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Why Your Postcard Campaign Will Fail and How to Avoid It

February 2, 2015

You’ve carefully analyzed your small business to work out exactly what its unique benefits are. You’ve crafted an incredible marketing message that commands your audience’s attention and gets them interested in your product or service.

You’ve perfected every aspect of your campaign, from getting a prospect’s attention with your headline to making them take action with perfectly crafted copy. The final step is making sure you’re sending your direct mail postcards to the right audience.

No matter how great your marketing message is, your campaign will fall flat if you send it to the wrong people. In this blog post, we’ll look at the importance of a great list and the effects targeting can have on the success of your postcard direct mail campaign.


Your list is responsible for 40% of your direct mail campaign’s success

In direct mail marketing, targeting is the key to success. A poorly crafted campaign sent to the right people will produce better results than a fantastic campaign that’s mailed to the wrong people, no matter how simplistic its message might be.

Direct mail experts will tell you that your list is responsible for 40% (in some cases, even more) of your campaign’s success. When you sell a product or service with a small audience, the importance of targeting becomes even greater.

Pretend, for example, you own a lawn care business. Which audience is more likely to respond to your direct mail campaign – people that live in suburban homes with large lawns, or people that live in high-rise apartments?

Retailers understand targeting incredibly well. There’s a reason you see far more swimwear stores in Miami or Honolulu than in Minneapolis – the audience has far more of a need for the product that’s being offered.

You can’t choose how people will respond to your direct mail campaign, but you can choose which people will have the chance to respond to it. By targeting the audience that’s most responsive to your offer, you can double (or triple) your response rate.


The more specific your list, the better your return on investment

Some marketers shy away from highly targeted lists due to their costs. It’s true that highly targeted lists can be more expensive on a per-person basis than lists that target based on variables like ZIP code or property value. 

There’s a reason for their greater cost. While broadly targeted lists are cheaper on a per-person basis, they’re also far less effective. Highly targeted lists have far higher response rates, meaning they’ll usually produce a better return on investment.

The more targeted your list is and the more relevant it is to your offer, the better it’s likely to perform. By defining your audience and choosing a list that closely matches your target, you’ll get far more bang for your direct mail marketing buck.

It’s tempting to assume that scale is the key to a campaign’s success, making a large, untargeted list more appealing than a small, tightly targeted one. But when you look at your responsive audience, not just your audience, the numbers begin to change:

A campaign mailed to 1,000 people with a 5% response rate produces 50 leads for your business. A campaign mailed to 10,000 people with a 0.2% response rate only produces 20 leads. Big doesn’t mean good when the audience is mostly irrelevant.

Mailing lists included with QuantumPostcards

The good news is that with QuantumPostcards, mailing lists that allow you to target your perfect prospects are included in the cost of your postcard direct mail piece, so you don't have to make a hefty investment in the purchase of a list from a separate mailing list provider. This is especially beneficial when you want to test to see how your postcard message resonates with different target audiences - you don't have to purchase multiple lists or worry about them being up-to-date.

Learn more about the mailing list options available using QuantumPostcards.

The smaller and more closely targeted your list is, the higher its response rate and return on investment will be for your business. Avoid the trap of assuming a bigger list is always better – in many cases, it’s better to sacrifice list size for relevance.