common direct mail postcard mistakes that sabotage results

Common Direct Mail Postcard Mistakes that Sabotage Results Every Time

Direct mail postcard marketing can be remarkably successful. Happily, it’s also easy to avoid the common mistakes many business owners make – mistakes like these:

  • Using the wrong mailing list. Sending your direct mail postcard to people who don’t care is a wasted effort.
  • Not creating personas for your key marketing audience segments. You can’t possibly hope to tailor your mailing list effectively if you don’t know who you’re aiming at. If you’re an orthodontist, you want to mail to households with children and a certain income level. But an increasing number of adults are opting for braces, too, these days – to reach them with your Invisalign offer, your mailing list needs adults with an appropriate income level, whether or not they have kids.
  • Forgetting it’s all about your prospect, not you. They want to know how your product or service will improve their life or business, so tell them.
  • Messy design. A direct mail postcard has a finite amount of space to tell recipients who you are, what you have to offer and why they should follow up. You can squeeze in a surprising amount of pertinent, motivating material, especially on larger size postcards, but too much looks like a cluttered mess. That puts people off, so they’ll toss your postcard instead of giving it a read.
  • Failing to include a tempting, meaningful offer. It’s called incentive, and it’s what makes people respond now, as opposed to setting your direct mail postcard to deal with “someday” – a day which never arrives for most of us.
  • Failing to boost the power of your offer with a call-to-action that imparts a sense of urgency. “Call us” tells them what to do, “call us now, offer ends in 7 days” tells them why they should not wait.
  • Failing to make that call-to-action big and bold. If your prospect has to stumble upon it, they’ll miss it.
  • Burying your biggest point somewhere in the text of your postcard. That’s what your headline is for – making your key point, unmistakably.
  • Not testing the elements of your postcard to see which details produce the best results. On the other hand, you can bypass this time-consuming effort by consulting a direct mail expert who knows first-hand what’s proven to work best for businesses like yours.
  • Forgetting that you have to follow-up. No matter how great your postcard is, most people won’t jump at your offer without further reminders. It’s human nature. If your goal is to develop ongoing new business, the smart plan is to mail monthly. That’s especially important if you’re targeting a “moving target” such as new residents. If your goal is to promote a specific campaign – a sale or seasonal marketing push — you still want to mail three or four times about a week apart to reinforce your message.
  • There’s another kind of follow-up, too. If your postcard drives prospects to your website to schedule an appointment or download your offer, you can collect their email address and stay in touch.
  • Making mistakes. Misspelled words, poor grammar or using text-message abbreviations all say you’re either lazy or sloppy. If you don’t care, your prospect won’t either – who wants to do business with someone who so obviously pays no attention to detail?
  • Doing it yourself. Far too many small business owners make this mistake, thinking they’ll save time and/or money. Just because you can find a template on the internet where you can insert your name and logo and offer to create a “quickie” direct mail postcard doesn’t mean what you produce will produce results.

Only a well-crafted, well-targeted postcard will grab your prospect’s complete attention and spur them to action. You’ll save even more time — and you’ll make more money – by partnering with an experienced, full-service direct mail company. Instead of making mistakes, you can spend your time focusing on interacting with customers and building your business.

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