Tip – 7 Tips for Marketing using Direct Mail Postcards

By: Shawn Nag  |  Posted In: Marketing  |  January 23, 2018

Summary: To get smart tips on direct mail marketing, kindly keep reading this article.

Despite the market being flooded with so many forms of online advertisement mediums – Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, Twitter promotions etc. people forget about the simplest form of marketing that is direct mail postcards.

I have been using this method to promote our printing company for past 15 years and it is one of the simplest and has given me the best ROI. It is still on the top 3 list of my marketing methods as of 1/19/2018!.

By the way – just a quick thought, even before Google – Direct Mail Postcards & Newsletters were the most popular marketing methods. So it’s been around for a while and NOT going anywhere. When people tell me that “Print Is Dying” – i can’t help think “Then how come my print volume on Direct Mail Postcards is going up every year?” Hhm! Something to think about..

Anyway….So, What Do You Need For Direct Mail?

All you need are these 3 things:

  1. A very catchy message or promotion.
  2. A good Mailing List.
  3. A relationship with a good print company which has a mailing department in-house to get the job done. Someone like PrintPapa (Haha…promoting my company). Lots of print shops outsource the mailing part and just make profit. I am not a big fan of that as i firmly believe that in order to get the best pricing and service – it has to be done in one place.

Ok…now time for the 7 Tips you came for. Let’s dig in!

TIP 1: Know who to Target and go after them.

Direct mail postcards should be highly targeted, i.e. narrow down your audience based on product or services you want to promote.

For example, if you are a pizza shop, then it makes more sense to target all homes closest to your shop (1 mile radius) than doing ones which are 5 miles away. I prefer EDDM for these kind of scenarios, will explain in another article.

OR if you are a real estate agent specializing in a zip code – send your mailer to homes in that zip code.  

OR let’s say you run a Ethnic Grocery store for e.g. a Indian Grocery store – target the Indians first and obviously target the homes closer to your shop. Don’t go and send a mailer to someone living 5 miles away and isn’t Indian.

Makes sense. Simple right!! I am sure you don’t have unlimited flow of Benjamins. So target, be focused and it’ll work.

For example, we have a campaign where we send Postcards with our products and services which every Retail Shop will need. For example, Business Cards, Flyers, Brochures, and Banners to all Shops within a X mile radius. So what is X? X is based on the number of addresses i get based on our budget. Lets say I get 1000 addresses in a 1 mile radius and my budget is to send 1000 postcards then that’s what I’m going to do. Why focus on an addresses 2 miles away?

TIP 2: Get a Proper Mailing List and make sure to keep it updated

It’s happened so many times that people try to save few bucks on getting a mailing list, instead they go for an old outdated list or they waste their time scrapping mailing addresses from the web or from phone books. Time to STOP!!!

To get a proper mailing list with all the filters and criteria I would recommend contacting a mailing list provider. We use infousa.com for all our mailing lists and that is what I recommend to all our customers. You can use their online site to filter out a list based on zip code, income, number of people in household, etc. I like calling them and talking to a live person – telling them what I need and they will help you out and even give you a discount (make sure to say PrintPapa referred you!).

TIP 3: Use the Postcard size 11×6 inch. to get the best bang for your buck

11 inch wide and 6 inch height. You must be thinking why? Isn’t a smaller size cheaper and cost less?


11×6 is the biggest size you can mail at the standard bulk postage rate by USPS. Anything bigger than this size will go as a Flat rate and will cost roughly 70% more in postage. So anything from a postcard size (6×4 inch) to 11×6 gets the same postage rate. Hhm!! Make sense to take advantage of the extra space for your message, right!?

Printing does not cost much, its the Postage that costs the most. So make the biggest impact by printing a 11×6 postcard size as it will cost the same to mail as a small 7×5 size.

Check out this link (https://www.printpapa.com/eshop/pc/Direct-Mail-Postcard-11×6-971p13513.htm ) where you can get instant pricing and a quote for sending a direct mail postcard 11×6.

By the way – this is the only size i have sent all our PrintPapa mailers for the past 12 years. If you have received our PrintPapa mailer – check the size so you can get a better look and feel of the 11×6.


TIP 4: Send Postcards to your existing Customers. You will get the Best ROI. Period!!

Get the highest ROI by keeping in touch with your customers via Direct Mail Postcards. They know you, they trust you which is key to loyalty. They will stop for a second before they toss of the mailer in the garbage. Think about it.

So if you have NOT been collecting addresses from your customers – stop reading further and start doing that right away.

We used to have a Retail Shop called Postnet (similar to UPS stores) long time back and we used to have a form where we would ask every customer to fill it out and we would give them a 10% off loyalty card. That was our way of generating a mailing list of all our customers.

Since then at PrintPapa we have been sending Direct Mail Postcards to all our active customer on a monthly basis and we give them a special offer and thank them for their business. We’ve been doing this for past 5 years and it’s been a great success!

TIP 5: Give an Offer which your customer cannot Refuse and Have a Call to Action

Grab the attention of your customers with information like – “Come see why our service has been rated 5 stars” “Avail now to get flat 20% off!” or “We provide 100% guarantee on all our products!” Also, include something such as a FREE sample product, a pouch, or even a pen can work wonders for you.

Having a call to action like “Call Now to get 20% off” or “Visit this Website and fill out the form and get a FREE T-Shirt” should be a must on every postcard. This way you can collect their information and have your sales team contact them in a few days.

TIP 6: Simple way to Measure the ROI of your Direct Mail Campaign

Want to know how yo measure the ROI (return over investment) of your postcard campaign? Well, just track the call to actions, i.e. the inquiries made or coupons redeemed after the campaign has been done. Generate special coupon code for each campaign so that you can track how it went.

TIP 7: If you’re only going to do it once, you’re better off saving your Money.

The conversion rate for direct mailers is around 1% to 3% for new prospects and 8%-10% for existing customers. But that is not going to happen if you just do one campaign. The industry standard is 6 times before you start seeing the benefit. Plan and set the budget for at least 6 mailers and you’ll notice a great, long-term effect on your business.

Trust me, I have given these same 7 tips to many of my customers and they have all benefited from it.

Author Bio:

Shawn Nag is the owner & founder of PrintPapa – a premier Printing Company located in Santa Clara, California. To know about the advantages of direct mail postcards and catalog printing California, read his articles.