images, maps, change layouts, customize colors and fonts for your message. The corporate business logo is an important part of your postcard to boost your brand awareness. Don’t forget to also include your contact information, easy to type in URLs, or QR codes to make sure your customers can reach you both online and offline.

Postcard Idea #2: The Happy Holiday Creative Postcard

People often pay closer attention to their mailboxes around the holidays, when cards from friends and family might be coming in. So why not jump into the pile with a holiday greeting of your own?

If you plan to send your customers a holiday postcard as a nice brand reminder, the best delivery time is right before the very same holiday. But if you are planning to launch a marketing campaign to drive sales, your holiday-related coupons and discounts should be delivered weeks beforehand. Give your customers enough time to use their special discounts and get the most out of your offer.

A great design will help your postcard stand out from other seasonal ads. Check out this real estate postcard design from Lana Made Designs:

An example of a real estate holiday postcard design for Halloween

Postcard Idea #3: The Free Money Postcard

Last week I mentioned a Return Path study on win-back campaigns (takeaway: they’re effective). Another interesting finding from that study: “A dollar-off discount consistently performed 2x better than a percentage discount.”

So if you want to spur repeat purchases with a discount, consider saying “Here’s $10!” instead of “Here’s 10% off.” And try saying it with a postcard for even better results.

Postcard Idea #4: The Double-Duty Discount Postcard

A postcard offer like this one from meal service Portable Chef (made with Inkit) introduces recipients to the service and gives them a limited-time “free money” offer:

Portable chef

Something interesting happens with postcards like these: business owners often report that they bring in full-price clients as well as discount-seekers. The latter will pounce on the offer right away, while others may take their time deciding to buy and visit the website after the special offer has expired. Either way, it works.

Pro tip: Make sure to include a powerful and eye-catching call to action. The first impression of your postcard design is important, especially if you want customers to remember your brand for future purchases.

Postcard Idea #5: The Thank You Postcard

A 2014 NewVoiceMedia study reported that 53% of U.S. consumers say they’ll take their business elsewhere simply because they feel unappreciated.

That’s reason enough to say thanks when customers make a big purchase or reach a given milestone. Which you could do with an email—but doesn’t a physical thank you note feel a whole lot more, well, appreciative?

That means:

Not only can you include your prospect’s name in the design of the card (not just in the address field), but you can change elements of your postcard to reflect that person’s demographics or interests!

Personalization can help you appeal to customers’ feelings. You can easily create personalized postcards with Inkit. We have integrations with multiple online apps and services, such as HubSpot, Iterable, Drip, Marketo, and more. So you can easily integrate your CRMs into our system and customize variable data and personalize each direct mail piece for each intended recipient. Consider setting up triggered direct mail campaigns to send a special postcard based on customer buying behavior, for example.

Postcard Idea #6: The “Rewards Program” Postcard

Formal loyalty programs can take a lot of time and money to manage. So why make it formal?

Combine the thank you postcard with the “free money” postcard, and you get a low-maintenance way to reward great customers with extra perks or trigger a special rewards postcard upon their next purchase. Decide what qualifies someone for a reward, or use purchase history data to offer them a new product based on what you know about their interests, set up a rule in your automation workflow to identify customers who qualify, and let Inkit send out postcards with a discount code or freebie.

Postcard Idea #7: The Bring-a-Friend Postcard

If you want to grow quickly, you need customers who will enthusiastically vouch for you. A postcard can make it easier for them, especially if your small business runs on in-person contact.

Send a postcard that encourages recipients to share the special offer with a friend. You might even try a two-coupon design: one half for the original customer, and one to tear off and hand to a pal. If you can credit the customer’s account when their friend brings in the postcard, even better.

Conclusion

When used well, postcards can be one more channel in your “omni-channel marketing strategy,” alongside social media, email marketing, and others – greatly improving your marketing results without a ton of extra effort. Use our postcard marketing tips to create cost-effective postcard marketing campaigns that will drive your business to new heights. Start with one of these ideas to see what a simple piece of paper can do.

Inkit’s direct mail automation software provides you with easy ways to launch your first postcard marketing campaign. Save time, money and effort on graphic designers and postcard printing. You can cover the entire mailing process, from mail piece design to delivery in one place.

P.S. Inkit has some big things coming. Follow us on Facebook to get updates and new marketing ideas every week.

Try out Inkit today by contacting us today.

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Send personalized direct mail automatically based on customer actions.
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