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5 Ways to Make Your Postcard Offer More Appealing

September 19, 2014

How to Create a Postcard Offer

No matter how eye-catching your headline or persuasive your copy, your direct mail campaign will likely fall short of achieving its goals without a compelling, interesting offer that your audience make your target audience respond.

Coming up with an enticing offer isn’t always easy. Even the world’s best direct marketers sometimes struggle to discover the perfect offer for their target audience until their second, third – or tenth – campaign. If you find yourself frustrated and staring at a blank piece of paper, start here first: 6 Ways to Deal with Writer's Block.

Here are five techniques that you can apply to make your offer – from a free sample of your latest product, to a lucrative discount on your service – a more appealing proposition for your target market.

Give your free offer a dollar value

Many direct marketers make the mistake of giving something away for free without telling their customer what it’s worth. Whenever you give away a free offer – from a voucher to a sample of your product – make sure the customer knows its value.

Pretend you’re shopping in a wine store and a sales representative offers you a free sample of their house favorite. Would you be more inclined to accept if you knew it was an expensive and rare wine, or if you had no idea of its value?

People love getting something for free, especially if their free gift is valuable. Never let the opportunity to tell your prospect how much value you’re giving them for free go to waste; if you do, you’ve missed a golden opportunity to connect with them.

Add a free bonus to your hard offer

Direct mail postcard offers can be divided into several different categories. Soft offers are offers that don’t ask for any payment by the customer. Hard offers, on the other hand, require the customer to purchase a product or service.

If you’re marketing a hard offer – a one-time sale or subscription, for example – it’s always a good idea to add a free bonus. From a free gift (remember to let prospects know its dollar value) to free shipping, free bonuses strengthen any offer.

Let the customer pay in installments

Is your offer expensive? If you’re selling a high-end product that costs a lot, consider letting the customer pay in installments. A weekly or monthly installment feels a lot cheaper than a lump sum payment and usually results in a higher response rate.

This technique is used to great effect in infomercial marketing. Leave your television on during the daytime and count how many times you hear “five easy payments of…” in advertisements for kitchen accessories and cleaning tools.

The way you present your offer’s price matters, and splitting a high price into more than one payment can have a significant effect on the way your audience perceives your product or service’s cost and value.

Set a deadline for claiming your offer

Pretend you receive two identical offers at once from two different companies. Both offer automotive maintenance services at a discounted rate and, as luck would have it, your car is due for its annual service soon.

The only difference between the offers is that one expires six months down the line and the other expires in two weeks. Which offer are you more likely to respond to now, knowing that it won’t be valid forever?

Creating a sense of urgency is a good way to strengthen your offer and increase your response rate. The artificial scarcity created by a deadline or expiration date forces your audience to take action, as well as increasing your offer’s perceived value.

Limit your offer’s availability

The more scarce your offer is, the more valuable it becomes. By limiting your offer’s availability and only allowing the first 50, 100 or 200 customers to claim it, you give its value a significant boost.

Artificial scarcity is a great way to make your product seem hot, current and hugely in demand. Although limiting your offer’s availability puts a cap on the scale of your promotion, it can have a significant positive effect on your response rate.