This is the final installment of our four-part series on direct mail's most popular format, the postcard. We've covered why postcards work, how to design them, and how to track results. Now we'll give you the other side of the story.
When is it time to move to another format? There are several reasons why a postcard mailing may not be the best choice for you at this time.
• Needs repeat mailings. Postcards are most effective when prospective customers receive several of them over a period of time. You might not have the time or money to invest in an ongoing campaign.
• Message is too complicated. Short and sweet is what works in the limited space of a postcard. It's better suited for one-off promotions, or introducing your business to a new audience. If you're past that stage, you need a longer format which fully explains your product/service benefits.
• Won't close the sale. When mailing to new prospects, the postcard is your cold call. Don't expect that one vehicle to transport your leads all the way through the sales funnel.
• No incentives. Perhaps the most effective use of postcards is to announce a sale, discount coupon, introductory offer or other special deal that drives traffic to your store or website. If your business doesn't lend itself to this type of promotion, another format might be a better option.
Mix it up with a different format. Some businesses never use postcards for one or more of the reasons above. Others use a variety of vehicles depending on the message or marketing goal. Here are some alternatives that may work better for your circumstances.
• Flyer. Like a postcard, a flyer gets high readership because it's instantly readable — no need to be opened by the recipient. Plus, it offers much more space than a postcard to convey a multi-faceted message.
• Brochure. An essential tool for closing the sale, a brochure conveys quality along with the complete story of your business. In addition, you can have all or part your order bulk shipped to your office for use by your sales staff.
• Letter. For communicating with existing customers or following up with prospects after the initial contact, a letter lets you speak conversationally and at length. And it can be as easy to send as an email with our Email-to-Mail application.
If you have any questions about moving from postcards to a different format, please give us a call.