6 Ways to Create Engaging Direct Mail Postcards

Keeping things simple is the key to a successful direct mail postcard campaign. In the “information age” your prospects are becoming increasingly impatient — get your message across quickly and convincingly to captivate your audience.

The arrival of a postcard in the mailbox is immediately engaging. It’s impossible to ignore postcards – Is it from somebody I know? Is it a special offer on some product or service I’ve been looking for?  Even so, they won’t take the time to look more closely unless you take specific steps to make that happen.

Here are 6 simple ways to engage your audience with direct mail postcards

1. Make it large enough to break through the clutter of all the other mail.
2. Use bright colors and a bold headline.
3. Use bullets and visuals for an easier read.
4. Keep the design clean.
5. Very important: Be sure that you’re using the correct mailing list.
6. Make them an offer they can’t refuse!

The smallest postcard is 4” x 6” and is often a good choice for marketing purposes, but for more impact, the larger 5.5” x 8.5” or 6” x 11” sizes perform much better. It offers a larger presence that stands out, and it provides more space for important information and/or larger photos –– a distinct advantage for certain businesses such as landscape services or restaurants where photographs are essential.

To engage your audience, you must grab their attention first. You have a fleeting moment to convince them to read on once they’ve picked up your postcard. Bright colors and a bold headline will instantly give them the idea what your postcard is all about. Are you a carpenter, a dentist, a pizza house or a health club?

Would you read a postcard covered with lines and lines of type? Probably not. People are inherently impatient these days — make your postcards reader-friendly by using bullets to “call out” your benefits, or product offering.

Bullet the benefits: why your products/services, or other characteristics of your business, set you apart from others.

Quick-reference visuals, testimonials, social media icons, logos of professional/business organizations you belong to, etc. can validate your professionalism and credibility. The more “proof” you can show that your business is stable and trusted, the more intrigued your audience will be.

It’s tempting to jam a lot of elements onto a postcard hoping that your customer will learn everything about your business all at once. Unfortunately, the opposite is true — visual overload makes it impossible for the human eye to focus on any one thing. It’s as ineffective as too much text. You’ll engage many more prospects with a simple, clean design that’s inviting and easy to follow.

You won’t engage anyone if you’re mailing to a list of people that are not part of your targeted audience. Consider purchasing a list from a publication or mailing service that can tell you exactly who their demographic is, right down to their ages, geographic location and occupations.

This is really the bottom line when it comes to engagement because it’s a step-by-step process. You’ve engaged appropriate recipients by delivering useful information about your products or services in a way that makes them want to take a closer look. They’re interested, but they may be waffling. Convince them to respond now with an incentive and a deadline. If they don’t act now, they’ll miss out. What could be simpler than that?

Think you’ve got it? Get started with the design of your postcard and watch the leads come in!

J Michael Woodside