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Top Promotional Ideas for Direct Mail Marketing Postcards

"Its only junk mail if they don't want it"

direct mail postcard marketing tips ideas give value

What do people want in their direct mail? VALUE!  

What's in it for me? Show me the money. Tell me why I should listen. Why should I care? ..and on and on the sayings go. Don't waste the precious time of your future customers. Respect it. To use another popular saying "Make them an offer they can't refuse"!

To help you on the golden brick road of direct mail marketing success. Here are a bunch of popular interactive mail promotional ideas and tips.

What are the best Direct Mail Marketing Promotions for Postcards?

1) People love FREE!

Everyone love free. They eat gluten free & sugar free, want to be debt free, wear makeup that is paraben free, want free speach, live free of concerns, get free checking at the bank, and let's not forget the new standard in ecommence is to always get shipping that is free and comes with free returns. The examples are endlesss, becuase ...IT WORKS, give me a call to claim your free consultation and we can talk about it more  ; - )

postcard marketing offers that work

Buy 1 Get 1 FREE never gets old. But there are many variations and options here.

  • Buy this get that free.

  • Buy this and for a limited to get such and such free.

  • FREE consultations

  • FREE service plans

  • FREE follow up

  • FREE warranty

  • FREE Quotes

  • etc....

What can you throw in to the value pot for "FREE" in order to win customers?  

2) People love $$$ OFF

If you offer $5 OFF on your mail piece, the prospective customer is no longer holding junk mail. Now they are holding a $5 bill. It is much harder to put that in the circular file. The exact amount will depend on your offering but whatever you do make it too good to put in the trash. You want the value to be so good that it may sit around the house for months or even years becuase the value it just too much to toss. That means years of branding and ad dollars at work as they linger over it each time they see it or rifle through the junk drawere. 

best postcard offers that work percentage off

3) % OFF

People love saving money, but they hate doing math. You need to be careful here. Please people, do not offer 15% off on your postcard!  I hear that so often and it makes me sad. Make the math easy like 50% off! Once you are over 50% you can use odd numbers like 65%,  because at that point everyone knows they are getting a good deal without have to calculate it. Some common exception are 20% offer and 25%. 20% off may work because it is so common people know there is a good savings. 25% off may work because folks can somewhat easily get to 1/4 of the price. 

If you want to get the sales up and keep discounts down but still use an agressive offer then try a "Buy 1 get 1 50% OFF" or a variation of that, pehaps "Take 50% OFF your second pair/shirt/item/carwash/etc..."

What are the best holidays or seasons for postcard marketing promotions?

There are just about endless days and time of throught the year to have an excuse for a promotion. Here is just a small sample of ideas to get you thinking. 

  • New Years
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Groundhog Day
  • Super Bowl (The Big Game)
  • Presidents Day
  • St. Patrick's Day
  • Easter
  • Tax Day
  • Cinco de Mayo
  • National Day of Prayer
  • Kentucky Derby
  • Mothers Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Father's Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Halloween
  • Election Day
  • Veterans Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Black Friday
  • Cyber Monday
  • Giving Tuesday
  • Christmas Eve
  • New Years Eve
  • End of Year Sale
  • Spring Sale
  • Summer Sale
  • Fall Sale
  • Winter Sale
  • Clearence Sale
  • Grand Opening
  • Back to School
  • Valentines Day
  • Earth Day
  • Sporting Events
  • April Fools Day
  • Teacher Appreciation
  • Small Business Saturday


 8 Tips for Sucessful Direct Mail Marketing Promotions

direct mail marketing tips headlines

1. Good Headline

Your headline is your opportunity to grab the reader and gain more valuable time with them!

A good headline must do 3 things:
• Capture the reader’s attention immediately!
• Pique interest enough to read more
• Create value in the mind of the consumer

Unless your headline does these three things, you can expect little return on your investment.

Some Simple Rules to Follow:

  • Keep your headline simple. The reader will throw your mailing in the trash a few seconds after glancing at it unless you grab their attention immediately.
  • Use strong words that are likely to evoke an emotional response from your reader
  • Create a sense of urgency with words like “order now before it’s too late” and “claim your savings now!”
  • Make the headline about the reader and market from your heart. Headlines that address the customer’s needs are best. For example, “5 ways to eliminate YOUR DEBT right now!” has more impact than “We can teach you how to eliminate your debt.” Questions that address a specific need often work well to get your customers to read your mailing. “Are you paying too much for __________?” is a great way to get the customer’s attention so that they will read more about your offer.

2. Make a Strong Offer

The purpose of the direct mail campaign is to sell, so don’t forget to sell your product or service. Use a couple of paragraphs to explain your product or service and how it can solve a problem or meet a need then make an offer to the reader. Offer the customer something of value in exchange for their response. Some good offers to generate customer response offer something free or at reduced cost.

postcard mailing offers that work

• “Buy one and get one FREE”
• “Order today and save 50%”
• “30 Day Free Trial”
• “Buy 3 books and get the 4th book free”

If it’s an offer in a letter, entice the reader to respond and repeat the offer at least twice in the letter. Open with the offer, explain the offer, and then repeat the offer. Don’t forget to include your telephone number, business address, and other contact information.

Coupons: People enjoy getting coupons and saving money.

• Of those people who earn more than $100,000 per year, 72% clip coupons and use coupons for their purchases compared to 65% of the national average for all other income levels.
• Those in higher income brackets also shop in discount stores, 66%, compared with 47% of consumers. Coupons, buy one get one free, discounts, and gift cards received the highest response from readers in 2008.

People like to save money on the products and services they need.

• The majority, or about 71%, prefers to receive coupons in their mail.

Coupons are an excellent way to attract new business and to take advantage of the consumer’s desire to save money.

direct mail tips call to action

3. Good Ad Copy

  • Your copy should be easy to read, hook the customer with valuable information, and educate the customer about your product or service.
  • Your copy must tell your customer what action you want them to take.
  • Do you want them to call for an appointment or come to your store?
  • Make this step easy
  • Make sure that the copy is error free
  • A misspelled word or poor grammar can undermine your company’s credibility. Copy errors can result in a marketing nightmare.
  • An offer of 25% off selected products, but the copy incorrectly advertises 75% off can be very costly.
  • Advertising a product that has been recalled or discontinued can cause harm to your company’s credibility.
  • Keep your copy fresh and accurate.
  • Each piece of a direct mail package has a specific purpose. The envelope should entice the reader to open it.
  • Testimonials sell; use them in your ad!
  • Ad copy must be persuasive. Make them want to buy from you; don’t push your offer on them
  • “Our exclusive sale is going on this weekend only and all products will be sold out. Available on a first come basis”
  • Side Note on Brochures
  • Should include attractive and eye- catching graphics, but they must be readable.
  • Brochures should contain benefits, features, comparisons with competitors, relevant technical detail, and applicable regulatory information
  • If appropriate, words like “FDA Approved” and “Safety Tested” reassure the reader about the quality of your product.
  • Include graphics, photographs, diagrams, charts, and block quotes from satisfied customers to sell your product or service.

direct mail marketing tips use color

4. Use of Color & Fonts

• Include clear, full color images that focus on your product, service or special offer.
• Large headlines in a pleasing font grab your customer’s attention.
• Aim for consistency by using the same or similar fonts through out the design.
• Do not use white font on black background (Reverse)
• Be careful about color combinations. Select colors that compliment each other.
• Your company telephone number should stand alone by using a big and bold font.

What’s a color really mean?

• Red is the color of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love.
• Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation.
• Yellow produces a warming effect, arouses cheerfulness, stimulates mental activity, and generates muscle energy. Yellow is often associated with food.
• Green is the color of nature. It symbolizes growth, harmony, freshness, and fertility. Green has strong emotional correspondence with safety. Dark green is also commonly associated with money.
• Blue is associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven.
• Purple combines the stability of blue and the energy of red. Purple is associated with royalty. It symbolizes power, nobility, luxury, and ambition. It conveys wealth and extravagance. Purple is associated with wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery, and magic
• White is associated with light, goodness, innocence, purity, and virginity. It is considered to be the color of perfection.
• Black is associated with power, elegance, formality, death, evil, and mystery.

postcard mailing strategies use pictures

 5. Use of Picture

Direct marketing relies upon a strong visual punch.

  • Attractive photographs that are relevant to your business will make your mailing stand out from the rest of digital marketing everywhere.
  • Use high quality stock photos
  • There are plenty of stock photography sites online that provide high quality stock photographs for a few dollars.

A striking photograph with color and visual appeal will get your customer’s attention. They have to look at your mailing before you can sell them on your product or service.

• Photographs and graphics should be relevant to your product or service. For example, peaceful blue ocean, white sandy beach and a gorgeous cruise on the horizon is a great photograph to sell cruises or the services of a travel agent.

6. Frequency

If you’re only going to mail once, don’t mail at all.

• The key to successful direct mail marketing campaign is to mail often. You can re-mail the same package to the same list or to an updated mailing list. Since timing is so important in direct mail marketing, the same customers who may have tossed your postcard or brochure away last month may need your product or services today. Re-mailing is definitely worth the time and money.
• Be sure to re- mail to those on the list who did not respond the first time. You can target your target audience with a special offer or a limited time benefit.
o If the first approach did not work, the second or third attempt may be successful. If they don’t get your offers they won’t respond.

How often you send out a direct mail advertisement depends on your customer base and your product or service. A few companies will mail once each month, others only a couple of time each year. When you mail and how often you mail depends on the type of product of service you offer to customers. During peak seasons some companies will mail once each week. As long as your direct mail advertising campaign is getting results, keep mailing.

Timing is important as well. For example, lawn and garden services or home improvement products will receive greater response in the spring and summer months than during the winter. Snow tires aren’t likely to generate a lot of interest in July when the temperature is above 90o Fahrenheit.

• While responses direct mail marketing campaigns will be slower in the off season, do not think that people are not reading your mail and moving closer to the sale in their mind.
• Consistent advertising pays big dividends

direct mail marketing tips list

7. Use a Highly Targeted List

Mailing lists can be created from scratch or you can buy pre- screened mailing lists. Your direct mail marketing strategy should target your niche market. Once you discover who your customers are, you can tailor a direct mail marketing strategy that will increase sales and profit.

You can do all the research yourself, or you can hire a marketing agency. If your budget doesn’t allow for an investment in a marketing research reports, you can still launch an effective and successful direct mail marketing campaign on your own.

What kind of list can I get?

There is more information available about you and everyone else than most of us are comfortable with. Most likely, if you want it – its there. 

For Consumer List, just to name a few…

• Age • Income • Married
• Kids • Net worth • Home value
• Home equity • Sqft of home • # of cars
• Length of residence • Hobbies • Buying behavior
• PC owner • Business owner • Religion
• Veteran • Occupation • Travel activity

For Business Lists, just to name a few…

• SIC Code • Sales • Location
• Owner Ethnicity • # of Employees • Titles

Geographical Options for both:

• City • State • County
• Zips • Radius • Area Code

One of the biggest reasons direct mail campaigns work is because the message is delivered directly to the customer, it can be personalized, and it is inexpensive. Buying a targeted list will allow you to tailor your campaign to that market more effectively thus increasing your response rates dramatically.

• Variable data personalization can get more results than mass efforts response rates increase 34% on average
     o Not only text but graphics can be personalized based on the list you buy!!

Once you find your target customer base, schedule regular mailings that offer savings to your potential customers. Monthly coupons and special offers will pique customer interest and increase revenue.

8. Don’t Skimp on Size…..It Matters!

Bigger is usually better. Need I say more?

Don’t jump over dollars to save pennies. 3x5, 4x6 and 5x7 postcards are for loyalty mailings only NOT new customer acquisition.

• Spend some money and show them you are a professional. Go 5.5x8.5 or greater.

Bigger size prevents trying to squeeze too much information into the small space available on a postcard. Fonts that are too small or too elaborate won’t work either.

A larger size allows use of large fonts, nice big pictures and you still have room for all the relevant information and sales offers.


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