What's On Your Postcard?
We get asked all the time "What goes on a postcard?" All of the elements used in your postcard design have an impact on the effectiveness of your campaign. Ensure a successful mailing by including the following content.
1. The Subject – What are You Selling?
Whether you sell oil changes or apple pie – your postcard design needs to make the recipient aware of what it is that your business does right off the bat. If the audience is unable to tell what you are selling, there will be no reason for them to follow up. Visual representations of your products and services are the quickest way to communicate what they are to the reader, but for 100% clarity you will want to put it in text as well.
If your business goals are more general (say you’re a dental practice with an array of dental services trying to obtain new clients) listing out what you offer is viable as well. Listing out every single thing is not necessary and not recommended when you have a lot to offer. Instead focus on listing your most popular and your most unique items. Be clear about what you are offering to instill security in the reader so they will feel encouraged to take the next step closer to completing a purchase.
2. Product or Service Descriptions – The Benefits
Naturally, you’ll have a lot you want to say about your offers and why they are the best. Leave the in-depth explanations for your website. For a postcard, your product or service descriptions should take the form of either a bulleted list or 1-2 short paragraphs about what you offer. When writing a description for a particular service, keep the explanations brief. Rather than getting technical, what you need to provide is a reason – the “why should I care?” factor. This is what the customer stands to gain from your service (and what they cannot get from others in your industry).
Maybe you have a special lawncare technique that makes grass more resistant to the elements. Perhaps your dental practice has a service that restores enamel. You know your business better than anyone – so you’ll know what points should be promoted on your postcard design in order to attract the most customers.
3. Visuals – Summarize What You’re Selling
As mentioned, images are the quickest way to communicate to the reader what you are selling. This is pretty straightforward for physical products – restaurants can easily take flattering photographs of their food that will get the reader hungry just by looking at them. For a service though, it may be more difficult to present an image that demonstrates what you are selling.
Using an image of an employee performing the service may confuse the reader in certain cases. A pool service company could show an employee working on a filtration system, but many people wouldn’t understand what maintenance is being performed and why it is necessary. In these kinds of instances, you’ll get the point across better if you opt to show the benefits of the service rather than the service itself. Think about what it is that the customer really wants. They may not want a maintenance service so much as they want a clean, blue pool to swim in – the resultant state of the service. Therefore, clean and beautiful pools should become the visual focus of your postcard.
4. Call-to-Action – What You Want the Reader to Do
What is your reason for sending the postcard in the first place? What is the business goal you are trying to achieve specifically? When it comes to your Call-to-Action statement, don’t think about it in broad terms – you need to have the next step for your customers already planned out. This “next step” detailed in the CTA will be comprised of two parts – the “where” and the “what”.
The “where” component is more about the means of contact – it doesn’t have to be an actual location. Essentially you can tell them to call a number on the phone, visit a website, visit a physical store, etc. There can be multiple means of contact of course, but for the CTA try to find your one preferred method to keep the recipient from getting overwhelmed.
Now the “what” – the action of the Call-to-Action that you want the recipient to perform. For those who sell products, asking your postcard’s recipients to “Buy Now” might be too much too soon with the limited amount of info they may have about your business. Instead, a more effective approach would be to direct them to a place – digital or physical – where they can browse, learn more about, and then purchase your products. For service-based businesses like dental practices, you’ll probably want a phone call so you can pitch your services directly and discuss appointment availability or address any of the customer’s concerns. Either give them a phone number to call or direct them to a website where they can enter their information, so you can call them back.
Of course, depending on what you are trying to accomplish with your piece, you’ll also have to consider the tone of the piece which is reflected in the color scheme, font type, and other design aspects. It’s good to consult a professional postcard designer to ensure you’re getting your message across the way you want to.
Click here to view our design gallery full of effective postcard designs.
Cactus Mailing has 20 years of direct mail experience and a team of in-house designers that will work with you to make sure your piece is the best it can be.