Just when you think you know everything you can know about a postcard, along comes a smart aleck like me to disabuse you of some of your erroneous ways.
Ready for the ride? Tighten your seat belt. I'm going to go quickly:
- Ask the post office what a "postcard" is. They will tell you 4.25x6". Period. Now here's a reality check: look at your mail. You'll see postcards as large as 6x11". In between those two extremes are 5x7", 5.5x8.5", 6x9", 3.5x8.5" and 4.5x9". And probably more. So much for 4.25x6". Hah!
- 4.25x6" is great for mailing at First Class and First Class presort if all you are concerned about is paying as little in postage as you possibly can. 4.25x6" is not so great if you want your message to be visible in the mailbox of the recipient.
- If you're mailing at Standard (or nonprofit) rates, it doesn't matter what size postcard you use. Under current USPS rules, your rates will be the same across the size spectrum, from 4.25x6" to 6x11".
- As you increase the size of your postcard, your paper and printing cost will be higher, no question, but postage is still the largest line item in your direct marketing budget.
- A larger card will get you more visibility in the mailbox. Sometimes you really do get what you pay for. Here's one of those times.
- Don't try to sell a product or a service on a postcard. Use your postcard to generate a phone call and then youintelligent human respondercan answer the caller's questions and make the sale.
- Want lotsa phone action? Use the word FREE liberally. In color. "FREE offer." "FREE quote." "FREE information." "FREE analysis." (Just think. This hint didn't cost you a penny! It was FREE!)
- Build brand awareness. Stay "top of mind" with frequent reminders of who you are and what you offer. You never know when they'll need you, so prime the pump.
- Build relationships. Mail at 2 week intervals. Reinforce your message. Repetition is good.
- Offer something that your recipient needs or is interested in. Keep it relevant to the recipient and you'll generate the business you want.
- Be entertaining. Use great graphics. Humor. Color. People want to spend time with something that makes them smile.
- VDP (variable data print) the card. Use your recipient's name in color, in multiple locations. It will arrest his eye, get you more "eyeball time" and earn you a higher ROI. Don't be dissuaded by cost; statistics show that VDP generates 5-30% higher rates of return.
As promised, 12 quick tips delivered. Time's up.
Let me know what you tried and how it worked for you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 703-996-0800.
Over and out.