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5 Words to Avoid When Creating a Headline for Your Postcard Campaign

April 23, 2015

Along with a great offer, great copy is often the key to an effective, profitable direct mail campaign. Two seemingly similar headlines can lead to vastly different results based on the words that you do, or don’t, choose to include.

While some words are fantastic for creating results and getting your target audience in the right state of mind for your offer, other words can have a negative effect on the results of your postcard campaign.

In some cases, a single word can be all it takes to break someone’s interest in your direct mail postcard. Because of the power words can have, it’s important that you choose the words you include in your postcard campaign carefully.

The five words below range from direct marketing clichés to words that just don’t work all that well. Avoid all five – and use more effective alternatives instead – to avoid reducing your direct mail campaign’s return on investment.


‘Exclusive’ is a word that can be good or bad, depending on how (and why) you use it in your postcards headline.

If you’re reaching out to a valued, loyal customer with an offer that’s truly exclusive to them, it’s a great word to use. But if you’re mass mailing the same letter to a large audience, using ‘exclusive’ in your headline comes off as, well, a little dishonest.

When your product has a large target audience and your marketing reflects this, it’s unlikely that anyone will believe you have an exclusive offer for them, especially if they can see the same postcard sticking out of their neighbor’s mailbox.

Instead of using ‘exclusive’ in your headline, create a sense of authentic exclusivity by including a characteristic that’s unique to the audience you’re mailing, such as their location or profession.


The word ‘best’ has been so frequently overused in marketing that it has turned into a cliché. Of course you think your offer is the best, but will your target audience really believe it if you need to tell them?

Products that are genuinely the best in their category rarely market themselves as such. Instead, they talk about the qualities and characteristics that make them a far better product than their competitors.

A brand that’s the best in its category shows its target audience why it’s the best – it doesn’t tell them. If you find yourself reaching for ‘best’ when writing copy, it’s time to think about other ways to communicate your product or service’s value.


‘Cheap’ might be a great word to hear if you’re searching for a deal, but it’s rarely a good choice for direct marketing headlines. Here’s why: when people see the word ‘cheap’ in a headline, they associate it with low quality, poorly made products.

The world is full of brands that market themselves based on price. If you position your offer as the cheapest in its category, you’ll rarely attract customers that value anything other than your product’s price.

Instead of focusing on cheapness, focus on value. Talk about how your offer delivers value beyond its price, not that it’s the cheapest product or service available.


Words like ‘maybe’ or ‘perhaps,’ for the most part, don’t have much of a place in good copy. The goal of your direct mail campaign isn’t to convince people that they maybe want something – it’s to show them exactly why they want it.

Many inexperienced marketers make the mistake of thinking that words like ‘maybe’ soften their copy and make it more friendly. More often than not, these words soften copy to the point that it’s no longer effective.

Be confident, authoritative, and convincing in your copy. ‘Maybe’ and other weak and ineffective words will rarely produce the response you’re aiming for.


‘Revolutionary’ is another word that’s frequently overused in marketing, especially in the technology industry. Just like ‘best,’ it’s a word that’s best avoided in place of real, concrete examples of how your product or service is truly revolutionary.

When a company like Apple or Tesla introduces a product, they’ll rarely use words like ‘revolutionary’ to describe it. Instead, they’ll talk about the technology that went into the product to show their target audience exactly how it’s revolutionary.

If ‘revolutionary’ seems like the only way to describe your product, try thinking of a way to show people how it’s revolutionary, instead of simply telling them.

Get started on your postcard campaign, today!