I’m a big fan of the simple postcard. Why? Because in a world where email has become the main mass market tool for communication, a nicely designed postcard stands out and gets more attention. It has to be physically handled for a start, even if somebody simply picks it up and recycles it without reading it (heaven forbid!)
But more than that, the format means that you have to be short and to the point and keep your message simple. This is crucial in ALL communications – nobody has time to read lengthy waffle and detailed descriptions. They want to see at a glance if what they’re looking at is relevant and of interest to them. The postcard is perfect for disciplining yourself to keep it simple.
The other important point is that if it nicely designed, featuring an attractive image it will at least get a second glance … and if you’re very lucky it might get pinned to somebody’s noticeboard or stuck on their fridge. It’s so much more durable than an email which is glanced at and gone in an instant.
I recently received a postcard from a garden centre which I liked for the following reasons:
– Lovely images made me stop and look
– Not too many product images – one large one and three small but they were all bold close-ups – no fussy details
– Each image had a caption and a clear price (including special offers)
– It was nicely designed with a quality feel – no tacky ‘shouting’ and big discount stars
– A collection of 4 different offers on the back, each slightly different (a discount on all purchases for a limited period, an afternoon tea offer, a ‘free when you spend over £40’ offer, and details of demonstrations and advice clinics)
Of course, ideally your postcard will be part of an integrated campaign. As you know by now, nothing works in isolation, so if you can complement your email newsletter, your social media profiles and your print advertising with a nicely targeted postcard, you might find it’s just the thing that tips the balance from your customer being ‘aware’ of you to actually taking ‘action’.
5 essential ingredients for your postcard
- Make sure it’s nicely designed and produced with decent photography
- Keep the message simple and appropriate to your audience
- Don’t cram in too much text or too many images. Less is more.
- Include a clear ‘call to action’ – what do you want them to do?
- Include your contact details