Postcards vs. Letter - which has worked best for you?

21 replies
Which direct mail method has provided you the best prospecting results for your offline business?
#letter #postcards #worked
  • Profile picture of the author Rearden
    Business reply mailers for B2C.
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  • Profile picture of the author elCapitan
    From my experience, if you decide to mail out a letter make sure to add something chunky inside of it. As mentioned here multiple times - dice, keychain, a stone (really anything you can think of). Why? They'll open it! They're curious to see what that clunky piece is inside the letter! I don't have the open rate in front of me, but the stats are amazing (compared to not having inside).

    If you don't add anything inside the letter, go with a postcard - standard size/glossy with a very eye catching image and great content.

    Hope that helps, let me know if you have more questions.
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    • Profile picture of the author Matt Lee
      Originally Posted by elCapitan View Post

      From my experience, if you decide to mail out a letter make sure to add something chunky inside of it. As mentioned here multiple times - dice, keychain, a stone (really anything you can think of). Why? They'll open it! They're curious to see what that clunky piece is inside the letter! I don't have the open rate in front of me, but the stats are amazing (compared to not having inside).

      If you don't add anything inside the letter, go with a postcard - standard size/glossy with a very eye catching image and great content.
      I couldn't agree more! I've even put $1 coins in the envelopes with my letter. It's a little more expensive but you'll make an impression for sure.
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    • Profile picture of the author pmarketing
      Originally Posted by elCapitan View Post

      If you don't add anything inside the letter, go with a postcard - standard size/glossy with a very eye catching image and great content.

      ...

      Sex sells
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    • Profile picture of the author DarrenRM
      Originally Posted by elCapitan View Post

      From my experience, if you decide to mail out a letter make sure to add something chunky inside of it. As mentioned here multiple times - dice, keychain, a stone (really anything you can think of). Why? They'll open it! They're curious to see what that clunky piece is inside the letter! I don't have the open rate in front of me, but the stats are amazing (compared to not having inside).
      I like this idea! I'm thinking of boiled sweets/candy in wrappers, but somehow related to the marketing message.Maybe If I had some custom cellophane wrappers printed with my web design logo or something...

      http://icandywrap.com/product/8FA606...late_bars.html - What clever strapline could you use for this QR code chocolate bar wrapper?
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  • Profile picture of the author kellyyarnsbro
    On my experience with those two, it the letter that works best for me. Have tried also the other one but its not that good as compared to Letters.
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  • Big glossy postcards - by a country mile.

    Here's why - the beleaguered prospect is either interested or not.

    And of course we want to interest them. Compelling them to buy, enquire or whatever...

    Wading through a 29 page letter - might do it

    But a postcard does it so much faster.

    And they're far cheaper, so you can send lots more, and get almost immediate results.

    Providing they have...

    An irresistible offer and something valuable free of charge with a date to respond by.


    Steve


    P.S. Many people think "If we do a postcard we just send it once" If the profits are good - and if they're done well, they usually are - keep sending them.
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    • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
      Originally Posted by Steve The Copywriter View Post

      Big glossy postcards - by a country mile.

      Here's why - the beleaguered prospect is either interested or not.

      And of course we want to interest them. Compelling them to buy, enquire or whatever...

      Wading through a 29 page letter - might do it

      But a postcard does it so much faster.

      And they're far cheaper, so you can send lots more, and get almost immediate results.

      Providing they have...

      An irresistible offer and something valuable free of charge with a date to respond by.


      Steve


      P.S. Many people think "If we do a postcard we just send it once" If the profits are good - and if they're done well, they usually are - keep sending them.
      Steve, has this been your experience in the B2B world? It seems usually the decision maker isn't the one sorting the mail over the trash.

      It seems postcards would be hard to get past the gatekeeper and into the hands of the DM.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jazzcat
        I use a letter for the first contact. I compose the letter with an introduction, a cta, and a handwritten PS note at the bottom. I send it in a plain white envelope addressed legibly by hand including the phrase "Personal" at the bottom of the front. I don't use my meter for postage. Just a regular stamp.
        I then follow up with a phone call. This has always delivered better response rate for me on the first contact. Simple, but effective.

        Best of luck.
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      • Originally Posted by Dan McCoy View Post

        Steve, has this been your experience in the B2B world? It seems usually the decision maker isn't the one sorting the mail over the trash.

        It seems postcards would be hard to get past the gatekeeper and into the hands of the DM.

        Hi Dan,

        Yes, they still work incredibly well.

        Providing the copy is aimed at the decision maker. And doesn't scream "I'm an Ad!"

        Ideally you want it to look like a "personal invitation"

        And the card is big, quite thick and glossy.

        Making it difficult for the "gatekeeper letter opener" to tear it up and bin it. And nobody dares fling out an "invitation"

        It's just so much easier to put it on the decision makers desk.


        Steve


        P.S. 2 other techniques - if it's a high end service or product you can personalise the postcard with a picture or cartoon with the decisions makes name on it. Nobody is likely to trash it.

        Also humor works well - if the "gatekeeper" smiles or laughs she'll normally want to share the fun.
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        • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
          Originally Posted by Steve The Copywriter View Post

          Hi Dan,

          Yes, they still work incredibly well.

          Providing the copy is aimed at the decision maker. And doesn't scream "I'm an Ad!"

          Ideally you want it to look like a "personal invitation"

          And the card is big, quite thick and glossy.

          Making it difficult for the "gatekeeper letter opener" to tear it up and bin it. And nobody dares fling out an "invitation"

          It's just so much easier to put it on the decision makers desk.


          Steve


          P.S. 2 other techniques - if it's a high end service or product you can personalise the postcard with a picture or cartoon with the decisions makes name on it. Nobody is likely to trash it.

          Also humor works well - if the "gatekeeper" smiles or laughs she'll normally want to share the fun.
          Thanks Steve.

          So to be sure - You want the postcard to look like an invitation? How so?

          I'm thinking this is great if you are having an event. I just did a quick search for "Postcard Invitation" and saw these Life | Invitations | Postcard Invitations | Standard

          What about if you are selling a consultation? Or a service?

          Thanks again.
          Dan
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          Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
    I get 100% open rate because I don't use either one.

    I use greetings cards. I use a service where I can log in
    to my account, make a custom greeting card in my own
    handwriting and sign it with my own signature. I can even
    insert pictures... which I often do... and the recipients love
    it!

    This company then prints the physical card, stuffs it in an
    envelope, puts a first class stamp on the envelope, and mails
    it. All within 24 hours.

    It's the best direct mail tool I've ever used and I've used them all.
    If anyone would like to try it free of charge or obligation PM me and
    I'll give you a link to the login.
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    If you knew what I know you'd be doing what I do...
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      [QUOTE=T

      It's the best direct mail tool I've ever used and I've used them all.
      If anyone would like to try it free of charge or obligation PM me and
      I'll give you a link to the login.[/QUOTE]

      Is the outfit where you can only buy through an affiliate?

      Best,
      Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author michellea76
    The important thing to do is to print something interesting either on your letter or postcard - something that will make your target market read your mail. A letter may be more effective but a postcard can draw attention faster. I came over this a few months back, might help too https://delivermagazine.com/2010/12/letter-or-postcard/
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  • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
    Originally Posted by Ross Cohen View Post

    Which direct mail method has provided you the best prospecting results for your offline business?
    I recommended postcards to a recent client.

    Did it because she is in a specialist lending field.

    No need to hide the offer since the leads had borrowed money in the past.

    Just a new twist which could be very timely for them.

    This is going to biz owners.

    Best,
    Ewen
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  • Dan,

    Pleasure to help.

    The key point is - don't make Postcards shout "I'm an Ad - yes I am - so no problem just bin me!"

    The fastest way to do that is having pics, designs or graphics.

    The only time to use them is - if they are amazingly good and truly paint 1000 words which cannot be ignored.

    With the right copy you can "invite" the potential client to anything. Your services, products, consultations etc. It doesn't have to be an event.

    Again you do it just by using words - being very sparing with color - often I only use black ink on glossy white card.

    The "gate keeper" rarely flings the Postcard because it looks important and must go onto the decision makers desk.


    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
      Steve and everyone else,

      Here is a design I have been kicking around. It is risque and I figured there is no way to ignore it. If it comes in your mailbox you absolutely 100% MUST look at it. It was created before your suggestion of the invitation.

      It is a bit over-the-top, but so am I. Anyone who is offended by this postcard probably wont want to work with me anyway. :rolleyes:

      I am happy to hear your thoughts and critiques.

      Removed

      I don't think the post office will have any trouble with it. It isn't much more risque than the lingerie catalogs that come in the mail.

      It is far from finished. This is a very rough draft.
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      Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
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  • Dan,

    People might say "why bother with the graphic?"

    It doesn't tie in with the copy. And seems to be there only as a possible "shock" attempt (even though it's far from being too risqué) to get attention and hopefully get people to read on.

    But as we all know sex sells (lol).

    And it will almost certainly get past the "gate keepers" - they can't bin it because it may be "personal" like a lingerie catalog request (they rarely read the copy).

    You do need to work a bit on the copy to power it up - but as you said it's only a draft.


    Steve


    P.S. If it helps I can send you my "secret formula" for making the copy and graphics on Postcards and Flyers work like magic creating an outstanding response.

    Just let me know. And I'll pm it to you.
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  • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
    Thanks for the offer Steve, sending you a PM now!
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    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
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  • Profile picture of the author thattaway
    I love this topic and I've had good results with both. When I mail letters, I use invitation sized envelopes in yellow or cream and I hand address them including the return address. I put several stamps of varying values on each envelope. This gives me a pretty good open rate.

    I've also had good response with regular or large postcards (yellow only) that look homemade rather than mass produced. I address each one and sign each one with blue ink. It looks personal and catches people off guard. I ususally include a "if... please call me at (xxx)xxx-xxxx no later than Thursday. I've had people call weeks later asking if it's "too late to call!"

    You can do a small, manageable mailout with good results if your list is laser targeted. I LOVE direct mail!
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    • Profile picture of the author Lee M
      Originally Posted by thattaway View Post

      I love this topic and I've had good results with both. When I mail letters, I use invitation sized envelopes in yellow or cream and I hand address them including the return address. I put several stamps of varying values on each envelope. This gives me a pretty good open rate.

      You can do a small, manageable mailout with good results if your list is laser targeted. I LOVE direct mail!
      I totally agree!

      Have had GREAT success using the following envelope size/type.

      I buy these at STAPLES. You can find them on their website too. About $10.50 per box.

      Item 787384
      Model 17453

      Invitation envelopes - 100 in a pack - Ivory color - 4 3/8 inch x 5 3/4 in
      24 lb Gummed closure (They come in white as well as assorted pastels too)

      Fits letter size paper folded into quarters.

      When a business owner sees one of these personally addressed (hand written) to them ... they immediately open it ... thinking it's a personal note, invitation or thank you card, etc.

      I have followed up on MANY prospects after doing such mailings and KNOW this to be TRUE.

      P.S. You can also search Amazon for these type of envelopes, as well any local or national office supply shop in your area too. When you buy in bigger quantities, like 250 or 500 in a box, you get a better deal of course.
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