Different products and services appeal to different groups of people, and most businesses have multiple target segments within their overall audience. In order to market effectively to your prospects (and even to your existing customers), you need to know who they are and what makes them tick.

Without this information, you can’t know if you’re designing postcards that will resonate clearly and compellingly with the right people, and you won’t be able to target your mailing list effectively, either.

Here are five tips to help you gain a deeper understanding of your audience, so you can design postcards that successfully sell your business. Bear in mind that these tips are just as valuable for refining your other marketing efforts, and the information you learn can help you improve your entire business, not just your marketing.

1. Start with the basics: demographics.

You need to know the general parameters of your audience – details such as age, sex, income, marital status, geographic location within your target area and so on. This information forms a skeleton you can “flesh out” with additional information about your audience and it also gives you a framework for collecting those additional details. Exactly what demographic data is most important for you depends on your type of business and customers.

2. Go beyond the basics: psychographics.

This is the “what makes them tick” part. It’s equally important, perhaps even more so, because people make purchasing decisions emotionally as well as considering the facts. If you’re a dentist, massage technician, hair stylist or provide another type of hands-on personal service, the emotional and personal sides of your marketing are crucial. You have to understand what your top prospects like and how they feel (or want to feel).

3. Ask yourself some questions.

  • How do they see themselves? Sophisticated or active and energetic? Is their life well-planned or spontaneous?
  • What do they do for fun?
  • Which social media do they use, and what types of content do they share?
  • What are their day-to-day concerns? It’s especially important to identify concerns that your products or services can help address, because you’ll want to mention that in your postcard design. But a broader understanding of their “big picture” helps you identify barriers to their ability or desire to buy from you.

If some of these details seem off-point for postcard design, remember your goal here is to learn what appeals to your audience and what influences their purchasing decisions, so you can design postcards with guaranteed appeal.  

4. Use a variety of means to uncover information about your audience.

Unless you’re brand new in business, you already know a few things about your current customers, perhaps more than you think. So mine your own files for data to plot demographic and psychographic patterns.

Chat up customers or patients or clients as you work with them, to learn more about their preferences or what’s on their mind. Create a short survey asking current customers what they like best about doing business with you or about your services, merchandise or food.

5. Create a persona for each of your key audience segments.

Personas help focus your design process, because you can create a postcard with a specific individual in mind rather than a vague group.

The more you know, the more closely you can align your postcard design with the needs and desires of your top targets. You’ll use the right colors and images and words. You’ll include the most meaningful and timely offer. When your recipients see and feel an obvious connection, they will immediately begin to see themselves interacting with you as a patient or client or customer.

They will start saying “yes” to your marketing message, and that’s the first step toward converting prospects into leads and leads into customers. You can’t ask for more successful postcard design than that.