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5 Tips for Creating a Great Direct Mail Coupon

May 15, 2019

5 Tips for Creating a Great Direct Mail Coupon

Want to know something awesome? New data from a just-released April 2019 report from the USPS’s Office of Inspector General revealed that “the presence of a coupon in direct mail advertising efforts significantly raises reading, positive reactions, and response rates from the recipient, with the strongest impact being on response rate.” This is an exciting finding, and one that we completely agree with - a coupon or deal is a tried-and-true way to move your audience to action, whether it’s email newsletter sign-ups, event attendance, or a purchase. Here’s how to strategically include a coupon in your direct mail marketing efforts:

1. Make the coupon or deal the center of attention.

Your recipients shouldn’t have to search for your coupon code because it’s buried in a block of text or in teeny-tiny font at the bottom of your marketing postcards. Make sure the coupon is in a color that contrasts with the other elements around it.

2. Make it clear.

Would you like your recipients to go online to redeem your coupon or discount, come into the store, or mail something back to you? Include clear instructions for next steps so that your audience isn’t left wondering. Otherwise, you’ll risk early drop-off due to inconvenience or confusion.

3. Keep things simple.

Make the customer journey as easy as possible. If you want your recipient to go online to redeem an offer, keep the URL short and sweet. Create a separate webpage on your site that is easy to remember (, for example) or use a service like Bitly to shorten the URL. You can even include a QR code on your marketing postcards (which are easier to make than you may think - check out our blog post on QR codes for easy instructions) to streamline the process further.

4. Consider frequency.

It’s true that everyone can appreciate a good coupon. But, depending on your business and audience profile, coupons sent too frequently may turn off customers. Test to see what works for your business, and consider your brand’s positioning. There are brands out there -- Bed Bath & Beyond, for example, -- that almost always offer some sort of coupon, and it’s a tactic that works well for encouraging purchases among their customers. On the contrary, high-brow brands rarely offer coupons to position the company or the company’s products as a luxury -- but when they do offer coupons, everyone comes running.

5. Keep it timely.

While it’s a good tactic to offer coupons throughout the year, holidays such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or Christmas can be ideal times to include coupons in your direct mail postcards because many are looking to buy during these times of year.

We hope these tips have been helpful as you consider how to utilize coupons in your direct mail marketing efforts. Once you’ve created the perfect coupon strategy and need a source for printing and mailing, we offer targeted, next-day postcard printing and mailing services. We have a variety of sizes and finishes to choose from, and our excellent support team is always here to help if you have questions.

Happy couponing!