8 Top Postcard Ideas For Marketing Your Business

Illustration of Postcard marketing

Postcard marketing can be an exceptionally useful channel for businesses looking to get their company or products in front of their target audience. Follow our top 8 postcard ideas for marketing your organization, and you’ll likely have stronger than average results in your upcoming campaigns.

Postcards have been shown to produce response rates as high as 4.25%, according to the DMA. 

But like any marketing campaign, your postcards will only yield results like that if they are creative and the messaging truly resonates with your audience. 

As you look for ideas for your next direct mail postcard marketing campaign, consider that in any direct mail marketing campaign, your first and most important goal is for your mailer to end up in the “keeper” pile, rather than the “junk” pile. 

In this article, we’ll cover 8 simple tips that you can use to power your postcard mailer campaigns and increase engagement and conversion rates. Using these ideas as a guide, you’ll have an easier time ending up in the right pile and capturing the attention of your most important prospects.

#1 Get Better Postcard Marketing Response With Personalization

The top postcard idea for marketing involves the use of good strong data. We can’t understate the importance of personalization in any modern direct mail marketing campaign. Your prospects expect it, and it plays a key role in whether or not they throw your mailer in the “keeper” pile to give it a second look. 

67% of those based in the U.S. feel that direct mail is more personal than advertisements through digital channels. 

78% of executives and marketers state that integrated, branded, personalized direct mail is a highly effective marketing channel. 

Ensuring that you can speak directly to your audience will play perhaps the biggest role in how they respond to your postcard. Ideally, you want them to have the feeling that your postcard was personally hand-prepared for them, even if internally they know that it is not the case. 

Including the recipient’s name is a good first step when it comes to personalization. Using both variable data and variable logic personalization from Postalytics can provide you with a simple way to inject multiple data points into a postcard, including fields like job titles, locations, and other information that may be relevant to your offer. 

Another common form of postcard marketing personalization in direct mail campaigns comes from pURLs, or personalized URLs. 

These are URLs that include the recipient’s name to further drive home the idea that the offer is specifically for them and not a mass-produced mailer. 

Personalized URLs also have the benefit of allowing you to track engagement from your recipients. When the above URL is visited, that engagement can be logged and even integrated with popular CRMs so that you can connect your direct mail campaigns to your digital campaigns.

#2 Vertical Or Portrait Orientation for Postcard Marketing

Standing out is half of the battle when it comes to direct mail. While the less cluttered physical mailbox gives you a great chance of standing out, the best postcards use design elements to really pop.

There are many ways of doing this. Using bright colors, attention-grabbing images, or laser-targeted messages will be among the top recommendations for creating that separation. 

However, one simple step that you can take to differentiate yourself from the competition and be more likely to grab your prospect’s attention is through using a vertical postcard design. An overwhelming majority of the marketing postcards that people receive use the standard horizontal design. Going vertical can represent a simple change that can have a big effect on response rates. 

The below 6×9 postcard uses a powerful vertical image to really grab the attention of the recipient. By being a little different, this postcard delivered huge results for its sender.

#3 Use A Coupon Or Discount Code in Postcard Marketing

Your chances of receiving a response from your mailer greatly increase the longer that your prospects hold onto a given piece. 

A certain percentage will take action right away when your offer truly resonates with them. They won’t want to wait.

However, others will hang onto your postcard for a later date. Maybe they were in the middle of something when they first opened it. Maybe they weren’t quite ready to take advantage of your offer when it was first presented to them. 

In those cases, you want to make it as simple as possible for those recipients to hold onto your mailer to increase the chances that you’ll hear from them down the road. 

In fact, nearly a quarter of your recipients may set aside your direct mail pieces to look at later.

One of the most popular postcard ideas for marketing is to use a coupon or discount code as a part of your offer.

Here’s an example that uses a discount code that is designed into the postcard. This type of postcard often gets saved in a file folder or pinned up on a corkboard for later use.

This jumbo 6×11 postcard example makes it perfectly clear how to save 30%, and use a powerful image to convey the product.

Here’s another example. This 4×6 traditional postcard was sent out in advance of the holiday gift season. You can easily see why a previous customer would save this and use it when ordering holiday gifts and use the promo code to save $10.

Many ecommerce systems use promo codes or coupon codes to track purchasing as well. By entering the code, it is easier for marketers to track the effectiveness of their campaigns.

#4 Use Contrasting Colors to Make Calls To Action Pop

Contrasting colors can be a powerful method for driving eyeballs toward areas of your postcard. Often, marketers will use bright colors on their call to action or offer messaging to give themselves the highest probability of their customers seeing the most important areas of their postcard. 

Here’s one example. 

Contrasting colors help convey messaging in postcard campaigns

Notice how they use the darker transparent block to highlight the offer to save $315. At the bottom of the postcard, the brand is highlighted against a very different shade of blue.

This is a great example, but it’s important to make sure you use bright colors like this sparingly. Only highlight the most important messages on your postcard, or else you risk creating too much noise and actually harm your ability to get them to read those areas. 

#5 Add Social Proof to Your Postcard

Another top postcard ideas for marketing is to add a good testimonial or another form of social proof. Your prospects want to see that you’ve been able to help other customers in the same position and that you can be relied on for impressive results. 

However, social proof is often an afterthought when it comes to direct mail campaigns. This is partially because postcards have a limited amount of space, and companies want to prioritize their offer messaging — but if you can find the room to include some short quotes from customers, you will almost always enjoy improved response rates. 

Here are a few stats to show just how important social proof can be:

  • 92% of consumers are more likely to trust non-paid recommendations over other types of advertising and marketing.
  • 88% of consumers trust user reviews as much as personal recommendations from someone that they know.
  • 70% of buyers will trust a recommendation, even when they don’t personally know the person that is giving it. 
  • Testimonials can increase overall conversions by 34%.

Another way to address social proof with postcards is to dedicate one touch of a multi-touch sequence entirely to it. Newer automated systems make multi-touch postcard campaigns fast, easy and simple.

Here’s a great example of a postcard side that focuses almost exclusively on conveying social proof:

This is a unique example because it features a single longer review, rather than several. But this is a powerful review — it contains multiple five-star ratings across many different categories. It’s easy to see how something like this could be used to build trust with an audience. 

Here is another example that highlights multiple customer reviews on the same postcard.

social proof in postcard marketing campaigns
Source: Help-U-Sell

Notice how each testimonial includes pictures of employees with the customer, which provides a perfect transition to our next postcard idea for marketing your business. 

#6 Show Faces to Create a Personal Connection

In direct mail marketing, a big piece of the puzzle is being able to build trust with your audience through your postcard. 

But you have very limited time and space to do so. If you’re sending your direct mail campaigns to a cold audience, how do you build trust with such little space?

Well, one of the best postcard ideas for marketing is to build trust with cold prospects through direct mail by showing human faces. In the above example, the postcard includes pictures of real customers with real employees — a powerful image to those that are on the fence.

In industries where trust plays a critical role in securing new business, such as in medical services, including a picture of the doctor can be a great way to put a face to the name. Consider this example, which excellently blends the personal photo with social proof from Google reviews:

postcard marketing idea - use human faces on postcards

Putting a face to your business is powerful. Take a look at this example from SwipeFile, which uses a heatmap to show where eyeballs gravitate toward when looking at a piece of direct mail. 

heatmaps show how consumers react to human faces on postcards
Source: SwipeFile.com

The faces of the dentists are the most-viewed portions of this postcard, on both the front and back, followed only by the discounted offers. 

Including a picture of a member of your staff helps to put a face to the brand. It’s a form of personalization that is often overlooked — personalizing for the brand itself and not for the customer. 

#7 Use Bold Images That Capture Attention

You have just a few seconds to stand out from the other mailers that your list receives as they sift through their daily mail. You need a hook — something that grabs their attention immediately. 

One of the most common postcard ideas for marketing your business is to include images on your postcard that will immediately grab the attention of your audience. You have to read on when you see the below in your mail:

This postcard is begging to be turned over and read!

It immediately visualizes the main concern for anyone that is in the market for an alarm system — that their home isn’t safe and could be broken into it. It taps into the emotional concerns of the target market in a way that is visceral.

Consider some other examples of how similar imagery could be used:

  • A roofing company could include a picture of a home that is completely covered in moss or show a picture of a pot catching rain from a leaky roof inside the home. 
  • A landscaping company could show a picture of an unkempt and disheveled yard. 
  • A criminal defense lawyer could include imagery of a man sitting in jail. 

#8 Use QR Codes To Drive Your Audience Online

QR code on a blue canvas

Ultimately, your goal for any direct mail campaign is to drive engagement from your audience. Whether that engagement means visiting a website, filling out a form, buying a product, or scheduling a consultation — there will always be some action that you want your audience to take. 

The issue here is that these engagements require significant action on the part of your recipients. If they want to visit your website, they have to type in a URL into their browser. While it may seem simple, that extra step can act as a filter that keeps some from acting. More and more people are wary of placing calls and working through never-ending automated attendants.

Among the fastest-growing postcard ideas for marketing your business is to include a QR code as a response mechanism.

QR codes deliver an effective way to give people an easier way to engage with your mailer. Using their smartphone, they can scan the QR code and be taken to whatever platform you would like — whether that’s to your website to fill out a form, to an app download page in an app store, or directly to a product page. 

Here’s an example:

qr code on postcard - postcard marketing ideas

We at Postalytics are seeing a larger percentage of customers sending mail with QR codes than in the past. Smartphone cameras now have QR apps built-in, so more and more people are learning how easy it is to just point your camera at a postcard to respond to an offer.

Make sure that your QR code is plainly visible and that the black and white stands out against a colored background. A QR code that has been placed on a white background with other black text surrounding it can be hard to see. 

Use Postalytics To Put Your Postcard Ideas For Marketing Your Business To Work — In Minutes

Postalytics makes it easier than ever to design and launch your own postcard mailers while connecting those campaigns to your digital marketing efforts through integrations with the most popular CRMs on the market today. 

Postalytics simplifies the design process by giving you access to pre-built, proven-effective templates for your next campaign. You just fill in the copy, add personalization variables based on your list data, and launch your mailer — cutting out the expensive and time-consuming project management process that is typically associated with direct mail campaigns. 

Interested in seeing how easy it is to design and send direct mail postcard campaigns?

Sign up for your free Postalytics account today to access our library of pre-built postcard templates