Tips to Improve Your Next Postcard Mailing

Over the past few weeks, FEI marketing whiz Marka has given the FEI tribe some tips on creating effective brochure promotions. This week, Marka delivers some pointers on effective postcard marketing. Remember, fire = print.

Early one afternoon, Marka arrived in Zoot’s office to find him chowing down on lamb chops. Zoot looked up at Marka grumpily. She knew Zoot hated being interrupted when eating lamb chops, but she had something important to tell him.

“I have a riddle for you,” Marka said. “What’s small, cost-effective, and highly noticeable?”

“A teacup?” Zoot asked.

“No, Zoot. Postcards. We’re doing a postcard mailing to promote our new ‘MegaFlame’ torch, which is perfect for bonfires, outdoor parties, or fending off wild Olympian wolves,” Marka raved.

“Why postcards?” Zoot asked. “What’s wrong with the sales letters I used to send?”

“A letter campaign might be a good investment if we were trying to hit a relatively small group with a very specific message,” Marka noted. ”Since we’re announcing a new product, though, we want to hit everyone on our list. In that case, cost-effective postcards are a good choice. Let me explain further.”

[Marka began writing on the whiteboard in Zoot’s office.]

“Oh, brother,” said Zoot, putting down his fork and knife.

• Some Advantages of Postcards

  • Cost-effective—Postcards are generally the most cost-effective form of direct mail. This makes postcards an ideal choice for mass mailings.
  • Excellent read rates—According to the Olympian Direct Marketing Assn. (Author’s note: a.k.a. the Direct Marketing Assn.) postcards have the highest read rates among all types of direct mail. There are a few reasons why: postcards are simple, eye-catching, and have no immediate barrier (i.e. envelope) between the reader and the message. For a bit more money, oversized postcards achieve average read rates that are 15 percent higher than regular ones!

“I’m convinced,” Zoot said. “I’m guessing you have some tips for creating an effective postcard?”

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or
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  • John Lipkowski

    If those mailers include a special effect such as scratch off ink, scratch & sniff scent or a special coating they have an greater chance of being noticed. Better yet, they have a greater chance of being acted upon. There has been research and tests done to confirm.