Marketing Copywriting, Maslen on Marketing

Wish you were here?

Have you ever got a postcard in your morning’s post and NOT read it? Me neither. There’s something compelling about that small, stiff piece of card that says ‘read me’. So why not consider putting that factor to work for you in your marketing campaigns?

What’s so good about postcards?

Postcards have a number of advantages over traditional mailpacks

  • They’re cheaper
  • There’s no need for an envelope
  • They have instant visual appeal
  • They only need one hand to read
  • They have a ‘fun factor’
  • They look less daunting

As a series, you can also use them to communicate a complex idea in stages, drip-feeding information to your target without overtaxing them.

Postcards have their limitations, of course. They aren’t suitable for large amounts of copy (or not individually, at least). They don’t lend themselves to complex order forms; in fact, a simple phone number or URL call to action works best. And they won’t bring in orders (though, as lead generators, they’re superb).

Case study: generating awareness in the IT industry

I once wrote an eight-card series for an IT publisher, promoting a new magazine. The idea was to stimulate awareness among media buyers and build their database.

We announced on the first card that there would be a quiz on the final one with a prize of a day’s tank driving. The hook was that the questions would relate to the information provided on the first seven cards—a big incentive to look out for them and keep reading.

They achieved maximum exposure for minimum outlay and gained lots of new names for their advertiser database, too.

Creativity and postcards

Because you don’t need an envelope, you can also throw away the rule book about acceptable sizes. Yes, you can have an A5 or an A6 postcard. But why not try a half- page A4 vertical format? Or a 100mm square? Or a circle?

There are cost considerations, as always, but talking to your printer (or designer) will help you balance creativity against paper wastage.

And digital printing technology means you can incorporate your target’s name into the design. In colour. One of the most memorable mailings I’ve received over the last few years was a very simple postcard, printed in green, with the following message:

Andy – what can we tell you about online marketing?

Once you’ve printed your postcard, you can use it different ways. As a self mailer. A loose insert, in your own or other people’s publications. A flyer to be slipped in with products, or invoices. An exhibition give-away. Or a component of your press kit.

Whatever you do with it, your postcard – mono, two-colour or full colour – adds another component to your marketing campaigns, increases your flexibility and gives your customers/prospects a break from the run of mailshots they’re used to.

This month’s message

Letters and leaflets have a long and honourable track record as order-getters. But where the message is simpler – visit this website, for example – consider a cheaper but more eye- catching solution: the humble postcard.

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