9 Ways to Boost Direct mail Response | Postcards

Postcards are a staple of direct marketing and are perfect for generating new leads and sales. To maximize your marketing dollars and get a better response use these 9 ways to improve and increase your postcard response rates.


If you’re promoting a grand opening, big sale, or a special offer that has to be the motivation for people to respond. Before you do anything sit down and determine what your offer is going to be. A great offer will always bring people through the front door so make sure this is your “wow" factor.

The List

Spend the money for a good list. Direct mail is about putting your advertising in front of as many of the RIGHT people as possible. Make sure that you’re getting a quality list that will deliver your marketing directly to your target customers. If you’re asking yourself who your ideal customer is don't proceed any further until you figure that out. This is not the area to try and save money, because if you get a bad list it doesn't matter how great your offer is or how cool your postcards is, your campaign will fail.


For direct mail you have the amount of time it takes someone to open their mail box and walk to the trash can to get their attention before your postcard gets thrown away. Good headlines that are easy to read, understand, and make your recipients want to hold onto the postcard and will bring you new customers.


You don't have much space on a postcard so make sure that your imagery is proportionate to the amount of text you include and that it supports your offer and headline. The images you use and their placement are very important because they will guide your readers’ eyes where you want them to go.

Scope the project

Don't confuse your customers by trying to promote multiple products, services, etc. all on the same postcard. With direct mail you need to have one idea or goal and stick with it. The more targeted your marketing is the greater the response will be. Briefly explain the benefits (always use bullet points never paragraphs), add a testimonial, product shots, and a really strong offer.

Keep it clear

Make sure that your customers understand exactly what you’re trying to do. Never assume that anything is implied. It’s your responsibility to have your customers understand your product or service as well as you do. Make it “stupid proof." Tell them what your services are, why they need them, what they have to do to get them, etc.

Call to action

This is everything that you’re building up to and it tells the reader what he or she needs to do next to either learn more or buy now.  Your call to action is critical. It needs to be extremely simple and clear. If you want your customers to call you for more information include an 800 number. If they need to order online give them your website. Or if there is a coupon code on the postcard tell them how to redeem it. Your call to action is how you get potential customers to do what you want them to do.


Find the balance of what is the least amount that you have to give up, to get the most people to buy. If you’re asking a lot from your customers they need to be rewarded for what they do. You can’t have a lengthy survey and offer a free stress ball as your reward because it isn't worth their time. But if your incentive is worth the time more people will be inclined to participate.

Track everything

There is no better information that you can collect than your own test data because a direct mail strategy that worked for another company won’t necessarily work for yours. Test everything: your images, taglines, design, etc. until you've developed a combination that you know will generate the greatest response.

Direct mail is a tried and tested marketing tool that will allow your company to reach a wide range of people at an affordable price. If you follow some of the guidelines above you will have success.