Home Marketing Old School Marketing Method with a Digital Twist: Postcard Marketing

Old School Marketing Method with a Digital Twist: Postcard Marketing

by Olufisayo
Postcard Marketing

I am only 40, but sometimes I feel ancient.  It may not necessarily be my age, but the fact that I’m not a tech guy.  I don’t know how to code.  Even building a Wordpress site was a pretty harrowing experience for me.

Not being a tech guy, the whole digital marketing thing has felt overwhelming at times.  I’ve flushed my fair share of money down the toilet on poorly constructed Google and Facebook Ads.  Every time I log back in to my advertising accounts, it feels like there is a new “must have” feature that completely confuses me.  I’m sure all these features that will benefit me as a marketer.  The problem is that staying on top of it feels like it could be a full time job.

If you are like me, and pine for the days when every cashier didn’t ask you for your name, phone number, bank account number, and first born every time you buy a pack of gum, I’ve got a marketing method you may appreciate: postcard marketing!

I started dabbling in postcard marketing when a targeted list of SBA borrowers was made available to me, and I was looking for the best way to reach them.  I only had the business name and address, so getting an email address of phone number would require an extra step.  Considering that we were talking about hundreds of thousands of borrowers, I decided to try postcards.

Keep in mind that I have one advantage that you might not.  I was able to get my mailing list for free.  It doesn’t mean it can’t work for you, but be sure to factor in the cost of a mailing list into your costs.  There are lots of companies that sell lists out there, so be sure to shop around.

Postcard Marketing

So why do I like postcards?

  • There are providers like VistaPrint that will do it all for you, soup to nuts. All you need to do is upload your mailing list, design the postcard (on their site), and they’ll do everything else.  (Note: I learned the hard way that adding postage manually takes FORVEVER and saves almost no money.  I think they charged me $20 plus postage to mail them.  If I had done it, I would have still paid for shipping of the cards, then spent hours affixing stamps.)
  • I don’t know about you, but I get so much email spam that I only look at a small fraction of emails to my personal accounts. Compare that with physical mail, which everyone flips through to sort and dispose of the junk.
  • I might be a jerk, but when ads follow me around the internet from site to site, it annoys me enough that I won’t buy a product. It just feels intrusive, and I don’t want to reward that behavior.
  • I put the words “Even if you don’t need me right now, save this postcard!” on every card. It allows the prospect to keep a physical reminder in a folder, on a fridge, or with their loan documents.  It’s the marketing gift that keeps on giving.

While postcards have been around for a long time, there are some digital marketing practices that I borrowed in order to optimize my postcard campaign.

  • I created a new URL for my site (e.g. yoursitehere.com/postcard) that allows me to track the response.
  • Using Google Analytics, I was able to see valuable data including age, gender, and location of those who visited that URL. Knowing where the visitors were coming from was super helpful (I drilled down to the state level), because I then targeted that state with my next mailing.
  • I was able to see which other pages a prospect viewed, so I then made it easier for future prospects to find those pages by adding links.

Price Matters

Before you delve into the wonderful world of postcard marketing, I want to point out that it doesn’t make sense for every type of business.  The response rate for postcards is 1%-4%, which means when you do land a customer, it better be a fairly sizable profit.

It costs me about 50 cents per postcard, which includes printing and mailing.  So if you are selling $10 knick-knacks, this is most definitely not the marketing channel for you.  If you are selling a $10,000 product, then the math is in your favor if you are confident that you can close 10% of all leads that come your way.

Here’s the math on that:

1000 postcards x 50 cents per postcard = $500 cost to print and mail.

1% response rate x 1000 postcards = 10 leads

10% conversion rate x 10 leads = 1 sale

If you are selling an item that nets you even a single $1000 sale per postcard, that’s a 100% return on your marketing investment.  Once you figure out the formula for success through some very basic analytics, it’s just a matter of rinse and repeat!  The more refined your pitch and targeted, the better results you’ll get.  That’s the beauty of analytics.  You get to see what works, and tweak your strategy accordingly.

The more expensive your product, the less conversions you need per postcard.  Businesses like builders (renovations), plumbers (A/C and heating systems), and realtors could all benefit from postcard marketing.  Even if they don’t result in an immediate sale, it also creates some brand awareness.  After all, everyone’s heating system has crapped out at some time!


If you are selling a high priced (and high margin) product, I’d encourage you to test postcard marketing.  I’m a big believer that when the crowd runs in one direction, it’s worth taking a pause to reflect on how you can take exploit that.  So in world that’s increasingly all about digital, this old school method might be one clever way to outsmart the internet.

JasonJason Milleisen is the founder and owner of Distressed Loan Advisors  JasonTees.com.  Since 2009, DLA has helped hundreds of small business owners through the SBA Offer in Compromise process, resulting in over $50 Million saved.  Jason is a former workout officer for the largest SBA lender in the US, where he oversaw a $400 Million portfolio of delinquent SBA loans.

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