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How to Use Postcards to Build Your Email List (and Your Brand)

March 18, 2014

Postcards Build Brand

When it comes to building your email list, new technology isn’t always best. Most marketers agree that the money is, as they say, ‘in the list,’ but few can agree about the best way to turn cold prospects into email subscribers.

In this quick guide, we’re going to look at how one of the oldest and most effective forms of direct marketing can be used to build not just your brand, but your email list.

Why postcards still work

From retargeting to LinkedIn ads, today’s hottest new advertising technologies can make postcard feel a little dated. Why would you send a postcard when you could reach the same pair of eyeballs with a display advertisement?

Here’s why: The average online ad clickthrough rate is 0.11 percent. For every 1,000 people your advertising reaches, you’ll get one measly click, and often a few seconds worth of attention.

According to the Direct Marketing Association, direct mail boasts a 4.4% response rate. That’s not an insignificant difference – it’s the difference between an amazing, easily measurable campaign and a costly exercise in online lead generation. Also, direct mail postcards have a 100% open rate, and a targeted postcard campaign allows your brand to enter the homes of your ideal customers - those most likely to purchase your product or service.

Making postcards work for you

Just one line of text. That’s all it takes to remind a prospect about your email list and encourage them to sign up. Since postcards are so easy to read, they’re the perfect direct mail platform for promoting your email list.

The best people to have on your email list are people that are already aware of your business. Try adding a short call to action to the bottom of your customer retention postcards to encourage existing customers to join you online.

Searching for new customers? Add a short call to action to your existing direct mail advertising postcards telling customers about your list. Most people will visit your website anyway – send them to an email capture page to capitalize on their interest.

Why your call to action matters

Great marketing doesn’t feel like marketing, and a great call to action feels closer to an invitation than a request.

The wording you use in your call to action matters, and while the right wording will define your audience’s expectations from your list, the wrong wording could make them feel confused or misled.

Make sure your call to action reflects the content of your email list. If you send out interesting tips for prospects, start your call to action with “For more useful tips.” If you offer exclusive discounts, make sure you mention it in your call to action.

People don’t dislike being marketed to, as long as the promise matches the reality. A good call to action shouldn’t just inspire your target audience to join your email list; it should also weed out prospects that you don’t want to market to.

Make marketing part of every communication

Don’t think of building your email list as a deliberate exercise that needs to have its own direct mail campaign. Instead, make it a goal of every communication you have with your customers.

From customer retention postcards to email signatures, invoices to brochures, use every opportunity to encourage prospect to join your email list and you’ll build an extremely valuable direct marketing resource with which to build and grow your brand presence.