Postcards and clear presentation

At a recent networking meeting, someone showed me their quick sketches for some postcards they wanted to produce. In spite of the fact that they were going to see someone else about getting them designed and printed, I gave them some small pointers to consider during their meeting.

First, the pictures on the front. Each had an obvious subject which I felt was not highlighted enough. The eye of the reader should be drawn unconditionally towards that subject, which should either be placed centrally and largely within the space provided, or slightly to one side with the ratio of 3:5 if the background is important. Avoid irrelevant background or white space which detracts the eye from the matter at hand. Wording should be carefully placed so to not obstruct the content, and should be in a colour and style that is legible. If the picture is strong enough then words will not be needed, and can be saved for the reverse.

On the reverse of the postcard, there isn’t a lot of space for copy or text, so the reader should not be bombarded with irrelevant material. First thing to think of is a really good headline, which could make or break your promotion. Remember to put yourself in the shoes of your customer, and consider exactly what their needs are. Try forming a question so that the answer will be yes, and put the most important words at the beginning and the end.

Then work out what the benefits, not features, are of what you’re trying to say. Analyse your customer’s pain, and then focus your benefits as the solution to their pain. Avoid any jargon – use ordinary English. Present them as a series of bullet points, as these are much easier to read, especially for a busy person scanning your postcard. Again they should make your customer say yes.

Next should be a call to action. Not only should you tell them to go to your website or whatever, with a given time to respond, you can offer them an incentive or vouchers; people like gifts or something for nothing. By driving them to your website you can then gather their details so you can form a relationship with them in the future.

And don’t forget to make your contact details clear and placed in an obvious position, and there’s nothing wrong with repetition. If a customer can’t see how to respond, what is the point of the postcard in the first place?

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