Effective Postcard Marketing

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but an effective postcard design is worth a thousand prospects.

The design of your postcard is almost as important in eliciting a response as getting a good list - it runs a very close second. Much as in deciding on a list, there are definite rules you should follow when designing a postcard.

Based on what I said earlier about the quantity of mail determining your income, you could literally slap together a postcard on your own printer, send it out consistently, and still make money. However, there is more to direct mail marketing than the bare minimum, and eventually low quality will start to affect your campaign. Since you are reading this book, I take it that you want to know how you can utilize direct mail to really grow your company. And that requires far from the bare minimum.

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Do you want your direct mail postcard to end up in the trash with the rest of the unread mail? Studies show an effective direct mail campaign should generally draw a .5 to 1 percent response - but this depends on the industry. The percentage could be more.

1. Measure the results.

You should measure immediate results, as well as results over time of your postcard campaign. Within days of receiving an effective postcard, some people will respond. You may get e-mails, registrations on your Web site, requests for information, or an offered service, depending on what action you request. You may simply get a personal acknowledgement. Best of all, you may get requests to discuss selling or buying.  

Each week and month, effective postcards can generate additional initial appointments. Each quarter and each year, they create additional listings and sales.

So every morning, take five minutes to record results, initial appointments, listings, and sales—noting the sources of each. Notice what postcard and what specific part of the postcard generated the results. Then, repeat postcard elements that generate the best responses; eliminate the elements that don’t.

Also, measure return on your investment. Effective postcard campaigns return a minimum of four times the cost. More often, the return is eight to 12 times the cost.

2. Design your postcard for results.

Effective postcards are designed with five elements:

  1. The practitioner’s picture on both sides
  2. Pictures of homes for sale and/or sold
  3. Branding created with consistency of color, layout, design, and fonts
  4. A message specific to the targeted market
  5. Calls to action.

3. Maintain consistency in frequency and branding.

Effective postcard frequency is nine to 12 times annually to your highest-value market, and four to 12 times annually to other targeted markets. The goal of any marketing campaign is to create top-of-mind awareness. That means when the targeted market thinks of real estate, your name should come to mind. And when your name comes to mind, the targeted market associates it with a successful marketing experience.