How to Create an Effective Postcard Mailing Campaign

by Angela Velasco - Published on October 23, 2017 - Updated on September 21, 2021

Books, letters, and postcards have found their place in a fast-paced, digital world. While digital marketing plays a significant role in your business promotions, print captures your customers' undivided attention. According to Neil Patel, "the expansion of digital marketing has only enhanced the return on investment for direct mail campaigns." He emphasizes that direct mail campaigns have a higher ROI than paid ads, making them the perfect partner or the only promotional tool for your next campaign.

How to Create an Effective Postcard Mailing Campaign

The experience of personalized direct marketing postcards sets it apart from videos, streamed lives, and other experiences on screen. The Forbes piece "Why Direct Mail Still Works in a Digital World" explains that "Americans are craving experiences outside of their computer screen. Email inboxes are overflowing, and people are growing numb to online ads." The need to stay home amid the COVID pandemic increases the Zoom fatigue and has most people seek tangible. Customers will appreciate receiving messages sent for them and take the time to read what you have to say. They spend more time on your direct mail postcards versus a quick one-second swipe on Instagram stories.

The USPS Mail Moments Review reported that 86% of respondents take time to look through their mail. Eighty-four percent indicated that they prefer receiving promotions in the mail over a telemarketing call. The customer behaviors section of the review emphasized that 50% of millennials “enjoy it when they receive mail—even more than non-millennials.

It's essential to plan how you'll be creating and disseminating these customized messages. We break down the four crucial steps in a successful postcard direct mail marketing campaign.

The Essential Steps to Successful Direct Mail Marketing

Personify your audience.

Personify your audience

Your customers will ignore print and online promotions if it doesn't appeal to their market. Avoid generalized messaging and use your resources to understand your customers better. Find out specifics such as age, income, educational degree, and address specific habits or preferences such as where they shop the car they drive and their goals in life. Once you have these details, create a customer persona that makes a complete picture of receiving the direct marketing postcards. This profile will help you select the best ways to communicate with them. For every element you add to the postcard, you can ask, "will this appeal to my customer persona?" Or you can do the reverse and curate different elements that appeal to the audience you have in mind.

Set and follow your budget.

Budgets either limit or expand the possibilities of your postcard marketing ideas for the business. Thankfully postcards only cost a fraction or less of what you'd spend on boosted Facebook ads or other digital promotions. The larger your postcards the quantity, the lower you pay per piece. You maximize the available budget while expanding the reach with more messages sent to your current and potential customers.

Create a design according to the first two elements.

Create a design according to the first two elements

The crucial features of your postcards will depend on the recipient and your final budget. Keep the previously listed elements in mind as you plan the main parts of your message. If you're wondering how do you set up a postcard, it all begins with the following aspects:



The colors, shapes, and other visual elements are the first things your customer sees upon receiving the direct mail postcard. Consider which colors would appeal to their taste while applying aspects that are part of your branding. You can experiment with your logo or highlight it below the personalized message. Plan how all the visuals come together and ask yourself what purpose they each serve to implement the design.


You have your customer's undivided attention. It's time to write a message that's impactful and encourages them to act. Here are a few quick tips for creating compelling copy on your direct mail postcards:

  • Use the active voice in your copy.
  • Keep it concise and straightforward. Use this flow to simplify the messaging: headline, subheadline, and body.
  • The copy should bring the customer toward the action you want them to take, such as visiting your site or store, offering a discount, etc.
  • Add urgency to your message so that customers take action. For example, you can have "limited time offer only" or "get it before it's gone" as the subheadline.
  • Include crucial details that will help your customer take the call to action, such as your website or store address, contact number, and email.

The appropriate postcard size ensures there's breathing room between the lines and visuals. Below are the standard dimensions included in our custom postcard options:
  • 4" x 6" is compact and the most affordable option for short messages.
  • 6" x 9" is the standard and offers more room for lengthier information.
  • 6" x 11" is the largest size available, suited for special greetings or seasonal promotions on the holidays.

Curate your direct mailing list of recipients.

The last step ensures all your efforts reach the target customer. Based on your customer profile information, create a direct mailing list based on your researched demographic. If you have yet to compile this database, USPS has an Every Door Direct Mail® online tool that lets you search for neighborhoods based on your customers' addresses. Once you have complete the direct mailing list, review our mailing guidelines and requirements.

PrintPlace also offers direct mail services with custom postcard orders. All you need to do is upload your mailing list, indicate the number we'll deliver, specify the postage type, and we'll do the rest. For more information, check out the direct mail services page.

Ready to start creating your direct marketing postcards? Choose from several types on our postcards page. Apart from the standard flat postcard, PrintPlace also offers folded postcards and special printing metallic and spot UV designs. Check out the possibilities when it comes to bringing your direct mail campaign to every household.

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