Postcard marketing is still one of the lowest cost high impact methods you can use to reach potential customers. You may be biased if you never respond to direct mail letters as you may believe no one else does either. But before you dismiss this as a waste of everyone’s time, maybe you should look at its advantages and why it has caught the fancy of so many marketers.
What is postcard marketing? – It is simply a means to reach your customers directly, generally through paper mail. It may not just be a postcard. It could also be a letter, a brochure or flyer and perhaps a postage-paid reply envelope. Regardless of the format, the crux of this is that the sender selects who should receive the communication, based on a consideration of several factors which have helped him identify prospective customers. For example, a furniture store might choose to communicate with all those people who have purchased a house recently in the neighborhood.
Why is it so popular? – This has several advantages, the first one being that this is the most targeted form of advertising. As a marketer, you decide who should receive your communication, and when. Thus, direct mail marketing helps to minimize waste. It also increases the chance of your message getting noticed – we at least glance at our letters before trashing them, but it’s not necessary that we would notice an advertisement in our favorite magazine.
Since direct mail reaches a pre-defined group, there’s probably a better chance of getting the constituents to take action. A good example is that of an optometrist who sends reminder letters about an eye exam that is due.
Another big advantage of postcard marketing is that it allows a higher degree of customization, and lends a “one on one” feel to the communication. Better still, you have the opportunity to tweak the message even during an ongoing campaign.
It can also spur immediate action – sending coupons is a proven way of inducing customers to try a product. Again, a discount offer on a magazine subscription is quite likely to work well with regular readers. Unlike advertising, where there’s usually a gap between the timing of the communication and the resultant effect, the impact of postcard marketing is quickly felt.
What’s more, the results are measurable, thus enabling marketers to calculate their return on investment.
What can it be used for? – This can be used extensively across the marketing life cycle. You might use a simple flyer to create awareness about a new product or induce trial by sending out coupons. At the same time, business to business marketers might target prospective customers with the highest potential to convert to real leads. Loyalty Programs use direct mail very effectively to create a community of committed customers.
How do I do it? – That depends on the size of your mailing list, and other considerations such as available manpower and budget. If you’d like to do it in-house, mass mailing software can help ease the drudgery of printing and labeling those letters. Alternatively, direct mail agencies will take care of the entire printing and mailing logistics. You can even buy a targeted mailing list if you haven’t yet compiled a customer database.
Sounds too good to be true? You’re obviously wondering where the catch is. Well, the cost of reaching a customer using postcard marketing is higher compared to online methods. However, this is compensated by the fact that you reach a very targeted audience. However, this is not an either-or situation. You can use postcard marketing in addition to your email marketing efforts.