print marketing

Postcard Marketing Ideas

We recently pointed out the effectiveness of direct mail marketing: a Canadian study found that direct mail requires 21% less cognitive effort to process than digital media. Physical materials are more memorable, and offer a sense of immediacy. That's why postcards have remained a staple in many business' marketing materials.

So what type of content should you include in your postcard marketing campaigns? Here are a few ideas:

Special Offers

Create a limited-time offer or a special discount code. By using a special discount that is contingent on the customer receiving your postcard, you’ll create a sense of urgency.

You can also use the postcard space to print coupons, or offer a free gift to get people in the door, potentially winning them over as loyal customers.

Informational

Demonstrate your expertise, tell your business’ story, or explain what makes you unique. Establish trust so that when they’re in the market for your services or products, you’ll be the one they call.

Customer Appreciation

Create a sense of loyalty and excitement for your brand by rewarding your current customers. You can include special discount codes or limited-time offers. 

Event Promotion

Direct-mail postcards can serve as mini flyers. They’re a great way to get the word out about an event or other time-sensitive information.

The Emotional Effects of Print vs Digital Marketing Materials

With everything going digital, printed materials offer some distinct advantages. A number of studies have been conducted over the past few years showing that when it comes to emotional impact and memorability, print beats digital. 

Here’s why: 

A study conducted in 2015 by TrueImpact, a Canadian neuromarketing firm, compared the effects of direct mail marketing with email and display ads. According to the report:

"Direct mail requires 21% less cognitive effort to process than digital media (5.15 vs. 6.37), suggesting that it is both easier to understand and more memorable. […] When asked to cite the brand (company name) of an advertisement they had just seen, recall was 70% higher among participants who were exposed to a direct mail piece (75%) than a digital ad (44%)."

Another revealing study was conducted by Bagnor University and Millward Brown, a branding agency, in 2009. They used fMRI to study the effects of paper and digital media. Some key takeaways, according to Forbes, included:

  • "Physical material is more “real” to the brain.  It has a meaning, and a place. It is better connected to memory because it engages with its spatial memory networks.
  • Physical material involves more emotional processing, which is important for memory and brand associations.
  • Physical materials produced more brain responses connected with internal feelings, suggesting greater “internalization” of the ads."

So what does this mean for your business? 

Your branding efforts should include a mix of digital and printed materials. Digital should not replace print; they should work together. Put together some well-designed print materials that leave an impact of your brand, such as business cards, letterhead, brochures, envelopes or direct-mail postcards.

 

Related: 
How to Create a Brand Style Guide
Why Business Cards Are Still Relevant

Brochure Design Tips

Brochure Design Tips

A well-designed brochure can be a highly effective marketing tool. Brochures allow you to communicate a lot of information in a small printed piece that's easy for potential clients to carry with them. Here are some tips for making the most of that space:

1. Emphasize your call to action.

Have a specific goal in mind from the beginning, and let that be the guide for your content and design choices. Do you want people to visit your website? Call you? Visit your location? While you might think these things are implied, your call-to-action should be spelled out and emphasized.

This company's goal is to get people to contact them. Their call to action is emphasized on the back panel.

This company's goal is to get people to contact them. Their call to action is emphasized on the back panel.

2. Sketch and fold your design.

Take a piece of paper, fold it into thirds and start sketching out your content. This step is helpful in planning how you will organize the different components of your brochure, as it allows you to visualize the order in which your content will be read.

  • The front panel should invite your reader to open the brochure.
  • The inner front panel will usually include small amounts of information that further interests the reader, such as customer benefits or a summary of your services.
  • Keep in mind that the far right inside panel will be the last to be read and is sometimes overlooked, so avoid placing critical information here.
  • The back panel is typically reserved for your location, contact information, website and social links.
This brochure follows the format described above. The front panel has a bold image and text that invite the reader to open the brochure; the inner front panel includes a summary and brief list to further interest the reader to learn more about Marcus' photography; and the back panel includes a location and contact information, as well as a call to action ("RSVP").

This brochure follows the format described above. The front panel has a bold image and text that invite the reader to open the brochure; the inner front panel includes a summary and brief list to further interest the reader to learn more about Marcus' photography; and the back panel includes a location and contact information, as well as a call to action ("RSVP").

3. Include visuals.

Create a visually appealing brochure by including relevant photos and artwork where applicable. Pictures will help draw attention and break up blocks of text, making it easier for your brochure to scan.

You should also use charts and graphs to summarize your data whenever possible (people are more likely to remember information this way). You can use simple charts or graphs to compare your different products or services, or to compare your company’s benefits to those of your competitors. You might also use pie charts, visual timelines, etc.

The graphics in this brochure help break up the text and make it easy to scan — each gives an idea of what the section is about. 

The graphics in this brochure help break up the text and make it easy to scan — each gives an idea of what the section is about. 

4. Keep it concise.

Use your space wisely, and avoid cramming in too much information. Your brochure should be easy and enjoyable to read, and also possible to scan.

With limited space, it’s not necessary to list your company’s history and all your achievements — you only need the basic details. Instead, focus on the reader, and your company’s benefits. How will the reader benefit from your product or services?

All of your content should be designed to spark interest and support your call-to-action.

This brochure clearly and concisely states the company's benefits.

This brochure clearly and concisely states the company's benefits.

Why Business Cards Are Still Relevant

While many networking and marketing tools are going digital, the traditional business card doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Here are three reasons why it’s unlikely to be replaced, and why you should always keep a stack with you.

business card example
business card example

1. They ensure a smooth transaction.

When you’re meeting someone new, fumbling with your phones to exchange contact information can be awkward. Handing off a business card is quick and smooth — you don’t have to break eye contact or interrupt the conversation. 

2. They show that you're prepared.

When someone asks you for a business card, make a good first impression by being prepared. Searching for a pen and paper can interrupt the flow, so don’t miss an opportunity to connect. A business card will convey legitimacy and professionalism.

3. They'll make the meeting memorable.

Digital information may be stored and then forgotten; business cards stick around. Furthermore, people will have important information about you at their fingertips. Instead of just a name and email, your card might have your title, website, social media, and any other pertinent information that you choose to include.

Related: 7 Tips for Designing Your Business Card