How to design a direct mail postcard?

How to Design a Direct Mail Postcard: The Ultimate Guide

How to design a Direct Mail Postcard

Since the past decade or so postcard marketing has taken a tumble. Businesses of today invest the bulk of their advertising funds on email marketing, messenger marketing, and other modern day schemes.

Despite these shifts in marketing strategies, physical mail, one that consumers personally receive and can feel it in their hands, hasn’t lost its personal value. Just like some people will always prefer the papery touch and aroma of tangible books to the digital insensibility of E-books, postcards will always induce a unique, more palpable sense of intimacy.

Businesses who realize this have much better ROIs, even better than the ROIs yielded by email marketing.

According to Forbes, 57% customers actually feel more valued when they receive a postcard on their front doors. Also, the response rate of postcards and emails is 4.4% and 0.12% respectively. You can see the blatant difference in these numbers for yourself.

Before we actually show you how to design postcards that shoot your customer base through the roofs, let’s shed some light on what postcard marketing is, first.

What actually is Direct Mail Postcard Marketing?

In simple words, postcards are mail you don’t have to open from an envelope. They arrive as they are made, with the message of the business on the front and back there for the reader’s discretion.

Benefits of Postcard Marketing

While, there are many ways postcards deem themselves extremely useful, here are some that I believe are at the top of the ladder.

  • Re-engaging an inactive customer.
  • Snatching customers from new markets during expansion.
  • Building long-sustainable relationships with customers through personalized postcards.
  • Supporting a cause.
  • Gathering traction for a Real estate property.

And most importantly, postcards are an extremely affordable investment. You can design a postcard, even in a really tight budget. Also, tracking their success is a lot easier than print or radio ads.

But then again, to yield the maximum benefit out of postcard marketing, you should adhere to a winning design strategy.

Winning Design Strategy for Direct Mail Postcards – Detailed

Sending postcards isn’t enough. You have to design this physical mail with craftiness, and give it a modern feel. It shouldn’t look like an ancient letter or something out of a Microsoft paint window.

Also, your card should be targeted at your audience and should have an accessible, easy to read copy that doesn’t confuse or overwhelm them. Moreover, the Call-to-action should be clear as day.

Below is a set of questions and their answers to help you get these things completely right.

Am I addressing a previous customer?

The best thing about direct mail postcards is you can personalize them according to your audience. If you’re sending them to a customer who already knows about your brand and its products, you can minimize the text and direct most of your focus towards the graphic appeal.

In the case of new and potential customers, the message of your brand will take center-stage. This is the first time they are hearing from you. Make sure you don’t send out a complicated message, something that makes them think twice. Also, keep the language simple, layman-level, and this goes without saying, steer clear from jargon.

What Should I keep the Size of the Postcard?

Yes, the size of the postcard definitely makes a difference. Postcards that are geometrically unique ― oversized, cut or oddly shaped ― will stand out and immediately capture the attention of the observer. So, make sure you don’t just send out a bland rectangular or square shaped card that blends in with the rest of the mail.

How should I Incentivize the Customer to take immediate action?

The reader needs an incentive to take action. You should tempt him to get in touch with you. You can accomplish this by writing on the postcard that on his next purchase, he will get a 10 or 20% discount. One other way is offering a limited-time trial offer. As the offer is time-sensitive, he will be compelled to take prompt action.

What Should I keep in mind while integrating the Call to action in Direct Mail Postcard and How should I use it Tack results?

Call to Action or CTA is one of the key aspects of your postcard. Why? It informs the customer how to get in touch with you. If the CTA is murky or is buried under a sea of text, your response rates will fall.

You can also measure the success of your postcard campaign through your CTA.

Here are some ways to give you a rough idea of how it’s done.

  1. This is a simple CTA. “Get a 10% discount on this code”. The number of people using the code to make the purchase on your website will help you track the output of your postcard.
  2. Include a special code in the postcard that is required to signup on your website and see how many people signup.

What about the Design, the images, and other graphic details?

Nothing too flashy, that’s my advice. Cards that are aesthetically rich are visually poor. Neat and clean cards with a conspicuous message never leave the reader guessing. He doesn’t have to process a lot of information. Therefore, they don’t take a lot of his precious time. Write what’s important and discard the rest.

Do I need a Punchy and Catchy Headline? Is that even a question?

A powerful headline is the perfect bait. It lures customers in like ants to a slice of watermelon. It makes them think and wonder. Great headlines are always to-the-point, compelling and visible ― actually so visible that they have the largest size of all the text.

What about the choice of Images?

. The quality of the imagery should be top of the mill. No compromises there. Only use high-resolution images so that the final print comes out heavenly, crystal clear and not a pixelated version of the digital copy.

Choose images that are unique, not some overly used crap. If everyone is using the same old images, how is this going to make you unique and raise you among the common herd? Actually, it’s going to devalue your business. Your customers are going to think that you’re unimaginative and boring. You don’t want to send out that message.

To get your hands on Copyright free and high-quality images, you can head over to Pixabay, Unsplash (my favorite), Pexels, Shutterstock and Stocksnap, to name a few.

The Verdict

A great direct mail postcard doesn’t just look great; it also has all the aforementioned aspects. Cater to these instructions carefully and like a cupid’s arrow, your postcard will never miss the heart of your readers. It’s a promise.


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