How to Send Direct Mail Postcards

Are you looking to boost your marketing efforts and reach your target audience effectively?

Direct mail postcards are a powerful tool that can help you achieve just that. With their high open rates and targeted approach, postcards can grab your customers’ attention and drive them to take action.

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of using direct mail postcards, how to send them, and best practices for creating postcards that stand out and convert.

Benefits of Direct Mail Postcards

Benefits of Direct Mail Postcards

Direct mail postcards offer a range of benefits that make them a powerful tool for your marketing efforts. Let’s dive into exactly how they can help you reach new customers and boost sales.

Cost-Effective Marketing Tool

Direct mail postcards are a cost-effective way to reach your target audience without overspending on advertising.

By focusing on a specific geographic area or demographic, you can minimize waste and maximize your budget.

Postcards are less expensive to print and mail than other forms of direct mail, such as brochures or catalogs. This allows you to allocate more of your marketing budget toward reaching a larger audience or increasing the frequency of your mailings.

High Response Rate Compared to Other Forms of Advertising

Direct mail postcards often generate higher response rates compared to other forms of advertising, such as email marketing or online ads. Compared to email, direct mail has a higher response rate of about 4.4%

The tangible nature of postcards makes them more likely to be noticed, read, and remembered by recipients, increasing the chances of them taking action.

Ability to Target Specific Demographics

Direct mail postcards allow you to target specific demographics based on factors such as age, income, location, and interests.

By honing in on a particular segment of your audience and creating personalized messaging, there’s a greater likelihood that your messaging will resonate with recipients allowing for a greater impact. 

Easy to Track and Measure the Success of a Direct Mail Campaign

Direct mail postcards offer a straightforward way to track and measure the success of your marketing campaign. By including unique tracking codes, QR codes, or dedicated landing pages on your postcards, you can easily monitor response rates and conversions.

This allows you to assess the effectiveness of your campaign and also identify areas for improvement.

What’s the Best Way to Send Direct Mail Postcards?

Sending direct mail postcards can typically be done in one of two ways – you can handle the entire process manually, or work with a professional direct mail service.

The manual approach involves designing your postcards, printing them yourself or through a local printer, putting together a mailing list, addressing each piece, and taking them to the post office for mailing. This approach can give you more control but is also extremely time-consuming for large mailing volumes.

The other option is using an online direct mail service like Print Bind Ship. While more expensive upfront, professional mailing services save considerable time and labor, while providing services like list optimization and tracking. 

Print Bind Ship, for example, enables a tracking code on your website to gather the data or visitors (a.k.a prospects) and automatically generates a direct mail list.

From there, they’ll automatically print your postcard, send it out, and measure response rates. 

For businesses sending frequent, high-volume postcard mailings, using an experienced direct mail partner is well worth the investment. Especially when you want to ensure your postcards are printed at the highest possible quality. 

How to Send Direct Mail Postcards

What’s the Best Way to Send Direct Mail Postcards

Sending direct mail postcards is an effective way to reach your target audience and promote your business.

We’re breaking down the process into 5 easy-to-follow steps.

1. Design Your Postcards

You can design your postcards yourself or work with a professional artist or graphic designer. Some businesses opt for a completely new design for your postcards while others will incorporate some themes/graphics from existing marketing materials in order to keep the direct mail postcards on brand. 

Ultimately, the goal should be to create a visually appealing layout that grabs attention and communicates your message effectively. 

2. Obtain a Mailing List

To ensure your direct mail postcards reach the right audience, you’ll need a targeted mailing list. You can either compile your own list using customer data and public records or purchase a pre-existing list from a reputable provider.

Some services for direct mail postcards also have options for compiling a mailing list. They can do this by tracking your website’s visitors and other inquiries.

When selecting a mailing list, consider factors such as demographics, interests, and purchasing behavior to narrow down your target market. 

3. Print the Postcards

If you’re printing the direct mail postcards yourself, make sure to choose a high-quality paper stock that reflects your brand and message. Opt for a heavier cardstock, such as 14pt or 16pt, to ensure your postcards feel substantial and durable.

You should also consider adding a glossy or matte finish to protect your postcards and enhance their appearance. For the most professional look, it’s often advised to work with a professional printing company that can manage your order in bulk. 

4. Sort and Prepare Postcards for Mailing

If you’re going to mail your direct mail postcards yourself, ensure you sort them by zip code to ensure efficient delivery and lower postage costs. Group your postcards into batches based on their destination, and bundle them together using rubber bands or mailing straps.

Make sure each recipient’s address is printed clearly and it includes your return address on the front of the postcard. 

Keep in mind that if you choose to work with a service for direct mail postcards, they will handle all steps in the printing, sorting, and mailing process to get your marketing materials into the hands of customers. 

5. Track the Results of Your Campaign 

Tracking the results of your direct mail postcard campaign is essential for measuring its effectiveness. It’s also key to making data-driven decisions on how to adjust your campaign for optimal impact. 

Use unique tracking codes, QR codes, or dedicated landing pages to monitor response rates and conversions. Oftentimes, a direct mail marketing service will also take care of tracking and response rate to measure your ROI. 

These AI marketing tools can also help with that.

5 Best Practices for Mailing Direct Mail Postcards

5 Best Practices for Mailing Direct Mail Postcards

To maximize the effectiveness of your direct mail postcard campaign, it’s crucial to follow best practices that ensure your postcards reach the right audience and generate the desired response. 

1. Design for Impact

Create a bold, eye-catching design with a clear call-to-action and compelling offer.

Use high-quality images and keep the text concise and skimmable. Highlight the key benefits and make the postcard visually appealing by following design best practices like using contrasting colors, whitespace, and easy-to-read fonts.

And don’t forget to make sure the design matches your overall business brand!

2. Personalize When Possible

Adding personalization like the recipient’s name can increase open and response rates by making the postcard feel more relevant. Other personalization tactics include using variable data printing to customize the offer or imagery based on the recipient’s interests or demographics.

Try to create a set of several postcard designs and assign them to different customer demographic categories. 

3. Include a Strong Call-to-Action

A strong, clear call-to-action is essential for driving response from your direct mail postcards. Use actionable language that tells the recipient exactly what you want them to do, such as “Call Today!”, “Visit our website”, or “Bring this card in for 20% off.” 

Make the CTA prominent in your design and couple it with an enticing offer or deadline to create a sense of urgency.

It’s also a good idea to test different CTA phrasing to help optimize response rates.

4. Time Your Campaign Right

Consider mailing postcards to align with seasons, holidays, or local events.

Corresponding with timely promotions and sales for your business or industry can be very impactful. For example, a landscaper may mail offers in early spring when homeowners are planning yard projects.

5. Use High-Quality Paper and Printing for a Professional Look

Your ability to capture attention and promote your brand ultimately boils down to the look and feel of your postcards. Make sure to use thick, premium card stocks like 14pt or 16pt paper for durability and high-quality printing techniques like full-bleed ink coverage and UV coating. 

This gives your postcards a polished, high-value appearance that stands out in the mailbox. Cheap, thin papers and poor print quality can negatively impact your response rates.

For the best results, it’s recommended to work with a professional printing company. They can help you ensure the graphics/images of your postcards are properly fitting and that each marketing material is printed in the highest quality. 

Putting Together Your Direct Mail Postcard Campaign

Direct mail postcards offer a cost-effective and targeted way to reach your audience and promote your business.

By designing eye-catching postcards, obtaining targeted mailing lists, and following best practices for mailing and tracking, you can maximize the impact of your direct mail campaigns.

As a last word of advice – make sure to continuously test and refine your postcard designs and messaging to improve response rates and drive better results for your business.

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How much do direct mail postcards cost?

The cost of direct mail postcards can vary greatly depending on factors like print quantity, paper stock, addressing methods, and postage rates, but you can typically expect to pay anywhere from $0.30 to $1.50 per postcard when factoring in all components like printing, mailing list rental, and USPS postage fees.

For the best rates, make sure to obtain and compare multiple quotes. 

What are standard direct mail postcard size requirements?

The most common and cost-effective postcard size is 6 inches by 4.25 inches to qualify for USPS marketing mail rates.

However, sizes from 4.25 inches to 6 inches high and 5 inches to 9 inches long can also be mailed as postcards as long as they meet USPS minimum and maximum size, thickness and deflection requirements.

How do I get started with a direct mail postcard campaign?

First, determine your budget, goals, target audience and mailing list criteria. Design an eye-catching postcard with a clear offer and call-to-action.

Then choose whether to use a direct mail service or print, address and mail the postcards yourself. Track promo code usage or other metrics to measure response. Analyze results and refine future mailings.

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