The obvious difference between direct mail postcards and brochures is size. Designed properly, brochures can reach out to your audience with more information than a postcard, without overwhelming them.
Do you really need to give them prospects all that detail up front, though, or would it make more sense to get their attention (and response) with postcards so you can interact with them personally to deliver more information and answer questions? Clearly defining your marketing goals and understanding your products and customers well will help you determine the answer.
There are distinct differences between direct mail postcards and brochures.
Postcards have inherent appeal unmatched by anything else in the mailbox. Brochures can be produced as self-mailers so recipients still don’t have to open an envelope to start getting your message, but brochures still don’t deliver that “hey, I got a postcard!” excitement.
Brochures can give your marketing additional life beyond the mail box, because they can be designed as a flyer, tri-fold, full catalog or other booklet. You can hand them out at trade shows, in your office, in media kits, etc. For businesses such as dental practices or other professional services, displaying brochures that explain each of your services can help upsell patients or clients by promoting your entire scope of offerings.
Postcards are faster, easier and cheaper to produce. And they can be mailed for lower postage rates than brochures.
While it can be a smart marketing move to use both direct mail postcards and brochures, for small businesses brochures work best in a supporting role, as part of your larger marketing strategy. For instance, you can mail brochures as a follow-up to a postcard campaign that introduces your business to new prospects. But, by and large, the less your recipient has to read the better. Postcards get right to the point and stimulate action.
Critical success elements are essentially the same for both.
- Don’t try to cover too much ground, even in a brochure. Focus on one key message for maximum visual impact and so you don’t confuse your prospect.
- Keep it short, because people scan these days. They aren’t looking for a “good read,” they are looking for a good deal. Use bullets to tell them your unique selling points — whatever separates you from other businesses and makes you a better choice.
- Targeting is critical, to craft the right message and pull together a mailing list of top-quality prospects.
- Sharpen your offer and call to action. Brochures, especially, often omit these critical components. That may be fine if brochures are destined only for your office display rack, but every mailing or handout should give people a reason to respond! And tell them how to do it – pick up the phone and call, go online, stop by, etc.
- Print quality illustrates the quality of your business. Using your office printer or another “budget” method will backfire.
- Include testimonials, because they provide invaluable third-party validation of your business.
Whether you choose to use direct mail postcards or brochures, the most important point to remember is that successful mailers must be fully-customized – unique, just like your business. Giving them an expert touch ensures every detail is just right — professional looking, on-point, easy and worthwhile for your prospects to respond.
However, the vast majority of business owners are not trained to create that expert touch, which is why it’s smart to link up with someone who designs, produces and mails both postcards and brochures for a living. You will not only get the best quality materials and better results, you can get sound advice on which style to use and when to reach your business marketing goals.