Planning Your Next Direct Mail Campaign: Letter or Postcard?

Direct mail made the cut into your 2015 marketing plan. That’s great! As you prepare your campaign for launch, it’s time to start writing and designing your direct mail piece(s).direct mail letter

But before you go any further, take a look at your audience and your message and consider: should I send a letter or a postcard?

Both letters and postcards are valuable for different reasons. So if you’re not sure, here are a few ideas that may help you decide:

When to send direct mail letters
A sales letter’s greatest strength is its real estate. This is the format to use for telling a lengthy sales story. Sometimes the details of your offer simply can’t be conveyed in a few words. This is especially true if your product or service has a high price point, since big purchases require more convincing than smaller ones.

Letters provide more space to share the benefits of your product or service. Plus, copy that spans multiple pages can actually increase a target’s involvement with your piece, which could translate into higher response.

It’s also a good idea to package a letter with reply cards, coupons, testimonials, brochures and other relevant sales materials that could likewise increase your mailer’s effectiveness.

Consider sending a sales letter to:

  • Introduce your business
  • Share updates about your services or products
  • Offer exclusive discounts to a targeted group

When to send direct mail postcards
direct mail postcardA postcard’s greatest strength is its accessibility. This is the format to use for quickly connecting with your audience. Without an envelope, you boost the chances that your message will be seen by your audience. Take advantage of this opportunity by crafting a message that is direct, concise and easy to understand.

Postcards also are generally less expensive to produce and mail than sales letters. Their lower cost makes them ideal for testing elements like offers and mailing lists before launching full-blown campaigns. In addition, postcards are less formal than letters, so you can communicate more casually.

Consider sending a postcard to:

  • Drive traffic to your website or landing page
  • Present special offers or coupons and announce sales
  • Thank recent customers and keep in contact with lapsed ones

Of course, you don’t need to use letters and postcards in isolation. They can work well together, too. You could send a postcard to follow up on a sales letter, for example, or send a postcard as a “teaser” for a forthcoming sales letter.

Also, keep in mind that both formats should be used as elements in a larger, integrated campaign. Look at your desired audience to decide which other mediums will work best to capture their attention and inspire them to take action.

Still not sure where to start on your next direct mail piece? Let our creative team help!

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