Direct Mail Postcards – Which side is UP?

direct mail postcards
If you’re using direct mail postcards in your marketing, let me ask you a question:

Which side is the front?

No, this is not a silly question.  It goes to the mindset of the person creating the postcard.  And it will impact your response.

Ask most people and they will say that the “front” is the side opposite the address block. The address block is the business side of the postcard, they will tell you.  And that leaves the other side (I call it the message side) for the creative.

Seems logical, right?

But should the message side really be considered the front?

Isn’t the address side more likely to be seen by your target audience – if only because the recipient has to look at that side to see who it’s addressed to (sorry, to whom it’s addressed)?

So what’s the answer?

Simple, don’t assume that one side is more important than the other – that one side is the front and other is the back.

They are both important – equally important – because you never know which side will be UP when it lands on the desk or kitchen table.

To be sure, you have less space to work with on your address side – which may present some creative limitations – but that’s no reason to ignore it for selling and communicating.

My guiding principle

My approach to postcard writing and design is to put the same message on both sides.  I know what you’re thinking:  “that seems repetitive.”  Yes, it is – because I know that many people will never see both sides of the postcard.  Very few people ever read the whole thing.

You may want to design the two sides differently – you will need to because you have different space available.

Each side might have a different secondary selling point or photo just for variety.

But both sides must have your main selling point and, above all, a strong promotion of the offer.

Make sure everyone sees your offer – no matter which side shows up on top.

About Bob McCarthy

Bob McCarthy is a direct response consultant and copywriter with a focus on direct mail, email and digital marketing. Bob works with B2B, B2C and Non-Profit clients. You can download his free ebook, "Making Snail Mail Work: 13 Lessons in Direct Mail Strategy."

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