Boost Your B2B Direct Mail Campaign with Postcard Marketing
Including postcards in your B2B marketing campaign is a powerful way to increase engagement and drive sales. They provide a fast and efficient way of getting messages about your product or service into the hands of the right person or department, and with so many companies shifting their focus to digital marketing, a postcard campaign can help you stand out from the crowd and establish a physical connection between your businesses.
Why use Postcards for Direct Marketing?
One of the main benefits of a postcard direct marketing campaign is that, because a postcard is sent without an envelope, your message can instantly be seen. A well-designed postcard will stand out from the pile of white and brown envelopes usually received in the mail and instantly engage your prospect’s attention.
With it’s compact size, a postcard can be kept pinned to a notice board, or even stuck on the office fridge with a magnet, keeping your business front and centre in your customer’s mind. They are also easy to make and economical to print and send, making them a viable option for businesses of all sizes and suitable for use in multiple campaigns throughout the year.
What Makes Postcard Marketing so Effective?
In a recent study, the Direct Marketing Association found that the response rate for mail-based marketing campaigns is 4.4%, compared to just 0.12% for email (see our huge direct mail statistics page). Overall, they discovered that, when done well, it can be between 10 to 30 times more effective at creating engagement than digital methods.
The first reason that was identified for this is the impact of the large volume of digital advertising and promotional material that people are now exposed to online. With so many adverts popping up on social media and cluttering up the average person’s inbox, people have simply begun to filter out all of the advertising ‘noise’ that they are exposed to online. Compare this to a postcard that may drop through the letterbox, or arrive upon a desk with only a few other items, and you can see why it may grab the attention more.
The second major reason for the vastly different response rate was found to be a stronger perceived value in a physical object. In a study conducted by the Royal Mail, they concluded that direct mail remained more effective than digital because “Giving, receiving and handling tangible objects remain deep and intuitive parts of the human experience.” To put it another way, you could say that direct mail is more effective because it has physical substance and just feels more real than its digital counterpart.
Finally, it was found that emotional connection also played a role, with 57% of respondents saying that receiving postcard marketing made them feel more valued as a customer and created a feeling of a more authentic connection with the sender than digital marketing.
Designing an Effective Postcard Campaign
In order to get the best possible ROI for your campaign, it is important to make sure that your postcard communications are well designed and have a clear message. Follow these five simple design tips to help you create a postcard that will engage your audience.
1. Keep your message and graphics simple
It can be tempting to try to cram as much information as possible onto your postcard, but too much information can lead to a cluttered and confusing message, causing the reader to lose interest. Ideally, you want the recipient to be able to discern the key points of your message at a glance.
2. Grab your prospect’s attention with power words
Power words are words that instantly grab your prospect’s attention by appealing to their emotions, asking a question, or highlighting a benefit that they may miss out on if they don’t take action. Some examples of power words include:
3. Choose colours carefully
When choosing the colours for your campaign, consider both your brand identity and the industry of the prospects that you want to appeal to. It is important that the colour scheme of the postcard is both in keeping with your brand, and appropriate for your target market. If, for example, you were marketing to local funeral directors then bright, cheerful colours are unlikely to make a good impression, and a campaign aimed at early years childcare providers in dark, sombre colours is also likely to be poorly received.
Colours can do more than just grab attention, they can also provoke an emotional reaction in your reader. Some popular colours used in direct marketing and the responses and impressions that they can provoke in recipients are:
- Yellow – Warm, cheerful and attention-grabbing. Overuse, however, can become tiring to the eye.
- Orange – Energetic and enthusiastic.
- Red – Passionate and exciting. Red also creates a sense of urgency which is why it is a popular colour for sale signs but can also sometimes be seen as aggressive.
- Pink – Romantic, intuitive and feminine.
- Purple – Creative, intelligent and associated with royalty and respect.
- Blue – Trustworthy, reliable and calming.
- Green – Relaxing, natural and environmentally friendly.
- Black – Sophisticated, luxurious and serious. Can also be associated with death.
- White – Pure, innocent and clean. Can also sometimes be seen as sterile and cold.
4. Create your design with personalisation in mind
If your prospects are in different industries, then it is important to understand their needs and be able to customise your postcard marketing campaign to speak to each of them using a style, tone and language that is appropriate. Tailoring your mail to your customer’s needs and industry can make your business appear more professional, innovative and forward-thinking.
Consider which parts of your design or text you may wish to personalise to make your campaign more relevant to your target market. Some examples of personalisation could include:
- Unique offers that solve a problem specific to your customer’s industry.
- Personalised discounts.
- The appropriate use of technical language or industry jargon.
- Including images that are relevant to your customer’s business.
5. Consider the quality of the card itself
Flimsy card or low-quality printing can give a poor impression of your company to the reader, always opt for the highest quality possible to create the best impression. If you are hoping that your prospect will keep your postcard, then you want it to be durable enough to stay looking good when pinned up on the office noticeboard.
Common Mistakes to Avoid in your Campaign
A well-designed attention-grabbing postcard with a clear message is essential to a successful campaign, but that alone will not guarantee success. There are a number of other factors that can impact your results, and some common mistakes to avoid when planning your campaign include:
Wasting time and money with a poor quality mailing list
Before sending out your campaign material it is vital to make sure that your mailing list is up to date. An out of date mailing list can cause your mail to be sent to the wrong person or department, or even to companies that may no longer exist. Making sure that your list is clean and up to date can save you a lot of money in postage and printing costs for dead leads.
Addressing your mail to a job title rather than a name
Taking a little extra time to find out who the decision-maker is and addressing your mail to them by name can make a huge difference to your response rate. Many prospects will simply disregard any mail that is addressed to a job title rather than an actual person as junk.
Mail addressed to ‘The Buying Manager’ or ‘The Owner’ not only gives an impersonal and unprofessional impression, but it also has less chance of ever reaching your intended recipient. Make sure that your campaign material gets into the hands of the right person, and make a great impression from the very first contact by addressing your material correctly.
Not having a clear call to action.
Is it easy for your prospect to tell what their next step should be? Your call to action should be clear and simple, telling your prospect exactly what they need to do next. Your postcard may include a great offer, but if the recipient cannot tell how to take the offer up it is worthless.
Not including clear contact details
Don’t assume that just because your postcard features an unmissable offer your contact will want to spend their time tracking you down to make a purchase or find out more. Make it easy for your customer to see exactly how to contact you, or they may go elsewhere.
Failing to track or measure results
Failure to track which campaigns bring in the best results can lead to money being consistently wasted on lacklustre campaigns. Every response to your campaign should be tracked, whether it is a phone call, an email requesting further information, or a sale. By doing this you can see which campaigns are working and which are not, and build upon that information to create even more successful campaigns in future.
Not following up
With many prospects, it will take more than one single mailing to produce results. A solid follow up plan incorporating a consistent message across all of your marketing platforms and a range of methods such as mail, social media, email and follow up calls will help you to build relationships, create leads and increase sales.
Examples of Postcard Campaigns
Postcards are highly versatile and can be used to communicate a variety of messages to both new and existing customers. The possibilities for your postcode campaign are endless, but some of the most popular uses include:
- Announcing a sale or discount.
- Introducing a new business.
- Letting your customers know about a new product or service.
- Inviting customers to an event.
- Offering free samples.
- Announcing a new store opening or refurbishment.
- Any exciting business news.
- Holiday greetings.
- Customer thank you notes.
- Loyalty scheme offers.
Timing your Campaign
To give your campaign maximum visibility, timing is important. Generally, businesses receive the majority of their mail at the beginning and end of the week, so if you can time your campaign so that your mail arrives on a Tuesday or Wednesday, your promotional material will not be competing with as many other items for visibility.
Tracking and Optimising your Campaign Results
By tracking responses from each campaign, you will begin to learn what appeals most to your target market and be able to design your future campaigns with that in mind. Some effective ways to monitor how well your audience is responding to your marketing include:
A simple but often overlooked solution. Ensure that your telephone staff are trained to ask every new customer where they heard about your business and keep track of the answers.
Monitor web traffic
If you monitor your web traffic on a regular basis, you will be able to see if there is an increase in visits to your website after a direct mail campaign.
Create a website that is specific to your campaign
By including a link on your postcard that leads customers to a page that has been created specifically for your campaign rather than your main website, you can be sure that all visits to the site have been prompted by your mailing.
Use personalised URL’s or QR codes
For the ultimate insight into your customers, use a personalised URL or QR code that the customer can simply scan to reach a personalised microsite. You will then be able to track how long the customer has spent on the site and what contact they have watched or downloaded.
A postcard campaign can provide an affordable and effective way to market your product or business. It can help you to reach new customers, and keep existing customers engaged with news of events and announcements. Importantly, it can also help you to create a real connection with your customers, making them feel valued and leading to business relationships that will last for many years to come.