7 Steps to Postcard Marketing for Beginners

August 18, 2021

    Postcard marketing is a form of direct mail to reach a targeted audience with offers, promotions, and more. Postcards have been around for more than 150 years and people still find them fascinating - even in the age of social media.

    Photo by Becky Phan on Unsplash

    A lot of fast-growing brands are starting to incorporate this old-school tactic in their modern marketing strategy. Even B2B marketers’ are also considering direct mail marketing.

    According to HubSpot, direct mail marketing and print advertising account for 18% of B2B marketers' budgets. Postcards as direct mail can break through the digital clutter and can help the marketing strategy to stand out.

    Read on to know everything about postcard marketing and how you can integrate this direct mail marketing approach into your overall strategy.

    Table of Contents:

    Do Postcards Really Work For Marketing?

    A frequently asked question is whether postcards still work and how effective it is. The answer is that it works, and if you are not convinced, let us give you some stats and reasoning.

    According to a USPS survey, the majority of individuals enjoy receiving direct mail from brands they value, with 56 percent stating that receiving direct mail is "a great pleasure". In the same survey, 77% of Millennials said they pay more attention to postcard marketing.

    In the Variable Data Print & Mail Summit, Who’s Mailing What! revealed some of their discoveries and key insights about the trends in direct mail marketing. The takeaway was they looked at all the direct mail formats for the past 12 years and they found out of all formats Postcards have been steadily growing.

    distribution of mail formats 2009 - 2021 graph
    Source: whosmailingwhat.com

    Postcard marketing is powerful because only prospects that fit a specific demographic or client group receive your postcard, and they are likely to want or need what you have to offer.

    Printed postcards, unlike other kinds of direct mail, do not require any opening or unfolding and have the best potential of capturing quick attention. They're also the most cost-efficient type of direct-mail marketing, with a high response rate. These features make postcards an ideal medium for beginner direct-mail marketers.

    A postcard sticks around at home long after being sent which has obviously more average lifespan than any other marketing channel.

    According to another study, brand recall is 70% higher for consumers who have received direct mail than consumers who have seen a digital advertisement.

    While everyone is sending emails, advertising on open platforms such as social media, postcards can actually keep your competitors unaware of your marketing strategies. This will make them unable to spy on your campaigns or steal your tactics.

    Apart from all these stats and reasoning, imagine how would you feel to receive a postcard? Wouldn’t it be more personal and make you feel valued?

    Postcard marketing is an unbeatable strategy for business growth, but only if you do it right.

    7 Steps To Get Started With Postcard Marketing

    1. Identify your audience

    Because no two customers are alike, it's critical to divide them into distinct groups based on their characteristics, interests, and behaviors. Like any other marketing platform, postcards need segmentation as well.

    In fact, postcard marketing segmentation has to be on target and error-free. Once segmented, you can reach groups with the most relevant information based on their needs and wants increasing engagement.

    Pay close attention to demographics such as age, gender, income, marital status, buying habits, and geographical location. If you are a B2B company, check out their decision-making or influencing ability, number of employees, and annual revenue. Find out who your target audiences are and what they have in common.

    You can choose a segment of your existing contacts like influencers, bloggers, repeat customers, or new contacts and a location you would like to target. This will help you to find people who are similar to your biggest fans and most likely to engage with your brand.

    2. Get the address of the targeted audience

    There are multiple ways of obtaining addresses for your postcard marketing campaign. Choose the best option based on who you're trying to reach.

    You can buy consumer lists, occupant lists, property lists, business lists, or do web research, get addresses from emails, and get addresses from website visitors. For abandoned cart recovery, you can use the address you already have.

    There's a lot to take in here, but it's best to just think about where your ideal customers are. Use an occupancy list if your business can serve everyone in a specific place (a restaurant).

    targeted audience

    If your customers are online, have an outsourcer conduct web research (e.g. LinkedIn). You can also opt for a service like OneMoreLead to help you easily find the perfect prospect for your product or service, and collect the information you need about them.

    3. Set postcard marketing goals

    Before you dive into anything else, you need to set your postcard marketing goals first. Every marketing effort should be motivated by your marketing goals. Setting SMART marketing goals is an excellent way to get started.

    SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timed.

    smart goals
    Source: clicdata.com


    Specific marketing initiatives set the tone of what’s a priority, what you hope to accomplish as well as ensures accountability. For postcard marketing, you can have general or specific goals.

    General postcard goals refer to introducing customers to new products, influencing sales with a discount offer, generate qualified leads, attract new customers, and motivate existing customers to buy again.


    The generalized goals can be turned into specific goals which can be measured. This will help you to have insights into how successful your postcard marketing campaign is. For example, your goals were to increase software subscriptions by 10% and increase lead by 10%.

    Matching revenue and brand KPIs to your specific goals will make it much easier to track your progress, convey success, and assess whether your postcard marketing activities need to be tweaked.


    You don't want to set goals that are either impossible to achieve or so simple that they weren't worth setting in the first place. Collect and use data to set postcard marketing goals.


    Your goals should match with your resources and be compatible with your overall strategy. Sending postcards can require an extra outlay apart from regular marketing strategies.


    You should also pick when you want to deliver your postcards, in addition to setting campaign goals. If you're preparing for the holiday rush, you'll want to prepare ahead so your postcards arrive when customers are ready to buy.

    4. Set your budget

    You must first choose a budget before moving on to the more creative areas of a campaign - the design and offer. On average, 11% of a company's budget is set aside for marketing, and of that, a company must select how much of that budget will be spent on postcard campaigns.

    Depending on criteria such as number, size, paper material, graphics, custom coatings, and mail class, postcards can cost anywhere from a few cents to more than a dollar per recipient.

    Postage is one of the most important aspects of your budget, be sure you have a clear grasp of how much it will cost. Format and mail class determine the cost of postage.

    5. Develop a tempting offer

    Once you've identified your target audience, you'll need to appeal to their requirements, wants, and desires. What are the issues that your prospects are facing, and how can you help them?

    Your postcard should have a compelling offer that will entice potential buyers to complete the purchase process.

    Often, postcards don't make a direct sale. Instead, they grab the attention of prospects through free giveaways and coupons. That isn't to say that postcards can't generate direct sales. Make sure you have a compelling offer that resonates with your target market.

    If 30 percent of your campaign success is dependent on your offer alone, then 60 percent of your campaign success is dependent on your audience and your offer together.

    6. Design the postcard

    Successful postcard marketing design should stand out in your recipient's mailbox, draw their attention, and keep them engaged long enough for you to make a compelling offer.

    Write short and relevant headlines

    Use words that are relevant to the market you are targeting which will pique their interest. Browse relevant threads on Quora and Reddit to find out relevant keywords and phrases. Over the last 20 years, direct mail copy became shorter by 62%. So, keep it concise.

    Communicate what you are offering

    People are more likely to pay attention when they stand to gain something, so providing a clear benefit that your reader will value can make your postcard marketing design even more difficult to ignore. Injecting a portion of your offer into the headline is all it takes to add a benefit. Simply mention a discount in the headline if you're offering one.

    Use relevant visuals

    The design of your postcard should be simple, with photos that create complementary feelings and emotions in your prospects.

    Make sure to incorporate your logo, and develop an overarching theme for your direct-mail postcard campaign that represents your products, services, and offer while also appealing to your target demographic.

    Images, graphics, backgrounds, and other visuals should blend together to deliver the postcard's overall message.

    postcard stacks

    Add a personal touch in postcard design

    Using recipients' names is a foolproof way to get noticed. You can take this even further by sending postcards on special occasions or special days such as birthdays.

    Even if your recipient is aware that you are a marketer, personalizing your postcard marketing design will help it stand out in a crowd of impersonal commercial pitches. You can add real handwriting from an influential person of your company to connect with the recipients on a personal level.

    Use an appropriate CTA

    The strongest calls to action (CTAs) are brief, clear, and easy to grasp, and they include powerful terms like ‘save’, ‘100 percent’, ‘act now’, ‘free’, and ‘guaranteed’. If possible, include an expiration date or a time-sensitive incentive to create a sense of urgency.

    Additional postcard design tips

    • A principle of good design is symmetry. Things seem good when they are nicely aligned.
    • Maintain consistency in your margins, spacing, and font alignment. Limit yourself to one or two fonts.
    • Use easy-to-read font colors that contrast with your background colors.
    • Don't be afraid to leave some white space.
    • Include content that will sell. But keep in mind that your purpose is to generate a response, not to fill your postcard to the brim.

    7. Print, mail, and run test

    We can’t emphasize how much proofreading comes into play before sending postcards to print. A misspelled word or a mistyped phone number can get you into a mess that will be too late to clean up.

    You can mail your postcards to a mailing list or via every door direct mail (EDDM). Postcard mailing basically depends on the area from where you operate and on the location where your targeted audiences are.

    You'll be eager to see what kind of response your postcards receive once they've been mailed. However, your postcard marketing efforts aren't over yet.

    Remember to use the tracking system to see if you've met your postcard campaign objectives. Track response, conversions, and ROI, and make adjustments to future postcard campaigns as needed.

    If your first postcard is a hit, make it your control, and A/B test other samples to see whether you can beat it with your next campaign.

    Final Word

    If we want to sum up this guideline of postcard marketing for beginners, we can highlight four major points:

    • Mailing list generation.
    • Addressing.
    • Designing postcards.
    • Postage & mailing.

    To make a simple, streamlined postcard marketing campaign, consider keeping it consistent with your overall marketing strategy including email.

    Get Started with OutReachBin today and optimize your email marketing campaigns for better results!

    Article written by Tanjina R
    Send emails that land in your prospect's inbox and get replies. Automate your emails, convert more prospects and grow your business
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