The Idea Center - Blog
Swipe to the left

Guide to Great Postcard Copywriting

August 17, 2015


The copy that you use in your direct mail postcards will have a huge effect on your campaign’s response rate and profitability. While great copy can make a campaign an incredible success, poor copy can make even the best offer unappealing.

If you’re just getting started with direct mail marketing, separating good copy from bad can be challenging. Writing great copy for your own direct mail postcards can be even more of a challenge, especially as an absolute beginner.

Are you struggling to write great postcard copy for your campaign? Read on to learn 10 simple principles of great postcard copywriting to help you hone your marketing message, engage with prospects and maximize your campaign’s response rate.

Keep the benefits center stage

One of the most common copywriting mistakes is to focus on your offer’s features instead of its benefits. While it’s okay to mention features, they should never steal center stage from your product or service’s benefits.

Focus on benefits first and features second. This way, your readers will be more motivated to continue reading your copy and respond to your offer.

Be as specific as possible

There’s a word for a claim without the support of facts: a boast. Instead of boasting about your product or service’s quality, design or value, use specific facts to show people why and how it’s so good.

The best storytellers don’t tell – they show. Be specific so that your target audience understands your offer’s value without you having to directly tell them.

Don’t forget the AIDA formula

Do you know the AIDA formula? This four step formula – Attention, Interest, Desire, Action – covers the entire direct marketing process. Write your copy so that it first attracts attention, then makes readers interested in your offer.

Follow up with copy that makes readers desire your product or service, then give them a way to respond with a call to action.

Know your offer inside out

How well do you know your product? The more specific you can be when describing your product or service, the more clearly you can communicate its value to a reader or prospective customer.

Know your offer inside out, from the product or service itself to the value you can provide. The better you know your offer, the better you’ll be able to market it.

Use facts, not superficial language

Superficial language – phrases like “We’re the best!” – may seem like a powerful tool for building trust and desire, but it’s actually the opposite. When people read boasts and superficial bragging, they often become suspicious of whether they’re true.

Leave no doubt in your target audience’s mind by offering specific examples of why your business is worth trusting instead of empty boasts and superficial phrases.

Start (don’t finish) with the best

As a marketer, you don’t get the chance to impress your audience with a fantastic encore. Get your message out in a strong, engaging way by listing your product or service’s biggest benefits at the beginning of your direct mail postcards.

This way, you’ll engage readers right from the beginning of your copy and provide an excellent incentive for them to continue reading.

Memorize the law of E2 = 0

The law of E2 = 0 may sound complex, but it’s actually very simple: emphasizing everything equals nothing.

When you use bold type and exclamation points constantly, they lose their effect and become bland and uninteresting. Use exclamation points, bold text, italics or any other unique styles and characters rarely to ensure they’re always effective.

Try starting with a question

Can’t think of how to start your copy? It’s common for marketers to struggle with the first line of a direct mail postcard, often to the point where the first sentence takes longer to write than the remainder of the copy.

If you can’t think of a way to start your message, try posing a provocative or unique question. A great question can immediately engage the reader and encourage them to continue reading to learn more about your offer.

Double (and triple check) your spelling

Nothing ruins your credibility like a spelling error. Before you send your postcard to the printers, double (and triple) check your copy to make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors that could hurt your message.

It only takes one mistake to break a reader’s concentration and draw them out of your copy. Check before you print your postcards to avoid having to reprint your entire campaign.

Use numbers to enhance your reputation

One of the best ways to build trust with your audience is to share big numbers that showcase your business’s longevity and size. If your business has been around for decades or is trusted by thousands, turn these facts into selling points.

Trust is one of the most important factors in any marketing campaign, and there’s no point in letting a valuable marketing asset go to waste. Tell customers how long your business has been trading for and you’ll increase their confidence in you.