Direct Mail Postcards – Offline Marketing Made Easy!

Even in today’s age of the Internet and online marketing, offline and traditional marketing shouldn’t be left out of your marketing mix. And one way to use direct mail on the cheap is with postcards.

Direct mail postcards are probably the least expensive and easiest way to market offline. And you don’t have to stick to your own local areas either.

When you use postcards, you don’t have to worry about writing a lengthy one, two or sometimes three-page sales letter with all the bold and loud print to make your point.

You also get a break in postage too, because stamps for postcards are cheaper. After you put together your direct mailing lists, you need to figure out how to get your postcards ready.

Standard Postcard Size
There are actually two sizes you can use for postcards: 4.25″ x 5.5″ or 4″ x 6″ which is the size of a standard index card. In fact, if your printer will handle a 4″ x 6″ index card easily, you can even pick up a pack of plain index cards and print your message on them.

But while they’re a lot less expensive than Avery postcard paper, you have to feed them into your printer individually, which can be pretty inconvenient and take up your time.

Getting Your Postcards Printed
If your company doesn’t provide you with postcard mailers that you can edit to add your ID number to, you can always find some business card printing services either locally or online that also print postcards. Three of the most popular sites are:

  • VistaPrint.com
  • Staples.com
  • iPrint.com

You can also check your local printers and get some rate quotes too.

Use the US Post Office!
USPS has a service where you can create, print and mail your postcards without ever leaving home! Now that’s convenience!

The minor drawback is that you have to wait 7 to 10 days for them to be shipped to you before you can mail them out to your mailing list. But if you don’t mind the wait, this can be a great option for you.

Do It Yourself!
If you have the extra time, you can design and print postcards yourself! If you’re handy with software programs like Microsoft Publisher or any other desktop publishing program, you can pick up a pack of Avery postcard paper and design and print your own.

Postcard Stamps Are Cheaper Than Brochures or Letters
As I mentioned above, postage is cheaper for postcards than for letters or brochures. As of today (Oct. 2014), standard postage for a regular letter is $0.49.

For either of the two postcard sizes mentioned above, postage is $0.34 each, a savings of $0.15 each, which adds up if you’re doing a mass mailing or even if you’re sending out 100 every couple of weeks.

Finding Direct Mailing Lists
Buying mailing lists can be expensive, so shop around first and make sure you can buy lists that are targeted to your specific market. For example, you don’t want to be sending direct mail about pet supplies to people who don’t own any pets.

Start by using Google (or your favorite search engine) and look for targeted direct mail lists. One of the first results I had was LeadsPlease.com where you can drill down on the demographics.

FedEx, Experian and the US Post Office also have information on building a list if you’ve never done this before. Here are four tips from Experian for building your lists:

  1. Understand your target customers
  2. Target your ideal customer
  3. Pick a mailing list type
  4. Create a mailing

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