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5 Effective Postcard Habits

The 5 habits of highly effective postcards
(United States Postal Service, 2002)

1. They’re simple

A postcard has to get someone’s attention while they’re going through the mail. And a disorganized mass of information just isn’t going to do it. Simple headlines like “Spring fashions are in,” “Come meet the famous Chef George,” or “50% Off Specially Marked Cookware” work best. And don’t write a book. Make believe that every word is costing you $1,000. Once you get the attention of someone looking at the mail with “Come meet the famous Chef George,” just explain where and when, and maybe a few things he’ll be doing.

2. They’re timely

When asked what was the most effective mailer he ever created, a highly regarded copywriter pulled out a postcard. On that postcard, in big bold type, it said, “Your warranty expires October 26.” Do you have a timely message for your customers? Use it.

3. They’re printed on both sides

What are you supposed to do now that your warranty is expiring on October 26? The answer to that question is on the other side of the postcard. Your postcard has two sides. Use them. But that doesn’t mean fill every inch. You may want to use one side like a poster and the other for a few details. Or put an ad on one side and a personal message on the other. Just remember to keep it simple.

4. They’re attractive

In some ways, the design of a postcard has to work harder than the design of any other media. There are no envelopes to open or gimmicks to play with. Your postcard doesn’t necessarily have to be a work of art, but it helps to make it attractive. For instance, you can enhance an invitation to your booth at the County Crafts Fair with a nice picture of your wares. That way, it might hang on the customer’s corkboard or refrigerator as a pleasant reminder to visit you.

5. They’re measurable

A postcard can also be a coupon, a gift certificate, or a ticket to an event. Ask people to present the coupon to take advantage of an offer or promotion. Counting coupons helps you measure the effectiveness of your promotions. That way you can better understand what worked and what didn’t.
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