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NMOA Direct Marketing Article
10 Elements of a Successful Postcard Design
By PostcardMania

Don't want direct mail marketing to end up in the trash? These ten, proven tips will help you get the results you want on your next postcard campaign.

1. A clear, bold headline
The headline must instantly communicate what you're selling and be large enough to be seen at first glance.

2. A graphic that supports the message - but doesn't detract from it.
The graphic should be very easy to understand and complement the headline. For instance, to promote refinances, you can show a house with money spouting out of it...Another option, you can have a short message that doesn't allow for a graphic, for example, "GOT MILK."

3. Color that pops
Make the headline and other text stand out by using a different color from the background color. It should stand out right away.

4. A unique offer
This is necessary for your card's success and must be perceived as valuable for someone to act on it.

5. Subheads that lead into text
A subhead gives people a place to start reading, acts as a guide and entices people to read more. If you have only paragraphs of text with no lead-in, there's nothing to draw people's attention.

6. Benefits, benefits, benefits
One way to distinguish a benefit from a feature is this: if you can touch it, it's a feature, if not, it's a benefit. For example, a roofing benefit would be "Save on Energy Costs" while a feature is "Environmentally Friendly Roofing."

7. Your company name or logo
This is important, but shouldn't overshadow your offer. Customers care most about what you can do for them - not how great you say you are.

8. Call to action
Tell prospects exactly what you want them to do. For example, "Call today to make an appointment" or "Visit us online" - make sure this is big on the postcard so people easily see it.

9. Contact information - phone number and website
Provide your name, phone number and web address directly following the call to action. It's found that over 85% of people will visit your website first, so make sure it's prominent on the card. Also, placing a happy photo of you or your staff makes the communication personal.

10. Return address
A return address ensures you'll get returned mail from the post office and sends a message that you're an established professional.

About the Author:
PostcardMania is one of the nation's most effective marketing companies specializing in lead generation for small to large-sized business offering graphic design, printing, mailing list acquisition and mailing services, website development, email marketing services and custom marketing plans - all while continuing to educate clients with free marketing advice. By 2008, revenues reached nearly $19 million and the company now employs over 160 people, prints 4 million and mails 2 million postcards each week representing more than 40,000 customers in over 350 industries. Visit www.postcardmania.com.
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