Direct Mail Postcard Marketing: How to maximize your response rates
What to write when you don’t have a lot of space?
I spent some time earlier this week putting together a medium-sized direct-mail postcard.
And when you’re writing a piece like this, there is one particular problem you have, that ‘s common to New York City apartment-dwellers.
Any idea what that problem is?
Yep. You got it – lack of space.
Whenever you’re writing within the confines of a finite space, “real estate” becomes a HUGE problem.
Let me give you a few pointers on what you can do when you’re in a situation like this:
Since blank space doesn’t sell… you have to resolve yourself to use as much available real estate as possible. Which means, doing things like this:
1. Using a smaller, but legible font
For this piece, which was geared to a certain demographic that’s over age 40… I used Times font, and made it 10.5 points in size.
I wouldn’t go below this, at all — at least, not to this marketplace. Once you’re over age 40, most people begin experiencing vision problems – something called presbyopia.
You can always spot people who have presbyopia because they are forever holding out things shoulder length, to try and see what they are reading — especially small print.
That’s because focusing on things close to you, gets difficult.
And the LAST thing you want to do, is make people work hard to read what you wrote, which is why you need to be mindful of the font size. Which of course, doesn’t help you maximize your real estate, does it?
At least Times is a nice, clean font that’s easy to read, and it’s one everyone has seen hundreds if not thousands of times.
2. Use both the front and the back of your postcard as a sales platform
I’ll typically tease them with something on the front of the postcard. That’s the first thing your buyer sees… so all you want them to do, is get curious enough to flip it over and then read the back where your message is.
3. Use advertorial formatting for the content
Most postcards SCREAM “SALES”!” So you want to go out of your way and do the opposite.
I put a nice big headline across the back, and underneath I split the text into two columns, so it looks like an advertorial. Like this:
Look, you’re not fooling anyone here, because it’s still a postcard. This isn’t an actual advertorial they receive inside an envelope, where you actually think you’re reading a copy of a real live article.
All you’re trying to do when you use this format, is to relax and disarm your buyer, and get them just a “little” less defensive and more open to your message.
Keep the same rules of the game, as usual.
Use one or two sub-headlines (one on each column), and make your offer stand out with a call to action in bold, at the end.
I used Arial Bold for my sub-headlines in this particular situation. Even though it stands out, it’s not a particularly WIDE font.
Which means, in a case like this, where real estate is at a premium… you can still get a decent amount of text on each line, even though it’s a big, bold font.
Plus, it’s very easy to read.
And if you have room, put a P.S. in there – one that causes regret, if you can.
When I write a P.S., I want to have my buyer so emotionally torn up over their decision… that if they’re even slightly on the edge of the fence, there’s no way they can’t at least “try” whatever call to action, I’m asking them to do.
I’ve yet to see a situation where a photo doesn’t boost response.
On a small postcard like this… you really have no choice but to put your photo on the front. I usually place mine in the upper left-hand side, and then put the return address right next to the photo.
Don’t forget to put a caption underneath your photo – especially if you’re mailing this out to people who don’t know you.
6. Other stuff
I just mail out bland white postcards with black text. This one was 5″ x 8″ and hand-stamped.
I don’t worry about hand-addressing a postcard because it’s not like an envelope. With an envelope, you hand-address it to create enough curiosity to make them rip it open.
With a postcard though, there’s no surprise. So whether you hand-address the postcard or not, really shouldn’t matter. (Disclaimer: I haven’t tested this, nor would I, there are plenty of other variables to test first.)
I used Courier font for their address.
Because it’s nice and simple and harmless and it looks like this machine they used to use years ago, called a “typewriter.”
By the way, once I know the postcard pulls, I’ll post it in my offline Seductive Selling Newsletter (try it free if you want), and break it down step-by-step.
Also, overall… keep in mind, postcards typically are NOT the best type of media to use, to sell stuff. They just aren’t taken as seriously as a letter or an advertorial… and the level of “intimacy” your reader is going to have, is nowhere near as high as with something more substantive.
Like my best friend, the sales letter or advertorial.
In this case, however, I used it because:
– It’s a lead generation piece…
And a postcard is a good vehicle to get someone to take action, like to drive them online or to call a phone number or something like that.
– And I’m really just testing the responsiveness of the offer and the copy. If the piece shows any kind of halfway decent response… then I’ll roll it out with a proper advertorial on an 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheet of paper, tucked away in a hand-addressed envelope.
OK that’s it, let me know if you have any questions – you can ask them here.
Any comments? Leave ’em below
Now go sell something, Craig Garber
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Not a Single Soul – The Quill (1995)