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Thinking Outside the Box


We saw this list recently at directmarketingIQ.com, and agree that in many instances, these strategies will help your postcard stand out.

While postcards are faster, easier and less costly to produce than other mail formats, they can be very expensive if they don't produce results. Here are 15 tips for making sure yours stand out and generate response, whether it's a click, call or store visit.

1. Size
Mail a non-standard size that doesn't stack easily with other postcards. Even if you have to pay more in postage or printing, this can often be a sound marketing investment.

2. Color
Rather than printing on white stock, how about using neon green or hot pink? Any color will stand out from the plethora of white postcards.

3. Weight
The heavier the card stock, the more important and valuable your postcard "feels" as your reader or mail screener sorts through the mail.

4. Texture
Add a bit of luxury, mystery or even fun by using a textured card stock. If you can't find the right textured paper, ask your printer about using a special varnish that's more tactile.

5. Perforations
Build in a retention device with a perforated coupon, business or appointment card.

6. Peel-Off
Include a peel-off reminder sticker to place on a calendar or computer monitor. Or how about a peel-off sticker that reveals a private discount?

7. Die-Cut
With 99.9% of all postcards perfect rectangles, make yours stand out by investing in a die-cut. I once wrote a postcard offering a free piece of pie with a "bite" cut out of it.

8. The Unexpected
How about affixing a peel-off magnet, perfect for getting your phone number on your reader's refrigerator. Or what about a scratch-off that reveals a surprise discount for Web-only orders? Or a Post-It note with a PURL offer?

9. Picture Postcard
People love getting picture postcards from faraway places. Find an appropriate reason to send one. They look more personal, especially when you use a live postage stamp.

10. Short Copy
You've heard this from a copywriter: Don't try to say too much on a postcard. Keep copy short and offer-focused.

11. Eye Flow
Use type and design to move the reader's eye wherever you want it to go ... especially your call-to-action.

12. Get Over It
Give readers a reason to turn your postcard over and read both sides. Reinforce your "get over" message with an arrow or teaser, "See back for discount."

13. Postage
When appropriate, invest in a live stamp vs. printed indicia or metering. It's a small detail that can make your postcard look more important and personal than others in the stack.

14. VDP
Use variable data printing (VDP) to not only personalize but also customize postcards, making them individually relevant. Consider individualizing headlines, offers, even images.

15. Content
Try using the format for something innovative, like a postcard newsletter. They really stand out.

Remember, it's not just another postcard. It's your direct marketing piece responsible for generating response.


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