Here’s Why You Should Try Out Direct Mail Postcards (Yep, They’re Still a Thing)

postcard received by the recipient

Remember when loved ones and friends used to send us postcards whenever they go on holiday trips? Social media may have turned this practice obsolete, but for businesses, postcards are far from being a thing of nostalgia.

Several studies prove that they’re still quite effective today, even more than popular digital tactics like emails, paid search, and online ads. In fact, a recent USPS report revealed that 82% of millennials trust print ads such as direct mail postcards since they’re less prone to privacy and security breaches.

Meanwhile, the Association of National Advertisers found that sending postcards to repeat or existing clients resulted in a 92% ROI, the highest among all traditional marketing methods.

Are you still not convinced that direct mail works? Keep reading.

Top Benefits of Postcard Mailing

Postcards are affordable. With digital and social media ads, you rarely hit the jackpot on your first try – more so if you have zero background on digital analytics and targeting. You also need to consider the changing algorithm of different platforms, which is why this whole process can easily rack up costs.

With direct mail postcards, you don’t have to worry about spending extra since most printing shops offer discounts when you order in bulk. Since they come in a wide range of sizes, there’s one to fit any budget.

You don’t have to worry about wasting money on the wrong audience, either. Take Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM), for instance. Just list down the area you want to target and you’re good to go!

Postcards are tangible, so the message sticks better. Advertisements are unavoidable at this point – you can’t drive a mile without seeing a billboard or scroll down your feed without coming across a sponsored post. You either get annoyed or get desensitized.

That’s what sets direct mail apart. They don’t just physically exist; recipients have the choice of whether to engage with it or not. In fact, a survey revealed that more than half of the respondents agree that direct mail is the right way to share information.

A 2018 study also found that 57% of American consumers open their mail, while 24.5% keep it to read later. That’s way better than your digital ad getting reported or disappearing after clicking refresh.

Postcard campaigns require little effort to launch. Setting up a digital campaign requires a learning curve. Even if you have the budget, you will still need time to learn how to set it up correctly. With direct mail, you just need a list depending on the audience you want to target.

postcard for mailing

If you’re planning an area-targeted campaign, such as a store opening announcement, you can specify ZIP codes with USPS. If you’re targeting a specific demographic, you can buy a mailing list from several third-party providers.

Postcard campaigns are measurable. Since you know exactly where your postcards are going, it’s easy to track whether they were able to convert your prospects into leads or not. Just don’t forget to incorporate a CTA and your contact information so they know how to reach you! We’ll get to that in a bit.

5 Things to Remember When Planning a Postcard Campaign

Now that you know how easy it is to incorporate postcards into your marketing strategy, it’s time we discuss how to do it correctly! Here are some tried-and-tested practices for a successful postcard campaign.

1. Keep your postcard design simple

Assign a focal point so the readers know where to look. Regardless of your postcard size, refrain from filling it with text, either. It’s best to be straightforward by sticking to a single message. You can always just add a QR code to a landing page or your social media channels if you want to share more information.

2. Focus on the benefits instead of the features

Since we’re keeping the copy to a minimum, paint a picture with words instead of listing specs or technical terms. This way, the reader knows what you’re talking about right away and they can decide whether you’re relevant to them or not.

3. Don’t leave the back blank

Postcard Printing Design - Terroir

With personal postcards, the back is usually reserved for the postage stamp and the sender’s address and personal message. With marketing postcards, the sky’s the limit. Use the other side to highlight your services, list your branches, or share a discount code.

4. Bigger can be better

Although the standard postcard is 4” x 6”, there’s no limit to how large your postcard can be if you have the budget. You can even go as small as 3.5” x 5.5” which is the minimum size set by USPS.

5. Include a call-to-action

Without a CTA, the content of your postcard is simply an educational message. It’s not that it’s wrong, but if your direct mail is for marketing purposes, how would you know if it’s effective?

Whether the goal of your campaign is to collect leads, build your brand’s online presence, or promote an upcoming sale, be clear with what you want the reader to do next.

Postcards are far from obsolete – not in 2022, not anytime soon. If you’re looking for a marketing tool that’ll help you get closer to customers (literally) and create more impact and recall for your brand, try out postcard printing.

About the Author

Denise Colleen Cabili
Colleen has extensive experience helping brands align with their ideal clients through stories that resonate. She spends her free time reading speculative fiction and watching animated shows.