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Mail Design Part 1: Your Postcard

Nov 02, 2010

Mail Design Part 1: Designing Your Postcard for Maximum Response

When you don't have a lot to say, but you need to be heard, postcards are perfect for concise messages that really stand out. Best of all, a postcard allows you to communicate your message clearly, quickly and easily. Recipients see your images and text without the added step of opening an envelope, so you get a 100% open rate, guaranteed. (And, of course, Click2Mail makes postcards easy.)

For some innovative, response-getting ideas on postcard design, we turned to master designer Chuck Green at Ideabook.com. Chuck offers some great ideas for boosting the impact of your postcard:

"Bust the size barrier" for "more dramatic graphics and a more detailed message"
For getting attention, biggest is best. Click2Mail's "jumbo" 6 x 11 postcard pops out of the mailbox, with plenty of room on both sides of the card for your brand-building message. The jumbo postcard is ideal for capturing the attention of new prospects (then, of course, you must seal the deal with a compelling call to action).

Or, use the jumbo postcard to create a postcard newsletter - an innovative (and attention-grabbing) twist on the conventional newsletter. A postcard newsletter forces you to be concise - your news and call-to-action shouldn't be more than 400 words or so - but also offers the advantages of a typical newsletter: establishing you as the expert, offering information that your mail recipient can really use, and keeping your brand top-of-mind with your customers and prospects. If you decide to go this less-conventional route for your newsletter, take Chuck's advice and "make the overall design look as much like a newsletter as possible."

"Request a response"
Make responding to your message easy with Click2Mail's 6 x 4.25 postcard that includes either a Business Reply postage-paid or courtesy (postage isn't paid) reply card. Click2Mail reply cards are ideal for following up on a customer's experience, brief customer surveys, and getting additional contact information.

In addition to the benefits you get from having the response card (customer feedback, additional customer details to add to your database), the reply card also gives you something to leave behind with the recipient. Build repeat business by making the leave-behind half of the reply card a coupon for the recipient's next visit.

Or take Chuck's advice and invite recipients to "Keep this card by your phone." Remember to include the kind of useful information that recipients will want to keep around - "in case of emergency" phone numbers, for example (works well if you offer medical services, pet services, childcare services, home repair services - anything the reply card recipient might need in a pinch.

"Make contact"
We talk a lot about the value of personal communications (it's why Click2Mail makes it easy to personalize your mailers). Chuck has a great idea for blending the most-personal kind of communication - a handwritten note - with the practicality of a postcard. He suggests printing "a supply of postcards on which you can jot down messages that keep you in the front of your customer's mind." With Click2Mail's volume discounts, printing enough postcards for all of your sales people to keep handy for quick personal customer notes is easy and cost-effective.

"Create a ticket" (or a coupon)
The ultimate goal in direct mail is to create a mailer so enticing that customers keep it around. One easy way to do that is to make your mailer a ticket or coupon that the customer can use to get a special prize or discount on her next visit. She keeps the card around until then, which keeps you at the top of her mind, and she comes in for a repeat visit - a huge double-win for you. We especially like the copy on Chuck's example coupon postcard, "This card is worth $50 to . . . [recipient's name and mailing address]."

Integrate your marketing
In our newest Direct Mail Marketing Tips series, we talk about the ways that you can integrate direct mail with the other aspects of your marketing plan. Chuck offers a great example for using a postcard to drive traffic to your website. In the postcard, he actually includes screen shots of the website and call-out boxes explaining to the postcard recipient how she can use (and benefit from) the website.

Another approach to drive traffic to your website is to create a postcard with, for example, a special offer that points recipients to a landing page you created specifically for the postcard offer. That will allow you to most accurately measure the effect of your postcard mailer in driving traffic to your website, and it will make your postcard recipient's website experience seamlessly integrated.

In this month's newsletter we introduced a very exciting new mailing list feature, called Social Networker, which tells you if your contact uses social networks. Maximize response to your offer by creating a postcard specifically for social media users, inviting them to "Like" you on Facebook and "Follow" you on Twitter, for example.

So you've got the postcard design ideas, now it's time to put them to work. Get started today with Click2Mail's easy-to-use postcard templates - just upload your images, add in your text, upload your mailing list, and click to mail!