Back in the 1800s, when postcards first developed, they were a popular way to communicate quickly. These days, they’re still a great way to communicate quickly—especially if you’re a business. But the key to good direct mail postcard design is a little different from jotting a postcard to your loved ones.
Here’s why postcards are still a great choice for promotional materials and a few essential tips to master direct mail postcard design for your business.
Why Use Direct Mail?
That should come as no surprise. For one thing, we get a lot of emails in a day. An average of 121 business emails are sent per day, and the average email open rate is between 20% and 40%. By contrast, 42.2% of direct mail recipients read or scan their mail, and 73% of consumers say they actually prefer to be contacted via direct mail.
Why Send Postcards?
In the race for a customer’s attention, direct mail is a clear winner. But why send postcards ahead of all the rest?
For one thing, postcards don’t require much effort. Unlike a letter, a recipient doesn’t need to open a postcard—all the information is right there, ready for them to read it as soon as they flip to the correct side. That means your recipient is that much more likely to read the postcard rather than dumping it with their junk mail.
For another, postcards are visually attractive. This is also what makes them effective—with a simple design and an eye-catching visual, you have a postcard that’s visually appealing and more likely to stick in someone’s memory. If it’s a pretty enough postcard, they may even put it on their fridge—the better to have it stick in their memory even longer.
In short? Postcards are reader-friendly, attractive, and to the point. This is what makes them so effective.
The Basics of Direct Mail Postcard Design
The beauty of a postcard is that it’s short and sweet. But that also means you have to make the most of the mileage that’s available to you with a clean, effective postcard design.
Here are a few key elements of a successful direct mail postcard design.
A Bold Headline
Postcards were originally intended for the sender to jot off a quick message home in lieu of a full-blown letter, a simple note to let people know they’re thinking of them. Your direct mail postcard design should follow the same basic tenet: a single concise message that’s easy to understand.
The best way to do that is with a bold headline. Resist the temptation to clutter it up with other text and let the headline pop. Your recipient should immediately know what you’re selling. Test it out on someone who’s never seen the designs or heard about the details of your campaign.
Subheads Leading into Text
The body text of the postcard is where the meat of your message lies, but remember, this isn’t a postcard from a loved one. Someone is implicitly motivated to read that postcard. Your postcard is selling something, so you need to do a bit of extra work to entice the recipient in.
The best place to do that is with a simple subheader that gives the recipient somewhere to start reading. Make it a short, catchy message to serve as a guidepost. This will give the reader something to latch onto, and once they read the subheader, they’re more likely to keep on reading.
Graphics That Pop (and Reinforce the Message)
What do you think of when you picture a postcard? Palm trees and a gorgeous sunset? Or maybe a castle plucked from a fairy tale? Maybe a cute animal?
The point is, when you picture a postcard, you picture…well, the picture.
When designing a promotional postcard, your graphics should jump out—and reinforce the message of the promotion. One option is to show your business benefits by example showing how you can expertly solve their problem.
Benefits, Not Features
On that note, your postcard message should be focused on one thing: benefits. Unfortunately, businesses often fall into the trap of focusing on features.
Your customers aren’t interested in features. They want to know how your solution will solve a problem for them. For example, rather than assuming that recipients understand the benefit of reducing their interest rate on their mortgage, tell them that their monthly payments will go down. It’s easy to understand, gets their attention, and demonstrates an obvious benefit.
Call to Action
Last but not least is the bow on top: the call to action. This is when you tell the recipient what you want them to do. Unfortunately, businesses leave a lot of money on the table simply because direct mail recipients don’t know what you want them to do with the information.
Two common ones are “Call us today” or “Visit us online”, but your call to action can be anything you like. Maybe you want them to subscribe to a service. Maybe you want them to renew a subscription. Maybe you want them to fill out a survey.
Whatever it is, tell your recipients exactly what you want them to do and give them the means to do it—your contact information or the desired web address.
Your Partner in Standout Direct Mail Postcard Design
Got your direct mail postcard design in hand? Now all you need to do is print it.
That’s where we come in. We’re the largest privately owned commercial printing company in Nevada, and we’ve helped businesses like yours do successful print runs since 1978. From business printing to direct mail services, we can handle every element of your print run so that you can focus on the rest of your campaign.
So if you’re ready to make your next mailing campaign a runaway success, request a printing quote today to find out how we can help.